Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 4:01 PM

TOP flight AFL football is coming to Mandurah again next year, after the AFL announced that the West Coast Eagles will tackle Carlton at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Friday, February 27 as part of the NAB Challenge pre-season competition.

Peel Thunder CEO Bill Kostandas said it again highlighted the elite facility at Bendigo Bank Stadium, and it was great recognition by the AFL to stage the match in Mandurah.

“The support and hard work by the City of Mandurah and the West Australia Football Commission is greatly appreciated by Peel Thunder in getting the game here,” Kostandas said.

Bendigo Bank Stadium hosted an AFL pre-season fixture in 2013, when Fremantle thumped the Western Bulldogs by 109 points, while West Coast last played in Mandurah in 2012, defeating Port Adelaide by five points in front of a strong crowd of 9000.

While the prospect of seeing some of the AFL’s superstars in the flesh would be enticing for both young and old supporters, Kostandas said the game will also benefit the local community.

“The young aspiring players in our region will get to see some of their favourite players demonstrating their skills and athleticism which will no doubt drive their ambitions and dreams to one day be playing at the same level as their AFL heroes,” he said.

“The local business community will benefit greatly as well because people from Victoria and also from our great state will travel to Mandurah and in turn provide a boost the local economy.”

AFL General Manager – Broadcasting, Scheduling and Major Projects Simon Lethlean said fans in regional and suburban communities were “unashamedly” the focus for next year’s NAB Challenge.

AFL club members will receive free entry to the match, which Lethlean said would be great for attendances and was part of the league’s ploy to bring the game back to fans in 2015.