SWAN Districts and East Fremantle meet in a final for the first time in 25 years this Sunday in the preliminary final at Steel Blue Oval with the Swans and Sharks desperate for a berth against Claremont in the 2012 WAFL grand final.
Swan Districts and East Fremantle last played off in a final in the first semi-final of 1987. East Fremantle won on that occasion by 56 points and this Sunday's clash also will be the first time the teams have ever met in a preliminary final.
While Swan Districts gain the home ground advantage after finishing in second position on the ladder at the end of the home and away season, East Fremantle will take confidence out of the fact that it was able to win at Steel Blue Oval back in Round 18 by 63 points.
Swans won the other meeting between the two sides during the home and away season by 42 points at East Fremantle Oval back in Round 10.
The preliminary final clash has been set up by Swan Districts losing its second semi-final to Claremont by 32 points last week and East Fremantle beating East Perth in the first semi-final by 37 points.
East Fremantle looks set to lose Fremantle ruckman Jonathon Griffin to a hamstring injury, but has Russell Gabriel as a ready replacement. West Coast's Bradd Dalziell and Fremantle's Cameron Sutcliffe could be a chance to come in as well.
Swan Districts breathed a sigh of relief during the week when reports to Tallan Ames, Graham Jetta and Ash Hansen didn’t lead to suspensions meaning that there are no forced changes. However, key players Matt Riggio and Ryan Davis are a chance to be back from injury.
The match-ups all over the ground are set to create a tremendous contest as well.
Hansen has had an incredible season kicking 66 goals in 13 games and looms as the danger man for East Fremantle, but West Coast's Mitch Brown will get the job for the Sharks and after doing well on Josh Smith last week he will back himself in to keep his former Eagles teammate quiet.
Tom Howlett will likely get the job on Tim Geappen as well with Luke Weller likely to move back into defence to play on Tony Notte. Andrew Stephen looks the best match up for Murray Newman as well while Brad Cooper could go to exciting youngster Dayle Garlett.
At the other end, East Fremantle's forward-line consists largely of mid-size players like Brock O'Brien, Leith Teakle and Brad Dick with help from Jack Perham and the resting ruckman whether that's Rob Young or Gabriel.
Ames, Kyle Hams, 100-gamer Justin Simpson, Jarrad Blight and Jetta will all have their work cut out trying to shut down those dangerous Shark forwards.
Then there is the midfield battle with both teams containing a good mix of hard bodied ball winners and outside runners.
East Fremantle's Mark McGough, Richard Hadley and Koby Stevens will be working hard up against Josh Roberts, Riggio and Lachie Neale to try to provide enough service for their strong running brigades.
With the Sharks possessing Jayden Schofield, Sean Henson and potentially Dalziell, and Swans having 200-gamer Shaun Hildebrandt, Tom Roach and Marlon Motlop there will be some of the best ball carriers in the competition on display.
All three preliminary finals will be played at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday starting in the colts with East Fremantle playing Claremont while the Sharks are also in action in the reserves up against Perth.