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Youth Focus Curtain Raiser v Thunder

Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 8:14 AM
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A youthful and relatively inexperienced Perth outfit will today take on reigning premiers Peel Thunder in the club's first practice game for 2018.

Bounce down is 3:30pm at Lathlian Park, raising the curtain for the Tackling Suicide Celebrity & Community Match which begins at 5:30pm.

The Demons' focus during the inter club and intra club games will be ensuring that the best and fittest players are available for the club's round one clash against Swan Districts on the 31st March.

The composition of Perth's squad is based on a number of factors, including training, player load management and promotion of the graduating colts and second year players.

It will be fantastic to see Lachie Dennis and Braden Piggott returning in the red and black colours, while new recruits Richie Bourne Jnr, Fraser Barns and Aaron LoCicero will be joining a host of others in playing their first game.

Familiar faces will include Laine Wilkins, Kurtis Chester, Marshall Jones, Kristian Morisey, Shaun Smith, John Levien, Brad McPhail and more.

In what will be an extremely good test for the Perth newcomers and younger players to see how far the group has improved, the Peel side will be quite strong with the likes of Blair Bell, Leeroy Jetta and Gerald Ugle joined by 10 Fremantle listed players who have been released.

The Fremantle players were released late and include experienced AFL players coming off injury interrupted pre-seasons (Lee Spurr, Griffin Logue, Shane Kersten, and Ryan Nyhuis).

League coach Earl Spalding will be boundary side for the game, while Reserves coach Andrew Panetta takes over the reigns on match day.

“It will be a great opportunity for the majority of this squad to get a feel of what senior football is all about, while also giving us an indication of how far we have come in the pre-season” Spalding said.

“We have worked hard with our medical staff to professionally and thoroughly plan out game time requirements of senior players and those coming off injuries in 2017”, he added.

While the two teams will differ in experience, Perth supporters and members are encouraged to look at the game with an eye to round one and remember that it is a practice game and will be a great opportunity for players to stand up and show their talent and push for a senior game on the 31st March.