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State football great sense of pride for GuadagninWednesday, May 15, 2024 - 11:34 AM - by Chris Pike

PLAYING State football and especially getting the chance to play on Optus Stadium is an opportunity that means the world to 100-game West Perth defender Zac Guadagnin, but now he wants to taste a win for the WAFL more than anything.

Guadagnin is fresh off celebrating his 100th game with West Perth this past Saturday in the Falcons' 92-point victory against West Coast, and now should he be selected he's on track for a third appearance in the WAFL State team this Sunday.

The WAFL representative team will pull on the West Australian jumper up against the SANFL once again at Optus Stadium with Guadagnin tremendously proud any chance he gets to wear the black-and-gold colours.

He has been part of the defensive unit the past two years for the WAFL State team, but the only thing he would change are the results having been part in a loss at Optus Stadium in 2022 and then at Adelaide Oval in 2023.

The WAFL are attempting to snap a four-game losing run against South Australia and to beat them in a State game for the first time since the 2018 victory by 26 points at Adelaide Oval, and for a first ever win at Optus Stadium.

The past two games in Perth between the WAFL and SANFL have been at Optus Stadium in 2022 and 2019, but they ended up in narrow victories for the Croweaters just by a combined margin of 11 points.

Guadagnin now looks likely to be selected to be part of a back-line group representing the WAFL again this Sunday that will include Matthew Jupp, Harrison Macreadie, Chad Pearson and Jacob Blight.

Now that he is a 100-game player with West Perth having played in a premiership and already with two State games under his belt, the 26-year-old has achieved plenty already but it's hard to top pulling on the Black Swans jumper.

It's something that he takes great pride in especially having not played underage football for WA and with an AFL career not eventuating, State football is the pinnacle of his football in a lot of ways.

If he is selected to play on Sunday, he'll be as proud of anyone to be out there and will be doing all he can to ensure he's part of a win for the first time representing the WAFL State team.

"I love the chance to play state footy. I never really had the chance as a young boy to play State 16s or 18s so to get my chance now at this stage in the WAFL, and to be recognised as one of the best players in the competition is a great privilege and achievement," Guadagnin said.

"It's something that I'm very proud of and I know my family is as well, and it's good to play with some boys that you would never usually get the chance to play with too.

"I love state footy and it's just a good chance to showcase the best talent in the state, and hopefully this year we can actually get a win. I've been a part of two losses now and haven’t had the privilege of playing in a win yet. Hopefully this year is our time."

The added sense of excitement and achievement for getting picked to take part in the State game is getting to play on the elite venues.

Whether it's Adelaide Oval when South Australia are the hosts or Optus Stadium for the home games, Guadagnin has no doubt that getting to play at venues that a lot of the players would never otherwise get the chance to aside from a grand final adds extra meaning to taking part.

"We never obviously get the chance to play at Optus unless it's a grand final so even just when you walk in you think how good's this with all the facilities," Guadagnin said.

"Then you walk out onto the ground and you're in awe of it all. I've been lucky enough to play there a couple of times now and I know I love playing there.

"I know there's not a massive crowd there when our game is on and it can feel a bit empty, but just being on the ground and experiencing what it would be like playing AFL, it's pretty special.

"I can only imagine what it's like as a full house, but it's still a great experience and it sort of puts you in the boots of an AFL player for a little.

"That's something that most of us won't ever get the chance to do so I love it, it's a great experience and I hope they never have plans of moving it away from Optus."