Two of North Beach’s outstanding talents have been rewarded for their efforts by selection in the West Coast Eagles WAAFL under-23 team.
Robust midfielder Michael Italiano and talented half-forward Josh Stott have earned selection and will play against Tasmania on Sunday at Brownes Stadium at 2pm.
For Italiano it is his first State selection, while Stott played three years ago and earned all-Australian selection in a national carnival in Adelaide. That performance ultimately led to Stott earning an opportunity in the WAFL where he played senior football with East Perth.
Italiano started the season in the A-Reserves, produced several best-on-ground efforts and demanded selection in the senior team. He has added some running power and aggression around the contests and is deserving of his opportunity to wear the black swan.
The down side of the honours for Stott and Italiano is that they will not be available for Saturday’s important clash with University at Charles Riley Reserve.
While the State representatives will not play, the A-Grade will welcome the return of two quality players, with midfielder Kyle Riemann and forward James Lee returning from injury.
Riemann has been sidelined by a calf injury while Lee has been incapacitated by a shoulder problem, but both are key players and will have an important role to play if the Beach is to prevail against the Students.
Making way for their return are forward Dion Cownie and midfielder Reece Burns.
The A-Reserves, playing the third-placed University, will be looking to maintain their impressive, unbeaten start to the season and the return of Cownie and Burns, whose form was solid in the A-Grade, will be a bonus.
So will the return of Matt Power from a fractured forearm, along with ruck duo Alex Hack and Dave Martin.
While Stott and Italiano will fly the North Beach flag in the Under-23s, two of the club’s colts players – Jacob Hackett and Tom DeCourtenay – have also been honoured with selection in the West Coast Eagles-sponsored State under-19s team which will play a curtain raiser against the WA under-16s.
Round 8 Fixtures
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v University, 2.30pm, Charles Riley Reserve
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach v University, 12.35pm, Charles Riley Reserve
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v University, 10.45am, Charles Riley Reserve
Townley Group D1-Grade
Whitford v North Beach, 2.30pm, MacDonald Reserve
Whitford v North Beach, 12.35pm, MacDonald Reserve
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
Whitford v North Beach, 10.45am, MacDonald Reserve
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach v Stirling, 2.30pm, Percy Doyle Oval