State Debutant Trio Make Mark

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 9:52 AM

Subiaco’s Josh Deluca, Hayden Kennedy and Ben Sokol all had memorable debut state game matches albeit in what would be a West Australian loss to South Australia at Optus Stadium.


Deluca was the deserving winner of the Simpson medal as WA’s best player, while Sokol kicked a team high four goals and Kennedy showed typical dash and spirit down back.


All three were proud to be representatives for West Australia and pull on the black swan jumper, with it a reward for outstanding seasons at WAFL level.


Despite having already played at Optus Stadium in the 2018 WAFL Grand Final, Deluca still highlighted that running onto the field as the moment that stood with him the most.


“Highlight was probably running onto the ground with your state teammates,” Deluca said.


“Coming onto the field at such a great stadium is always a special feeling.”


As for the game, Deluca highlighted the pace of the game which was the biggest step up from a regular WAFL league fixture.


“The pace of the game was intense,” Deluca said.


“You just didn’t have as much time and space, which meant you were having to make quick decisions.”


Deluca finished with 29 disposals, seven tackles and a goal to be West Australia’s best player, indicating that he handled the increase in pace and intensity well.


Another one of the debutants to highlight the pace of the game was key forward Ben Sokol.


“The difference was the pace and intensity of the game,” Sokol said.


“It was a bit like the start of the 2018 WAFL Grand Final which had been the quickest game I had played in, but unlike that game which was intense for a half, this one just did not let up for an entire game.”


Sokol showed off his prowess inside 50 with some strong marking, finishing with a team high 11 marks and kicking a team high four goals.


The other part of the experience that Sokol enjoyed was getting the chance to meet and see a different side of some opposing players.


“It was great to meet and have a chance to chat to some guys who you are normally opposed to,” Sokol said.


“I really enjoyed getting to know guys like Tony Notte, Kane Mitchell and Blair Bell who have all been great players in our competition.”


Likewise Subiaco’s third state debutant Hayden Kennedy said he enjoyed the building of bonds with other players.


“You don’t really spend much time with opposition players outside of state footy,” Kennedy said.


“A guy like Jackson Ramsay I had only really met with once before, but was a guys I enjoyed playing with.”


Like his teammates Kenendy said the pace and intensity of the game was of the highest standard he played, highlighting the way that South Australia played.


“South Australia were a real quick side and they were well drilled at creating dangerous space,” Kennedy said.


“It was a great challenge to have to try and defend a very different style game to which we would usually play.”


With the upcoming mid-season draft, the credentials of all three of Subiaco’s State Game debutants were only enhanced by the State Game experience.


Subiaco is proud of the achievements of Deluca, Kennedy and Sokol.