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20 Nov 2013

By ZAC MILBANK |Twitter @zacmilbank

West Adelaide will be given the chance to claim consecutive Foxtel Cups despite failing to qualify for this year’s SANFL Grand Final.

While league premier Norwood has been confirmed as the SANFL’s other contestant in the 2014 Foxtel Cup, the Bloods have been given direct entry after becoming the first SA-based team to
win the national trophy this year.

‘’The SANFL thought it was fitting that this year’s Foxtel Cup champion, West Adelaide, be afforded the opportunity to defend its crown in 2014,’’ SANFL General Manager Football Chris Davies said.

In 2013, the two highest-ranked SANFL clubs from the previous season contested the Foxtel Cup but the Bloods will contest the Tuesday night competition after finishing third this year.

‘’Having won the Foxtel Cup it is always good to defend the title and see if you can go back-to-back,’’ West Adelaide General Manager Football John Kantilaftas said.

Kantilaftas said the opportunity to blood more of West’s promising juniors, coupled with the national media exposure, were also benefits of being involved in the Foxtel Cup.

‘’The possibility exists, that given it is during the week, the opportunity to expose younger players through the Foxtel Cup is always there,’’ Kantilaftas said.

‘’The exposure across Australia through Foxtel is always good for the club, particularly if you win or do well in the Foxtel Cup.’’

Norwood chief executive Geoff Baynes said the Redlegs were keen to be involved again after being bundled out in their first Foxtel Cup match against East Fremantle this year.

‘’The players are very keen to test themselves out on a national stage and this gives them the opportunity for that to occur,’’ said Baynes.

‘’They (players) see that opportunity to test themselves against sides they normally wouldn’t play as another good challenge.’’

Baynes said Norwood – which unearthed the likes of Pete Bampton and Orazio Fantasia in the Foxtel Cup - supported the concept of all matches being played on a Tuesday night.

‘’The Tuesdays are good, it is just the way the scheduling goes around it,’’ Baynes said.

It is expected that next year’s Foxtel Cup matches in South Australia will be played at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

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