Mount Barker celebrates after AFL announces Dockers-Crows preseason clash
The West Australian town of Mount Barker has been selected to host an AFL preseason game next year, between the Fremantle Dockers and Adelaide Crows.
It is the first AFL game to be played in the Great Southern since Albany hosted West Coast and Collingwood in 2008.
Local football club Mount Barker Bulls said the town was buzzing after the AFL announced the February 28 game on Tuesday morning.
President Brad Hook said AFL officials visited Mount Barker earlier this year, but did not give prior warning before making the announcement.
"This is huge, this is the biggest thing that's happened to our little footy club in our 25 years of existence," he said.
"We knew we were a chance, but that's about it until this morning.
"My phone has been going off all day."
The town hosted a WAFL game between Claremont and the Swan Districts last year, but has never hosted an AFL match.
"This is going to be fantastic for our club and is going to be really huge for our little town that we live in and love so much," Mr Hook said.
"Social media is going off down here at the minute, and everyone in the football club is super excited about it."
Mount Barker is the home town of Fremantle's 2015 best and fairest winner Aaron Sandilands.
The people in town are just ecstatic about it.
Plantagenet Shire president Ken Clements
Plantagenet Shire president Ken Clements said he was thrilled the game would be played at Sounness Park, a ground that recently underwent a multi-million-dollar redevelopment.
"We are renowned for good footballers coming out of here," Mr Clements said.
"Hopefully Aaron Sandilands will be down - he's the home boy - and we've got quite a few other guys actually playing in AFL and WAFL.
"This just will give everyone a chance to see what we've done, what the town is about, bring a lot of visitors in and just let everyone know we are here, and you should come down and have a look at us."
Mr Clements said he expected local businesses to be booming over the weekend of the game.
"The people in town are just ecstatic about it, it really does bring big money into town," he said.
The Mount Barker game is one of three AFL preseason matches Fremantle will play in WA.
The club will clash with Richmond at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Mandurah on February 19, while their final match will be played against Geelong at Domain Stadium on March 12.