POTENTIAL top pick Jason Horne-Francis has been named captain of South Australia for the upcoming 2021 AFL Under 19 Championships. The talented onballer will look to lead the group into battle against Western Australia on Sunday, August 29 at Lathlain Park in Western Australia. Coach Tony Bamford will again take the reins, with Sturt top-ager Mani Liddy and Glenelg’s Lewis Rayson named as vice-captains in the side.
The tournament has been forced to be flexible after various and continued COVID-19 lockdowns force state-against-state action to be reconsidered. After no Under 19s Championships were played last year, Horne and his peers last played at the Under 16s Championships back in 2019, where the young gun was awarded with the South Australian Most Valuable Player (MVP). He also captained the side at the championships then.
Horne-Francis was one of three South Australians to make the Under 16s All-Australian team alongside Central District small forward Isaiah Dudley, and Norwood midfielder Cooper Murley. The duo are amongst the talented South Australian squad which finished equal second at that Under 16s Championships, defeating Western Australia but losing to both Victorian teams. As Vic Country lost to Western Australia, the three states all finished on one win from three games, while Vic Metro went through undefeated.
The AFL Under 19 Championships kick-off with the Western Australia-South Australia clash, with another three weeks given before the two Victorian sides do battle at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, September 18. It all happens from Friday, September 24, with the Allies taking on South Australia and Vic Metro hosting Western Australia in a to-be-announced Victorian location. The states will hang around for the week before facing off the following Tuesday with the Croweaters locking horns with Vic Metro, and Vic Country facing Western Australia. Vic Country and the Allies has been scheduled for the weekend of October 2.
Picture credit: Nick Hook Photography