THE NAB AFL U19 Challenge match between Western Australia and South Australia will be played as the curtain-raiser to the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium on Saturday.
The match will showcase the future of Australian Football ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft in November.
The match will commence at 1pm AWST / 3pm AEST and be broadcast live and exclusive on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App with thanks to Telstra.
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Western Australian captain Finn Gorringe said to play on AFL Grand Final day is a dream come true for all players.
"It’s a really exciting opportunity for players from both sides to play on AFL Grand Final Day on the biggest stage in football. We encourage the crowd to make their way into the ground early to support us and take a look at the next generation of players," Gorringe said.
"The experience will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and all of us just can’t wait to get out there tomorrow."
Western Australia's best youngsters defeated South Australia 9.13 (67) to 5.8 (38) at Lathlain Stadium, WA at the end of August to kick off the 2021 NAB AFL Draft Challenge matches.
South Australia acting captain Lewis Rayson said his team were ready to put in a strong performance.
“The boys and I are all really excited to be going over to WA again to play. Obviously, with the game being played on an AFL ground and being the curtain raiser to the Grand Final is an added bonus, but it doesn’t change what we are planning to do which is to go over and play good football and hopefully get the win," Rayson said.
“We didn’t get the result last time we went over there, but we are still all really positive about what we can do as a team."
The Western Australian team is coached by Marc Webb with South Australia led by Tony Bamford.
"We are all really still just pinching ourselves," Bamford said.
"We are all unbelievably grateful and thankful to the AFL Talent department to get this game off the ground and our players have been really excited about it as it is going to be a lifelong memory for all of us."
Western Australia v South Australia at Optus Stadium, 1pm AWST / 3.00pm AEST
B: F. Gorringe, J. Busslinger, L. Michael
HB: J. Avery, J. van Rooyen, S. Gilbey
C: B. Hough, K. Dittmar, A. Jones
HF: K. Harbour, J. Amiss, L. Paton
F: E. Benning, L. Polson, J. Stretch
Foll: J. Broadbent, M. Johnson, J. Tunstill
I/C: O. Armstrong, K. Bevan, C. Bourne, R. Farmer, Z. Fleiner
Emerg: D. Curtin, J. Draper, G. Julian
B: Z. Becker, J. Parish, M. Litster
HB: A. Draper, O. Adams, B. O'Loughlin
C: L. Rayson, H. Harrison, N. Wanganeen-Milera
HF: C. Kennedy, L. Cooke, W. Spain
F: H. Lemmey, J. Lukac, I. Dudley
Foll: O. Steene, M. Liddy, S. Linke
I/C: A. D'Aloia, L. Grubb, H. Jackson, M. Michalanney, J. Owens
Emerg: C. Beecken, B. Calvett, H. Stagg, L. Whitelum
Two additional NAB AFL U19 Challenge matches are being worked through which will see the Allies (Tasmania, Queensland, Northern Territory) play for the first time.
Sunday October 3 – SA v Allies – Adelaide Oval, SA
Sunday October 10 – SA v WA – Thebarton Oval, SA
Due to the challenges surrounding the COVID situation across Australia and the current restrictions in place in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, boys from these states will not compete in NAB AFL U19 Challenge matches in 2021.