Swan Districts v Perth Round 1 PreviewFriday, March 17, 2017 - 2:52 PM - by Chris Pike

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SWAN Districts and Perth enter the 2017 McDonald's WAFL Premiership Season desperate to climb the ladder after occupying the bottom two spots last year setting up a fascinating clash on Saturday.

Swans and the Demons will do battle at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval and considering both want to rise in 2017, it shapes as a pivotal match for the two clubs even if it is Round 1.

Swan Districts had a disastrous season in 2016 winning just two games and twice scoring the club's lowest ever score in history. Coming off that, the black-and-whites could dearly use a confidence-boosting win to start the season.

Perth, meanwhile, did show some signs of improvement last year ending up winning seven games, but the Demons will be determined to begin 2017 with some momentum and a win over the only team they finished ahead of last season.

Swans with plenty of reasons to expect bounce back in 2017 
Young brigade give Spalding reason for Demons hope 

Swan Districts and Perth did battle three times last year with the Demons winning on each occasion by 41 points in Round 8, 54 points on WA Day and finally by 50 points in Round 22.

The Demons will be looking to take plenty of confidence out of those results while Swans will be desperate to put an end to the run.

Both teams have made plenty of changes over pre-season and will have a host of fresh faces for the Round 1 clash on Saturday at Steel Blue Oval.

Corey Gault (Collingwood), Jamie Bennell (West Coast) and David Ellard (Carlton) have all been named to play after returning to Swan Districts in 2017 after time in the AFL.

Xavier Ellis and Ryan Crowley both arrive to add tremendous experience following their AFL careers as well. Ellis will also be coaching Swans' colts in 2017.

Jarrad Blight, Kirk Ugle, Ricky Cary and Jake Nuich are all players that Swans will be looking for big things from this season after each missed significant periods last year for a variety of reasons.

Brayden Noble is another player Swans have added picking him up the 24-year-old from Trinity Aquinas in the WAAFL. He looks capable of providing another target in attack.

Perth has suffered some blows on the eve of the season with the departure of expected returnee from Carlton in the AFL Clem Smith and former AFL ruckman Angus Graham. There are injuries to Cody Leggett, Lachlan Dennis, Kristian Cary and Jarrad Irons with Jared Bell still on the comeback trail.

On top of that, captain Dene White and Swan Districts premiership wingman Brett Wolfenden have moved on, but it's not all bad news for the Demons.

There are plenty of reasons for Perth fans to expect further improvement on last year.

They have welcomed back Brant Colledge from West Coast who proved in the WAFL with East Perth that he is a quality player either through the midfield or up forward.

Former Peel Thunder running defender Devin McFarlane is also on board and named to play in Round 1 along with East Perth recruit Clayton Giblett who is expected to hold down a key defensive post.

It is within the young brigade where the excitement sits with Perth coming into 2017 and Anton Scotney, Zareth Roe, Tom Gooch, Blake Johnson, Gordon Narrier, Cody Ninyette, Corey Byrne and Kristian Morisey have all been named in the squad for 2017.

With two emerging playing groups looking to quickly make their mark in 2017, it looms as a tremendous battle between two teams prone to putting on a show when they come up against one another.

SWAN DISTRICTS v PERTH – STEEL BLUE OVAL, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Selected teams, live stats 
Broadcast – KIX Digital