Author: Tom Wyman

2020 SANFL Round 2 preview: Sides return after dusting off the cobwebs

AFTER fans got a taste of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) football last weekend, Round 2 kicks off with plenty on the lines as the teams look to back-up after long layoff heading into Round 1.

Sturt vs Woodville-West Torrens

League:

Sturt will do battle with Woodville-West Torrens to kick off round two of the SANFL Statewide Super League. The Double Blues led all day and ultimately defeated Central District by 15 points in the season-opener last weekend. After missing out on a finals berth last season, Woodville-West Torrens narrowly lost their opening encounter of 2020 to South Adelaide. Despite wrestling back the lead late in the final term, thanks to goals from the Hayes brothers (Jack and Nick) and gun small forward James Rowe, the Panthers escaped with a six-point victory.

If they are to get their season rolling, the Eagles must put time into Sturt recruit Ash Johnson, the brother of current-Crow Shane McAdam, who booted three goals in the win. His aerial ability, athleticism and raw talent ensure he is one to watch. Fellow off-season signing Abe Davis and small forward Josh Hone will also cause headaches for new Eagles coach Jade Sheedy, given their potency up forward. As is often the case, the midfield-battle will be vital to the outcome of this clash. Industrial Sturt skipper James Battersby was arguably to best-on-ground last weekend for his work around the stoppages, collecting 26 disposals, eight tackles and 11 clearances. Dual Magarey Medallist Zane Kirkwood perhaps wasn’t at his damaging best against the ‘Dogs, but will demand serious attention all day.

Jordan Foote and Jimmy Toumpas will again be expected to lead the way in the Eagles engine-room. Foote was a strong inside presence on the weekend, finishing with six clearances, seven tackles and 21 possessions, whilst Toumpas’ class and skill shone on the outside. Midfield mainstays Angus Poole and Sam Rowland will be looking to benefit from the tap-work of big-man Jarrad Redden, who will do battle with Sturt’s Daniel Fahey-Sparks. The athletic Fahey-Sparks looks to have made big strides in the off-season, finishing the match against Central Districts with 52 hitouts and four clearances from his six possessions. Redden will receive a welcome chop-out from Jack Hayes, who proved a colossus in the air against South. Hayes booted two goals, recorded 17 hit-outs and clunked five contested marks but was also effective at ground-level, laying eight tackles and a couple of clearances. Sturt will be hopeful of regaining prolific midfielder Sam Colquhoun, who missed the round one clash with a hamstring injury, and medium-forward Jake Sutcliffe, who was struck down by illness.

Reserves:

The Eagles and Double Blues Reserves will converge at Peter Motley Oval on Sunday morning to continue their seasons. In another close finish, Woodville-West Torrens managed to defeat their South Adelaide opponents by eight points on Sunday, in a match where both sides were efficient in front of goal. However, that was not the case for the Double Blues reserves, who were bombarded early and will rue missing a number of opportunities in their 14-point loss to Central Districts. After a strong season last year, the Double Blues will be looking to notch up their first win against Woodville-West Torrens, who were beaten by Norwood in the 2019 Reserves Grand Final.

Under 18s:

The Under 18s sides will do battle after the reserves game on Sunday afternoon, with the Double Blues looking to build upon a comprehensive 48-point win over the Bulldogs. The Eagles, a traditional under-18s powerhouse, were defeated by close-rivals South Adelaide by ten-points. The Eagles have won the past two U18 Torrens University Cups over the Panthers but South Adelaide gained some round one revenge, despite the best efforts of prolific Eagles midfielder Caleb Poulter.

Poulter, a versatile 191cm prospect kicked a goal and amassed 34 disposals, seven marks (two contested), ten tackles, and seven clearances in the loss. Promising SA Hub tall forward Zac Phillips booted two goals and will prove a difficult match-up for the Sturt defence. The Double Blues will again be looking to feed off the midfield work of Mani Liddy and Tom Powell, who were both dominant in the win over Centrals at Elizabeth Oval. Look out for half-forward Morgan Ferres, who impressed with his clean hands and aerial ability in the victory.

 

Norwood vs North Adelaide

League:

Off-the-back of an impressive round one win over West Adelaide, the Roosters will face a tough test on Saturday afternoon against the battle-hardened Redlegs. In a re-match of the 2018 Grand Final, Norwood will be keen on asserting themselves on the contest, after being narrowly defeated by Glenelg in the marquee game of the opening round. North Adelaide’s x-factor forward Lewis Hender jumped out of the blocks, kicking seven goals-straight in the 29-point win.

Encouragingly for new coach Jacob Surjan, the Roosters off-season signings all started well, with midfielders Cameron HewettAndrew Moore and Billy Hartung getting involved early and finishing with 18, 25 and 19 disposals, respectively. Hewett and fellow inside midfielders Campbell Combe and Tom Schwarz were strong on the inside of the contest, laying a combined 28 tackles. The Roosters on-ball unit will need to be at their best when they face a battle-hardened Norwood midfield, headlined by deadly trio Richard DouglasMatthew Nunn and Mitch Grigg.

Douglas, a star signing in the off-season, recorded eight tackles and four clearances from his 20 touches, whilst Nunn, Grigg and Matthew Panos all benefited from the dominance of premier-ruckman Sam Baulderstone. Roosters ruckman James Craig will have his work cut out for him against the 200cm Baulderstone, who has proven to be the leagues best ruckman over his career. The Norwood on-ball unit is formidable and will only be further improved by the anticipated addition of Ryan Bastinac, who started the season in the reserves.

Norwood defenders Nik Rokahr, Mitch Wilkins and Nick Pedro face the daunting task of shutting down Roosters forwards Frank Szekely and Kym LeBois, who kicked a combined five goals in the win over West Adelaide. Injuries plagued Rooster Harrison Wigg‘s AFL career during stints with Adelaide and the Gold Coast, however his obvious talent was on show for all to see on Saturday, collecting 27 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s. Norwood must look to nullify his intercept marking ability across the backline. Redlegs running-machine Anthony Wilson is expected to miss another week with a calf injury, but tall defender Michael Talia faces a test to prove he is over his hamstring complaint. For the red and white, tall Alex Barns and son-of-a-gun Ben Jarman will both face tests after sustaining ankle injuries. The Redlegs will start as the clear favourites, but a revamped Roosters side will be eyeing off what would be a major scalp.

Reserves:

North Adelaide won the reserves competition in 2018 but, much like the clubs league side, slumped in 2019. Wooden-spooners from last season, the Roosters reserves will face the Redlegs seconds at the Parade on Sunday afternoon. Norwood were beaten by Glenelg last weekend and will be eager to bounce-back on home turf. Ryan Bastinac could be promoted to the league side after brushing off the cobwebs in the reserves against Glenelg. Norwood small midfielder Harry Nelligan has attracted the attention of draft watchers for his fierce tackling and prolific ball-winning and will expected to once-again line-up at reserves level on Sunday. For North Adelaide, young midfielder Harrison Magor and promising key defender Dyson Hilder will be looking to build form in the reserves to mount a case for a call-up to the Roosters league set-up.

Under 18s:

Norwood’s Under 18s side failed to land a punch against the Bays on Saturday, going down by 44 points. Matthew Dnistriansky‘s work across the backline was a standout in the defeat. He collected a team-high 25 disposals, nine marks and 10 rebounds. SA Hub member Cooper Murley also showed signs in the loss. The Roosters Under 18s defeated the Bloods by 12-points in round one, with exciting small forward and potential Crows NGA prospect Tariek Newchurch booting three goals. Captain Jamison Murphy has turned the heads of recruiters since picking football over cricket and will again be one to watch in the midfield, after a well-rounded performance at Prospect Oval last Saturday. He collected 26 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two clearances, six inside 50s and five rebounds.

 

South Adelaide vs Glenelg

League:

South Adelaide held off the fast finishing Eagles but face a more daunting task in the form of the reigning-premiers, Glenelg. Ken Farmer Medalist Liam McBean booted four goals to confirm his status as the leagues best key forward and will prove a tough match-up, likely for South Adelaide key defender Jake Summerton, who gains no reprieve after battling the Hayes brothers last weekend. Rugged midfielders Matthew Snook and Bradley Agnew were as industrial as ever and Marlon Motlop‘s silky skills will worry the South Adelaide coaching staff.

Magarey Medallist Luke Partington was not quite at his destructive best, but will prove a handful for the Panthers midfield, which will likely be without skipper Matthew Rose after he sustained a shoulder injury. In his absence, star onballer Joel Cross was left to do much of the heavy lifting and will again be relied upon in the engine room against a strong Glenelg midfield. Encouraging for the Panthers were the senior debuts of small forward Beau McCreery and versatile draft prospect Zac Dumesny.

McCreery proved invaluable in the last term, helping wrestle back the momentum by kicking back-to-back majors late in the final term, and Dumesny did not look out of place, collecting 11 disposals. Although several years older than McCreery and Dumesny, former-Power defender Matthew Broadbent also made a successful debut for the club down back.

Glenelg’s recruits also performed well, with former-Docker Jack Hannath strong in the ruck and Jackson Edwards providing solid rebound from the defensive-50. South Adelaide’s Malcolm Karpany suffered a back injury and will face a test later in the week, and Glenelg’s Tom Condon will also need to prove his fitness before the Sunday afternoon clash. Glenelg deservedly start as favourites, but South will be feeling positive after a win over the Eagles.

Reserves:

The Panthers and Tigers reserves will lock-horns at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday in a mid-morning time-slot. The Tigers defeated Norwood by 22-points last weekend, whilst the Panthers, despite kicking straight, were beaten by the Eagles in a close-encounter at Woodville’s Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. The Tigers Reserves will be looking to build upon the solid start and continue to feed-off the recent success of the league side, whilst the Panthers are aiming to launch a finals campaign after missing out in the previous four seasons.

Under 18s:

The Bays made it three-from-three across the weekend when the under-18s recorded a comprehensive 44-point triumph. SA Academy Hub member and potential Crows father-son prospect Luke Edwards was solid in the win, collecting 22 disposals. His versatility, size and experience as a bottom-ager at the 2019 National Championships will likely see him move beyond under-18s level soon enough. Luke Pedlar was dominant for the Bays, finishing the clash with Norwood with 28 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four clearances, whilst Lucas Schultz bagged four majors. Key tall Riley Holder could prove a handful for the Panthers, as could the running capacity of Xavier Robins. Panthers skipper Nicholas Kraemer is expected to lead from the front once again, after his nine-tackle showing against the Eagles.

 

West Adelaide V Central Districts

League:

In the final match of round two, Central Districts take on West Adelaide, with both sides no-doubt eager to earn their first points of the new season. The Bulldogs struggled to get things going in their forward half, despite the exciting off-season acquisition of Daniel Menzel. Centrals would have been pleased with the efforts of midfielders James BoydJarrod Schiller and Nick Lange, who battled hard against a strong Double Blues on-ball unit.

This week, they will face the likes of former-Hawk Dallas Willsmore and consistent veteran Kaine Stevens. The ruck battle is also likely to be closely fought, between West Adelaide big man Andre Parrella and Centrals’ Jonathan Marsh. Whilst Marsh was beaten in the ruck by Sturt’s Dan Fahey-Sparks, he still managed 37 hitouts and was busier around the ground than his Sturt counterpart, collecting 10 disposals and laying seven tackles. Parrella, one of the competitions best tap ruckmen, beat North’s James Craig on the weekend, winning the hitouts 49 to 29.

The eyes of many draft watchers will remain fixed on ultra-talented ruckman/tall-forward Riley Thilthorpe, who will again line-up in attack for the Bloods, alongside skipper Tom Keough. Energetic small forward Lyndon Hupfeld will be one to watch this week, after his four-goal performance against North. The Dogs enter the round two clash with a clean-bill of health, but Bloods off-season signing Josh Koster will miss with a hamstring injury. Josh Schiller missed a large chunk of 2019 with a shoulder injury and suffered a back complaint in the clash with North Adelaide. He faces a test to prove his fitness. Although both sides are not expected to feature in the finals series, this match-up could prove to be the closest of all the round two fixtures.

Reserves:

Central Districts reserves side will make the trip down into Adelaide’s western suburbs to do battle with the Bloods at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Dogs are coming off a hard-fought victory over Sturt, whilst West Adelaide made the Roosters pay for their inaccurate goal-kicking, coming out victorious by 31 points away from their Richmond home. Currently top after the opening round of action, the Bloods will be eager to continue their winning ways after a disappointing 2019 season which saw the side finish seventh. The Bulldogs seconds have been strong performers over the past few seasons, finishing in the finals since 2017 but failing to claim the ultimate prize.

Under 18s:

The Under-18 sides for the respective clubs will also face-off on Saturday. The Bloods and Bulldogs both lost their opening round fixtures but West will likely start this encounter as favourites, given the Bulldogs under-18s struggles in recent seasons. Midfielders Lewis Cowham and 16-year-old Austin McDonald were rare highlights during the hefty loss to Sturt, with both players finding an abundance of the football. McDonald was particularly strong around the stoppages, finishing with a game-high 12 clearances despite his inferior age. After facing Sturt, SA Academy Hub midfielders Tom Powell and Mani Liddy last weekend, the Dogs onballers gain no reprieve and appear set to clash with the prolific Bailey Chamberlain. Forward Jye Sinderberry may also cause some headaches for the Bulldogs defenders.

Draft Central All-Star Team: Norwood Redlegs

NORWOOD Redlegs have a strong defensive side that would be hard to beat, with plenty of accountable players and those who will make life difficult for the opposition.

THE TEAM:

This Norwood side would be right up there amongst the best of the South Australian sides. The backline is brimming with strong, battle-hardened key defenders who would make life very difficult for opposition forwards. The midfield is similarly workmanlike and features some of the toughest on-ballers to grace the competition. The forward-line is certainly exciting on paper and would pose a genuine threat to even the most dour of backlines.

DEFENCE:

The Norwood backline is stacked with quality key defenders, including Geelong premiership skipper Tom Harley, who has been named at centre-half-back. He is joined by former Swans full-backman Heath Grundy, who is regarded as one of the best lockdown defenders of the modern era. Making his debut in 2006, Grundy played 256 games in the red and white, including Sydney’s 2012 premiership triumph. A rookie selection by Melbourne in 1996, Nathan Bassett went on to play 210 games with Adelaide, finishing his career in 2008 as one of the Crows’ best defenders. He later coached Norwood to back-to-back SANFL premierships in 2012 and 2013. Current Power skipper Tom Jonas has notched up 139 games at Alberton and may prove to be the best defender amongst the starting six by the end of his career. Reliable small defender Jared Crouch joins Swans teammate Grundy in the side. Martin Pike‘s resume of four premierships and 247 games stacks up with the very best, making him a regulation selection.

MIDFIELD:

Whilst the backline consists of modern day players, the Redlegs midfield is largely dominated by stars of yesteryear. Although perhaps better known for his flamboyant hairstyles and off-field allegations, no-one would question the obvious talent of 125-gamer Adam Heuskes, who provided energy and zip from the wing or half-back. He is joined on the opposing wing by Kangaroo Trent Dumont. In 82 AFL games, Dumont has quickly become one of North Melbourne’s most important on-ballers. The centre position belongs to tough midfielder Roger James, who was one of the Power’s best players throughout their successful 2004 campaign. He played 147 games with the Power, kicked 87 goals and is a member of the SANFL Hall of Fame.

Matthew Primus faced some tough opposition but ultimately earned selection as the starting ruckman. In 20 games with Fitzroy and 137 with Port Adelaide, Primus was a dual All-Australian and renowned as one of the competitions best ruckman. Collingwood duo Scott Burns and Tony Francis form a formidable midfield partnership. A club great, Burns captained the Magpies in 2008 and played a total of 265 AFL games in the black and white. He kicked 149 goals in a polished 14-season career and is now seen as one of the best assistant coaches. Francis is a great of South Australian football, who represented the state on five occasions and kicked 103 goals in 142 matches with the ‘Pies. Despite standing just 171cm, Francis was an aggressive tackler and an excellent crumber.

FORWARD:

Despite an abundance of talent down back and throughout the midfield, the Norwood forward line could be the most dangerous of them all. Opponents would be tearing their hair out attempting to shutdown pocket-rockets Orazio Fantasia and Paul Puopolo  – two of the deadliest small forwards of the modern era. Yet for all their razzle-dazzle in front of goal, the pair are both capable of applying genuine defensive pressure. Despite his battles with injury, Fantasia has kicked 110 goals in 75 games with Essendon, whilst Puopolo, a three-time premiership Hawk, has kicked 181 goals in 190 matches. A famous last name at The Parade, versatile Magpie James Aish fits in on the forward flank, having played 82 games at AFL level. Nic Fosdike joins his former Swans teammates in the side by slotting in across half-forward. He played 164 games with Sydney, including the 2005 premiership, and kicked 66 goals. Although often criticised at times throughout his career, versatile tall Ryan Schoenmakers joins Puopolo in the starting forward-line. The full-forward spot went to Crows big man Matthew Robran. A two-time premiership star, Robran was often compared to his great father, Barrie, but overcame several serious knee injures to kick 110 goals in 137 games.

DEPTH:

Current Crow Luke Brown could consider himself unlucky to miss out on a starting position. Brown could be relied upon to negate the oppositions best small forward. Two-time premiership Crow Brett James joins his brother in the side and Will Minson was selected to provide support for Primus in the ruck. The selections of David Pittman and Rodney Maynard take the tally of Crows players to six, whilst two-time Lions best and fairest winner Joel Patfull complements a backline already loaded with tall timber.

2020 SANFL Round 1 preview: Football returns to South Australia

AFTER weeks of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season 2020 of the SANFL Statewide Super League will officially kick-off proceedings on Saturday. With Port Adelaide and Adelaide unable to compete, the league’s eight remaining clubs will play rounds one and two in the form of double-headers at the Adelaide Oval, across two weekends. Further fixtures are set to be released at a later date.

Central District V Sturt

Central District will be eager to unveil prized-recruit Daniel Menzel when the Bulldogs lock horns with the Double Blues on Saturday afternoon. Sturt were victorious in both encounters between the two-clubs last season but bid farewell to a continent of premiership players in the off-season. Former AFL-listed trio Abe Davis, Aidyn Johnson and Dean Gore were recruited to bolster the clubs forward and midfield stocks. Centrals finished eighth in 2019 for the second-consecutive season, despite having won three of their final five matches, whilst Sturt reached another SANFL finals series but exited following an elimination final defeat at the hands of Norwood.

As is so often the case, the midfield will likely be where this game is won. Sturt has built a formidable on-ball unit, led by the prolific Sam Colquhoun, brilliant Zane Kirkwood, skipper and clearance king James Battersby and former Cat-turned-Crow Gore. For the ‘Dogs, Travis and Jarrod Schiller, will again be heavily relied upon in the engine-room, having finished second and seventh for disposals last season, respectively. The brothers were prolific, consistent and as industrial as ever in the midfield last season and will again be expected to do much of the heavy lifting, alongside retuning premiership-winning on-baller James Boyd.

Clean-kicking captain Luke Habel, the reliable Justin Hoskin and former-skipper Trent Goodrem will also be integral to their sides success in 2020. The Central District backline will be kept busy attempting to contain lively forwards Josh Hone and Mark Evans, who booted 32 and 30 goals last season, respectively. Meanwhile, with key defensive duo Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans announcing their retirements, the Double Blues will usher-in a new era in the backline, but may have their work cut-out for them by the potent Menzel-brothers.

Central District and Sturt will do battle in the reserves competition at X-Convenience Oval on Sunday. The Bulldogs seconds managed nine wins last season to finish fourth and will benefit from a number of new signings, whilst Sturt were one of the leagues best, finishing the year with 12 wins. Draft hopefuls Corey Durdin (Central District) and James Borlase (Sturt) may feature for their respective clubs at reserves level. Later that afternoon, the under-18s will face-off. Both underage-sides struggled last season, with Centrals finishing last and Sturt seventh. Look out for Bulldogs small forward Isaiah Dudley and midfielder Lachlan Grubb and, for Sturt, on-ballers Mani Liddy and Tom Powell.

 

Woodville-West Torrens V South Adelaide

In the second game of a Saturday double-header, Woodville-West Torrens take on South Adelaide. Both sides narrowly missed out on finals berths last season, with the Eagles loosing four of their final five matches and South pondering what could have been after recording a pair of draws earlier on in the year. The Eagles claimed victory over the Panthers twice in 2019, by 42-points in round 8 and 3-points later in round 13. But South likely enter this clash as favourites, despite losing star Abe Davis to Sturt.

The Panthers recruited well in the off-season, signing long-kicking, former-Power half-backman Matthew Broadbent and promising midfielder James Rose from Sydney. However Rose will not take part in the Statewide Super League season. Although the Eagles didn’t land a big-name recruit, their depth will be bolstered by the return of hard-running wingman Kai Pudney and signing of Rhyan Mansell from North Launceston.

South co-captains Joel Cross and Matthew Rose are amongst the leagues best on-ballers and will go head-to-head with former-AFL listed midfielders Jordan Foote and Jesse Lonergan. Foote, in-particular, has emerged as arguably Woodville-West Torrens most valuable player after winning the best and fairest award in 2019. He averaged 24.7 disposals (at 84% efficiency), 4.6 marks and 6 tackles. The Panthers defensive unit, led by Broadbent and Joseph Haines must nullify the impact of dangerous tall-forward Jack Hayes and lively small James Rowe, who combined to boot 60 goals in 2019.

The two clubs will face each other in the under-18s on late Sunday morning at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, with the reserves to follow in the afternoon. The Eagles and Panthers have been two of the best sides in the underage competition previous years and their round one encounter is likely to be a close-one, with both sides featuring potential draftees, including South’s Zac Dumesny, Nick Kraemer and bottom-agers Jason Horne and Matthew RobertsTaj Schofield, Henry Smith and Lachlan Jones are likely types from the Eagles.

 

North Adelaide V West Adelaide

‘Westies’ and the Roosters will kick-off proceedings on Sunday, with both sides undoubtedly eager to bounce-back after disappointing 2019 campaigns. Having been forced to start last season with -4 premiership points, North Adelaide will be grateful to commence the new season on a level playing-field under recently-appointed senior coach Jacob Surjan. The Bloods ended the season on the bottom of the ladder but will no-doubt be eyeing off a scalp first up, having defeated the Roosters by two-points in round 13 last season for one of their only two victories.

West bid farewell to loyal veterans Chris Schmidt and Jono Beech but gained Sam Davidson and Jordon Boyle in the off-season. The Roosters were exceptionally busy in the signing-department, landing former-Hawk Billy Hartung, tough on-baller Andrew Moore, classy backman Harrison Wigg and regaining small forwards Robbie Young and Kym LeBois from St.Kilda and Carlton. Alongside their flashy recruits, Tom Schwarz, Jarrod Almond and co. are expected to get the red and white over this line in this encounter, but battle-hardened Bloods midfielders Tom Keough and Kaine Stevens will do their best to inspire West.

Stevens was once-again brilliant last season, averaging 27 disposals (at 88 per cent efficiency), 5.2 clearances and 4.8 tackles. Matchups against dangerous Roosters forwards Keenan Ramsey, Mitch Harvey and Alex Barns may prove critical to the end result. Watch-out for exciting young West Adelaide ruckman Riley Thilthorpe, who looks a likely first-round draftee.

The league and under-18 sides from North Adelaide and West Adelaide will meet on Saturday at Prospect Oval. Like their respective league sides, the Roosters and Bloods reserves struggled last season, finishing in the bottom-two spots. However, North Adelaide, in particular, will be hoping an increase in depth via strong recruiting can lift them to the heights of 2018.

West’s under 18s side was strong last season, recording 12 wins but failed to make the grand final. Watch for medium-forward Jye Sinderberry and wingman Bailey Chamberlain for the Bloods. Under-16s skipper Tyson Coe may also break-through for an under-18s game after the competition was cancelled for the year. Jamison Murphy and Tariek Newchurch are likely to feature prominently for the Roosters at either level.

 

Glenelg V Norwood

In what has been marketed as the game of the round, reigning premiers Glenelg face Norwood to close-out the opening weekend. Both sides are tipped to feature prominently come the pointy-end of the season. The clubs split their two contests in 2019, with Norwood claiming a narrow five-point victory in round one before Glenelg earned-back bragging rights with a dominant 46-point win in round 13. This match is brimming with talent across all zones of the ground, after both clubs added further to their talent in the off-season. In the heart of the midfield, reigning Magarey Medallist Luke Partington will be joined by tough-duo Jonty Scharenberg and Matthew Snook, classy wingman Marlon Motlop and recruits Billy Stretch and Jackson Edwards.

They will compete all-night against stars Lewis JohnstonMitch Grigg and Matthew Panos, reigning best and fairest winner Brad McKenzie, impressive youngster Cole Gerloff and experienced new signings Richard Douglas and Ryan Bastinac. The midfield-battle will be hotly contested and looms as the key to victory in this matchup. Following Jesse White’s retirement, the Bays big-men will be up-against-it, battling dominant ruckman Sam Baulderstone.

In attack, Glenelg will be looking to lace-out Ken Farmer medalist Liam McBean, x-factor medium-forward Luke Reynolds and newcomer Matthew Allen, whilst Peter Bampton and Dom Barry will again be the focal points in attack for the Redlegs. Captain Max Proud is set to anchor the Bays defence once-again, whilst Norwood look to cover the departures of retired defenders Jace Bode and Alex Georgiou.

The Redlegs ended a 21-year drought when they defeated Woodville-West Torrens to claim the 2019 Reserves premiership. They should be around mark again whilst the Tigers will be looking to improve upon a fifth-placed finish. The clubs face each other in the lower grades on Saturday at ACH Group Stadium. Glenelg’s Lewis Rayson and Cooper Horsnell are ones to watch at under-18s level, along with Norwood’s Henry NelliganNed Carey and Cooper Murley.

2020 SANFL Club Preview: Sturt

Following an elimination final defeat in 2019, Sturt will be looking to make a deeper finals assault under second-year senior coach Nathan Grima. Although the Double Blues lost a handful of veterans in the off-season, Sturt recruited well to add fresh faces to a finals-hardened outfit.

LEAGUE/RESERVES:

Terrific defenders Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans headline the list of departures. Both two-time premiership players and Jack Oatey Medalists, their retirements leave the club in need of key defensive replacements. Strong-bodied midfielder Aidan Riley also announced his retirement, as did former Power and Docker speedster Danyle Pearce and small forward John Greenslade.  

Former Sydney Swan Abe Davis made the move to Sturt after kicking 51 goals in 50 matches with South Adelaide. The brother of Crows forward Ben, Davis will provide the Double Blues with a strong frame in the forward line or midfield. He averaged 22.3 disposals, 5.4 marks, 3.1 tackles and 3.9 clearances last season and is capable of kicking a couple goals per game, booting multiple goals in six matches in 2019. Dean Gore returned to his native South Australia after a stint with Geelong in the VFL. Known for his inclusion in the Patrick Dangerfield trade, the Double Blues will be hoping the midfielder fills the void left by Riley. Having been delisted by Essendon, medium forward Jordan Houlahan made his way back to his junior club and will be hoping to cause headaches for opponents with his high x-factor and strong aerial ability. Small forward Harry Morrison joined after kicking 35 goals in the NEAFL with Sydney University last season. The 21-year-old’s speed, goal sense and agility has seen him attract attention from AFL clubs. He appears to be one to watch going forward. Sam Smith joined the club from the NT Thunder, Ashley Johnson made the step-up from the Adelaide amateur league’s Scotch Old Collegians, and Sam Wundke moved from North Adelaide.

At 29-years-old and with 206 games under his belt, Zane Kirkwood remains one of the league’s best midfielders. A two-time Magarey Medalist, Kirkwood averaged 24.5 disposals (at 86% efficiency), 5.1 marks, 4.2 tackles and 4.3 clearances in 19 matches last season. He formed a prolific on-ball partnership with former Power draftee Sam Colquhoun, who lead the league for disposals with an average of 29.3 per game to finish fourth in the Magarey Medal count. Stoppage specialist Tom Lewis will be looking to make an immediate impact at senior level, having missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL. Skipper James Battersby will go at it again in the guts, whilst 2019 leading-goalkicker Josh Hone and veteran Mark Evans will again be relied upon up forward.

UNDER-18S:

The Double Blues under-18s struggled last season, managing just five wins to finish ninth, ahead of Central Districts. The club’s 2020 draft prospects are headlined by Crows Next Generation Academy prospect James Borlase. A tall defender, Borlase has impressed with his strength overhead and competitiveness. Already 191cm and 88kg and having played eight reserves matches with the club last season, Borlase could be eyeing off a league debut after the aforementioned retirements of Stephens and Evans. Also included in the 2020 South Australian Academy Hub is hard-at-it inside midfielder Mani Liddy, who appears likely to featured prominently on-ball for SA at the National Championships. He averaged an impressive 25 disposals, 4.2 marks, and 5.5 clearances in the under-18s last season. Tom Powell is the third Double Blue in the hub set-up. An outside midfielder with speed, Powell has been plagued by injury in recent years but will be looking to put his best foot forward in front of recruiters in 2020.

Draft Central All-Star Team: North Adelaide Roosters

NORTH Adelaide Roosters have some elite players in their All-Star team of the AFL Draft era led by captain Wayne Carey who was the clear standout during the All-Star voting.

THE TEAM:

This balanced Roosters side has a number of well-established modern-day players mixing with a strong tier of up-and-coming future stars, supplemented by a handful of the greats of yesteryear. The likes of Jarman and Hart are household names at Prospect but a couple of young, talented former Roosters are hoping to make a name for themselves in the AFL, too. Having moved to Victoria prior to being drafted, Melbourne midfielder Jack Viney was excluded from consideration.

DEFENCE:

Current GWS Giants captain Phil Davis anchors the backline of the Roosters “best side of the AFL era”. Davis has been one of the competition’s premier key defenders for over a decade, leading the Giants to their first Grand Final appearance in 2019. In the back-pocket is former-Demon and Cat Jared Rivers, who played 194 games at AFL level as a serviceable defender. Premiership Crow and AFL Hall of Famer Ben Hart is one of the genuine stars of this Roosters side. A Crows club legend, Hart played 311 games in the tri-colours, winning two best and fairest awards and being named an All-Australian on four occasions.

Sean Wellman was an obvious inclusion for the role at centre-half-back, having appeared in 212 AFL matches, originally with Adelaide and later Essendon. A member of the ‘Dons 2000 premiership side, Wellman was a dual All-Australian. Although both still competing at AFL level, Power duo Sam Mayes and Ryan Burton have shown glimpses of their high potential in their 101 and 63 games respectively.

MIDFIELD:

Roosters and Crows great Andrew Jarman made his debut at SANFL level in the red and white at just 17 years of age, before going on to kick 92 goals in 110 games with the Crows. Centreman in the Crows team of the decade, Jarman was renowned for his lighting hands in tight and amassed 47 Brownlow votes during his time in the AFL. Dual Premiership Tiger Shane Edwards has rather-quietly racked up 255 games and 161 goals with Richmond. A vital cog in the Tigers recent successes, Edwards was named an All-Australian in 2018 and fits in on the wing of the Roosters side. Although just one year into his career, Connor Rozee is destined for stardom and slots in on the wing for North Adelaide. Runner-up to Sam Walsh for the 2019 Rising Star, Rozee is silky smooth, lightning fast and appears set to be one of the games best outside players in the coming seasons.

Mark Jamar was a regulation choice as the lead ruckman for North Adelaide, having played 160 AFL games, 155 of which came during his time with Melbourne. Despite the Demons struggles and a series of injury set-backs, Jamar was regarded as one of the league’s best ruckman and was named an All-Australian in 2010. Former-Power star Josh Francou has been named as a follower. A 156-gamer, three-time Showdown Medalist and inaugural member of the Power, Francou hit his peak in the early 2000s, finishing third and second in the 2001 and 2002 Brownlow Medal counts. Tough, contested-ball winning Swan George Hewett caps off a battle-hardened yet skilful on-ball unit for the red and white. Hewett is one of the most reliable negators in the competition, as shown by his second-placed finish in the clubs 2019 best and fairest count.

FORWARD:

Regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game, Carey is without doubt the star of this side. A dominating centre-half-forward, Carey played junior and reserves grade football with the Roosters before moving to North Melbourne and than the Crows. He kicked 727 goals in 272 games and collected 127 Brownlow votes. The Wagga product was a seven-time All-Australian, four-time best and fairest winner and two-time premiership player with the Kangaroos in the mid-to-late 90s. Swans forward Will Hayward has shown plenty of promise in his 53 AFL games and he gains selection on the half-forward flank. Darren Jarman joins his brother in the Roosters side. Jarman is a South Australian footballing icon, best known for his miraculous goal sense and for almost single-handedly dragging the Crows over the line by kicking five goals in the 1998 Grand Final. He kicked 386 goals in 230 games, 109 of which came with Hawthorn. Along with his three premierships and a best and fairest, Jarman was also a three-time All-Australian. Daniel Motlop adds serious x-factor to a forward line already oozing with talent. Ben Holland and his brother Nick complete the starting attack. Both were dangerous talls in their prime, kicking 179 and 239 goals respectively.

DEPTH:

Former-Crow Matthew Wright headlines the interchange options. A serviceable, nuggety small forward or rotating midfielder, Wright kicked 136 goals in 94 games with the Crows and 65 with the Blues. Brandan Parfitt has turned some heads in his first few seasons in the AFL with Geelong. Albeit difficult to break into a star-studded Geelong midfield, Parfitt has shown glimpses of his talent in 54 games. Jack Graham has played 39 games with Richmond and was a key contributor to the Tigers 2017 premiership victory. Pocket-rocket Matt Campbell offers an injection of speed and versatility off the bench. Chris Ladhams and Darel Hart also made the final cut.

2020 SANFL club preview: North Adelaide

NORTH Adelaide will be itching to return to the field after a disappointing 2019 campaign which saw the club finish ninth. With premiership coach Josh Carr departing the club for Fremantle, former Power defender Jacob Surjan will take the reins of a revamped North Adelaide in 2020.

>>> CHECK OUT OUR NORTH ADELAIDE TEAM PAGE

>>> SANFL WOMEN’S NORTH ADELAIDE TEAM UPDATE

LEAGUE/RESERVES:

The Roosters farewelled five premiership players in the off-season, including inspirational former captain Max Thring, who announced his retirement from senior football. Fellow on-baller Aidan Tropiano returned to his native Perth. Tropiano, a mainstay of the Roosters side, led the league in tackles last season and will leave a sizeable gap in the centre of the field. Mackenzie Slee, Maris Olekalns and Brock Castree also left Prospect, along with a number of ‘depth’ players. In desperate need of a midfield rejuvenation, an array of departures, North Adelaide turned to Victoria. Hawthorn premiership wingman Billy Hartung signed on and is expected to add plenty of run, carry and polish with ball in hand.

His outside polish is well-balanced by the toughness of inside midfielder Andrew Moore, who transferred from the VFL’s Box Hill Hawks. Having played 17 league games with the club during his time with the Power, the strong-bodied Moore will bring leadership and genuine contested-ball winning ability to the Roosters midfield set-up. The club also welcomed back premiership speedster Robbie Young after his AFL stint with St.Kilda. North Adelaide juniors Harrison Wigg, Kym LeBois and Cameron Hewett returned to Prospect following stints at AFL level and will be expected to slot into the Roosters senior side. Meanwhile, duo Elliott Chalmers and Sam Davis joined the club from Glenelg.

The Roosters will be led by newly appointed captain Alex Spina, who tragically missed out on a premiership medal in 2018 after breaking his collarbone in the highly controversial preliminary final victory over Woodville-West Torrens. Excellent midfielder Jarred Allmond will again be an integral component after being one of the clubs rare shining lights in 2019. A seasoned campaigner, the 29-year-old led the league for kicks last season, averaging 25 disposals, 6.7 marks and 6 rebound-50s in 18 matches. He will be supported in the midfield by Campbell Combe, who averaged 20 disposals and 5.7 tackles in 2019, and productive vice-captain Tom Schwarz, who averaged 24 touches, 4.3 tackles and 3.9 clearances.

Last season’s leading goal kicker Lewis Hender will continue to provide plenty of x-factor whilst lurking across the forward flanks. Keenan Ramsey will again team-up with Mitch Harvey in attack, however its the clubs small forward stocks which really attract attention. Exciting 20-year-old Frank Szekely turned heads during his debut season last year, whilst Keanu Miller, Jake Neade, Ben Jarman and Robbie Young combine to form a potentially-devastating combination around goal.

Defenders Mitch Clisby and Tanner Smith will be hoping to return to their 2018 form. The Roosters also have a couple of handy youngsters pushing for selection. Tall defenders Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder were unlucky not to be selected in last seasons draft and will be looking to push for regular selection having received a taste of senior action last year. Wingman Mason Neagle showed promise in his debut year and inside midfielder Harrison Magor will be looking build upon a 2019 which saw him win the McCallum Tomkins Medal as the best player in the SANFL Under 18s competition.

UNDER-18S:

North’s Under 18s side narrowly missed out on playing finals football last season after losing their last four home and away matches. Four Roosters have been named as the SANFL Under-18 competitions best player in six years, following Magor’s success. Although just two North Adelaide juniors were included in the SA Academy Hub for 2020, Tariek Newchurch and Jamison Murphy are both expected to feature prominently for SA at the National Championships.

A medium-forward or midfielder, Newchurch is eligible to join the Crows as a member of the clubs Next Generation Academy. He kicked 29 goals in 16 under-18 games last season and played one match with the reserves. Murphy is a tough inside midfielder who captained the Australian under-16 cricket side before setting his sights on football. His leadership, hard-at-it approach and excellent foot skills have seen him draw comparisons to Hawthorn legend Luke Hodge.

>>> GET TO KNOW NORTH ADELAIDE UNDER 18S

2020 SANFL club preview: Glenelg

GLENELG took the SANFL by storm in 2019, winning the clubs first league premiership in 33-years. The Tigers recruited well in the off-season, luring several former-players back to the club to bolster an already-talented lineup. Under coach Mark Stone, Glenelg appear well positioned to defender their crown in season 2020.

>>> CHECK OUT OUR GLENELG TEAM PAGE

>>> SANFL WOMEN’S GLENELG TEAM UPDATE

LEAGUE/RESERVES:

Glenelg certainly did not rest on its laurels in the off-season, bringing in a number of handy additions with AFL experience. Premiership captain Chris Curran departed the club, with fellow defender Max Proud set to fulfil the leadership responsibilities. Former Magpie and Swan Jesse White announced his retirement, teenager Will Gould headed north after being drafted by Sydney and Brad Close was picked up by Geelong. Josh Scott and Aaron Joseph also departed the club. Former Crow Jackson Edwards returned from Werribee to add more talent to a strong midfield core. Billy Stretch and Curtis McCarthy returned from Victoria and Matt Allen from West Coast. The ruck stocks also received a welcome boost with the signing of former Docker Jack Hannath. The Tigers also recruited youngsters Mitch Martin (GWV Rebels), Angus Cole (Bendigo Pioneers) and Luke Parks (Sydney Swans Academy).

Reigning Margarey Medalist Luke Partington is the headline act of the yellow and black on-ball brigade. Partington was simply brilliant last season, averaging 29 disposals (82 per cent efficiency), 4.4 marks, 5.5 tackles and 4.9 clearances. Matthew Snook, Brad Agnew and Jonty Scharenberg were all integral to the the Bays premiership success, with the former taking out the Jack Oatey Medal as best on ground in the grand final. Agnew laid 34 tackles in the Bays three finals and has emerged as a midfield aggressor. The inside grunt will be balanced out by the silky skills and class of Marlon Motlop. Recruits Stretch and Edwards are expected to further compliment the Bays outside presence. Up forward, dangerous duo Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds combined for 91 goals last season. McBean took out the Ken Farmer Medal by one goal, over medium-tall Reynolds. The energy and defensive pressure of Cory Gregson will again prove invaluable to the Tigers forward-line. Elsewhere, Former Docker Matthew Uebergang and Max Proud form a strong key defensive partnership, whilst Andrew Bradley has proven his worth in a number of roles over the years.

Glenelg’s reserves finished the regular season in fifth spot, earning them a finals berth. However they were easily accounted for by Central District in the first elimination. With a host of talented youngsters waiting in the wings, Glenelg will be hoping to make it deeper into the finals in 2020.

UNDER-18S:

Potential Crows father-son Luke Edwards, talented tall forward Kaine Baldwin and skilful utility Cooper Horsnell headline the Bays under-18 prospects for the upcoming season. Edwards featured prominently during last year’s National Championships, displaying plenty of football smarts and poise off the half-back line for South Australia. Strongly-built key forward Baldwin played just one match last season before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). A genuine leader, scouts will certainly not have forgotten Baldwin’s terrific aerial prowess, strength and scoreboard impact. Horsnell has impressed onlookers with his courage and precise foot skills. All three are likely to be drafted and could make a push for senior debuts in 2020.

>>> GET TO KNOW GLENELG UNDER 18S

>>> LUKE EDWARDS AFL DRAFT WATCH

>>> KAINE BALDWIN AFL DRAFT WATCH

>>> MARQUEE MATCHUPS: CONNOR DOWNIE VS. LUKE EDWARDS

>>> MARQUEE MATCHUPS: KAINE BALDWIN VS. DENVER GRAINGER-BARRAS

Draft Central All-Star Team: Glenelg

GLENELG TIGERS have a talented All-Star team with some elite players to help straighten up the side and make it ultra-competitive. The Tigers have some strong key position players and those with a heap of premiership success which means they already know what it takes to be the best side.

THE TEAM:

The team has a strength in defence, with some stars littered through midfield and up forward, including Blues legend Stephen Kernahan who was named captain of the Tigers after winning out All-Star voting. Whilst the depth is not as high as some other sides, they still have viable options coming off the bench who were able to hold up positions in best 22s at VFL/AFL level for some time.

DEFENCE:

Holding down the key back positions were Chad Cornes and Rod Jameson providing some serious strength there, whilst a number of medium-smalls provide some elite depth. Jameson was named at full-back in Adelaide’s team of the decade, but also kicked 113 goals across nine seasons as he spent some time up forward. Cornes played 239 games with the Power, including the 2004 premiership side. A dual All-Australian, Cornes moved to New South Wales, where he played 16 games for GWS during the club’s infant years. He is also a member of the SANFL Hall of Fame and amassed 50 Brownlow votes across his 15-year career.

Geelong legend Andrew Mackie in the back pocket with three premierships to his name and an All-Australian honour, whilst no-frills utility, Tom Logan assumes a role in the other back pocket. At half-back, Carlton great Andrew McKay played out 244 games and won a club best and fairest in his final season at AFL/VFL level for the Blues. Sliding back to half-back is Bryce Gibbs, the only current player in the back six. He could also play on a wing, but in this scenario has moved back to half-back where he could show class as he did where he won a best and fairest and All-Australian honour. Looking to the bench, Essendon premiership player David Grenvold could come on and provide some support,

MIDFIELD:

The midfield is huge, with Port Adelaide midfielder and tagger Kane Cornes joining his brother in the side. He played 300 games with the Power and was able to accumulate four best and fairests and two All-Australians in his 15 seasons with the club. On the other wing is West Coast’s and former Brisbane midfield Jack Redden who also provides some more recent talent in the side, with 227-game Crow Chris McDermott in the centre. McDermott was the inaugural captain of the Crows, and also named captain of the 1992 All-Australian team as well as a best and fairest and numerous other awards.

Onball, former Richmond and Geelong star Brad Ottens will take the ruck duties and could also switch forward, booting 261 goals and also earning All-Australian honours and three premierships with Geelong. Two players a couple of decades apart combine in the midfield, as Lachie Neale and Tony McGuinness team up. Neale has catapulted into the top players in the competition of late, with 89 Brownlow votes in 159 games, as well as two best and fairest and three Ross Glendinning Medals as a Docker, before adding an All-Australian honour as a Lion. McGuinness played more than 200 games for both Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, earning three All-Australian honours two best and fairest awards and captained Adelaide for two seasons.

Among the players on the bench who could come on and provide further depth to the Tigers midfield are Jordan McMahon (148 games, 46 goals), Jordan Murdoch (122 games, 74 goals), Simon Cox (93 games, 41 goals) and Alex Neal-Bullen (73 games, 57 goals)

FORWARD:

A strong mix of talls and smalls, there is no bigger legend than Kernahan at centre half-forward. He racked up three best and fariests and five All-Australian awards, finishing his career with 738 games from 251 games. His legend lives on as a Glenelg, SANFL and Carlton Hall of Fame member, as well as the Blues’ all-time leading goalkicker. His full-forward teammate is a lot less known, but had bang for his buck. John Fidge was recruited to four VFL/AFL clubs but only played at Melbourne and Brisbane where he combined for 59 games and 92 goals, including regular hauls of four and five majors.

Across the half-forward line is Brisbane premiership talent Craig McRae who played 195 games and booted 232 games on his way to three premierships. On the other flank is Bays legend Tony Hall who played 114 games with Hawthorn and then Adelaide, booting 174 goals and was named All-Australian in 1988, the same year he won the first of two flags – one with each club. In the pockets are Matthew Liptak and Matthew Bode who both predominantly played for the Crows, while Bode also represented Port Adelaide initially. Liptak booted 128 goals in 116 games, also playing as an inside midfielder, while bode booted 96 goals in 108 games with the two clubs. Key position Hawk, Tim O’Brien is a player on the bench who could provide height up forward.

DEPTH:

Small forward Lincoln McCarthy (53 games and 45 goals) and half-back Daniel Bell (66 games and 1 goal) are among a handful of Tigers who could consider themselves unlucky not to gain selection. Adelaide young gun Darcy Fogarty would be expected to qualify for the team if he continues to show promising signs up forward for the Crows, while Will Gould captained the Croweaters at Under 18s level and is someone who could have a bright future after coming through the Glenelg program.

Draft Central All-Star Teams: Central District

CENTRAL District has bred some of the most talented Indigenous players to ever grace the field over the years, from Swans legend Michael O’Loughlin to Magarey Medal-winning icon Gilbert McAdam. With more names such as the legendary John Platten to the modern day hero of Shannon Hurn, there is plenty of talent across the field. In fact, Hurn was the player voted by you, the fans as Central District’s Best Player of All-Time. He therefore earned the captaincy nod ahead of Travis Varcoe, who finished runner-up in our 16-man draw.

THE TEAM:

The Bulldogs have blooded 14 players to have played more than AFL 100 games, including six who managed in excess of 200 matches. The Central Districts team looks strong across the board, with a rugged, stingy backline complimented by a dangerous forward line headlined by a trio of key forwards. The midfield is perhaps the weaker of the three lines, but still features a Brownlow medalist. The ‘Dogs are one of South Australia’s most successful clubs and their best 24 is littered with talent.

DEFENCE:

The Central Districts backline has a strong Western Australian flavour, led across half-back by Eagles premiership skipper and Barossa Valley local Shannon Hurn. With 166 games under his belt, fellow Eagle defender Sam Butler was an obvious selection as a lockdown backman.

Cross-town rivals Fremantle are also represented in the Bulldogs side, in the form of rebounding defender Lee Spurr. A mature-aged rookie selection in 2011, the versatile Spurr played 120 games with the Dockers across seven seasons.

With limited key defensive prospects, the strongly-built Nathan Grima was a sure bet to feature at full back in the ‘Dogs best 24, having played 88 AFL matches with North Melbourne (86 games) and Essendon (2).

Luke McCabe‘s 138 games with Hawthorn ensured he featured in the side, whilst Anthony Ingerson assumes the role across centre-half-back, despite starting as a forward with Adelaide.

MIDFIELD:

The midfield is headlined by South Australian football icon and Hawthorn great John Platten. The 1987 Brownlow Medalist is regarded as one of the best rovers the game has seen. With his trademark locks, Platten kicked 228 goals, won two best and forest’s, was a five-time All-Australian and won four premierships during his time with the Hawks.

The strongly-built Stuart Cochrane, who played 104 games at AFL level with Port Adelaide and North Melbourne, and versatile Brad Symes make up for Platten’s smaller frame, adding plenty of size to the ‘Dogs on-ball brigade.

Journeyman big-man Jonathan Giles was the logical ruckman, having played 63 games across four AFL clubs. Cat-turned-Pie Travis Varcoe and emerging Crow Wayne Milera provide the team with a plethora of speed and class from the wings whilst also possessing the ability to rotate through the forward line. Overall its a strong midfield, with a nice balance of in-and-under contested-ball winners complimented by flashy, outside ‘finishers’.

FORWARD:

The forward line is perhaps the strongest line in the Bulldogs side, headlined by full-forward Michael O’Loughlin. ‘Micky-O’ is one of the most iconic Swans of the modern era, having kicked 521 goals in 303 games in the red and white. A dual All-Australian, best and fairest winner, premiership player and member of the Indigenous team of the century, O’Loughlin was the first name slotted into the Bulldogs side.

He is accompanied in the pockets by current coach of the Gold Coast Suns Stuart Dew. Clever around goal with a booming left foot kick, Dew kicked 265 goals in 206 games with Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, winning flags with both clubs.

Power veteran Justin Westhoff is renowned for his lanky frame, iconic beard and outstanding athleticism which allows him to play almost anywhere on the park. The 268-gamer earns a spot at centre-half-forward in the ‘Dogs best 24, but could easily rotate with Milera or Varcoe when desired.

The great thing with these key forwards is that they possess contrasting styles and thus provide a nice balance. Crows fans will no-doubt remember 1998 premiership hero Peter Vardy, who adds a touch of magic to the Bulldogs offence.

Derek Kickett was selected on the opposite flank, having booted 179 goals in 152 matches with Essendon, North Melbourne and Sydney. Gilbert McAdam is perhaps best known in South Australia for winning the 1989 Magerey Medal, but his 111 games and 89 goals at AFL level made him a clear-cut choice at half-forward.

DEPTH:

The Bulldogs have a couple of very handy players on the pine, who could very easily have cracked an on-field position in many teams across the nation. Despite his injury woes, Daniel Menzel kept scoreboard operators busy during his 73 games at the Cats and further adds to an already-deadly forward line.

Central’s great and inaugural Crow Scott Lee provides a handy bench option either as a lockdown back pocket or strongly-built on-baller. Former-Magpie Ben Kinnear and ruckman Richard Cousins add much needed key position depth in a team lacking some height.

Martin McKinnon, the Crows’ first ever draft pick, provides some x-factor to the side with an ability to play either tall or small at 189cm. The cousin of Michael O’Loughlin, Eddie Sansbury rounds off the side, providing further depth on-ball and up forward.

2020 SANFL Under 16 review: Round 2

AS chaos spreads across the sporting world, Round 2 of the SANFL Torrens University Under-16 competition proceeded with caution on Sunday. North Adelaide, Sturt and Glenelg each recorded their second triumphs of the season and West Adelaide kick-started their campaign with a big win over Norwood. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs, Eagles and Panthers remain winless after the opening fortnight of action.

South Adelaide 10.7 (67) def. by North Adelaide 13.7 (85)

After booting six straight in the opening term, the Roosters never relinquished the lead to record an 18-point win over South Adelaide at Flinders University Stadium. North Adelaide dominated the majority of the critical statistical categories, led by talented on-baller Max Blacker. Following on from a strong opening round, Blacker collected 31 disposals, laid 11 tackles, took seven marks and booted two majors in a complete, best-on-ground performance. He was aided by the prolific ball-winning of William Dowling, who finished the game with 28 disposals, six marks, three tackles, four clearances and two goals to sit second in the league for total disposals. The productive duo were the only players on the ground to record in-excess of 20 touches, whilst Kane Mcauliffe and Tyler Sparkhall were also multiple goalkickers for the red and white, booting two each. Tall-forward Isaac Keeler presented well, taking nine marks to go with 16 disposals and four inside-50s. For the Panthers, who were without talented midfielder Jaiden Magor, Will Verrall was impressive in the ruck. Whilst he recorded 23 hitouts, the athletic Verrall also collected an equal team-high 19 disposals, five tackles, five inside-50s and a goal to be amongst his sides best performers. Jayden Christophers racked up 19 disposals and Jamison Snelling was the Panthers’ sole multiple goalkicker, booting two.

Central Districts 8.8 (56) def. by Sturt 15.8 (98)

Sturt recorded its second away-from-home victory in as many weeks by knocking off Central Districts on Sunday morning. Austin McDonald (Central Districts) and Oliver Britton-Jones (Sturt) dominated the scoring, booting four and five goals respectively. Britton-Jones managed three behinds in the win over the Eagles, but dramatically improved his accuracy to lead the Double Blues to victory. He also tallied 13 disposals and seven marks. After booting two goals last week, Cormac Dwyer added a further three to his season tally, along with nine marks and four inside-50s. Nick Sadler moved to the top of the clearance leaderboard after recording 12, to go with 24 disposals, six tackles and six inside-50s. Following on from a tremendous 33-disposal effort in Round 1, Bulldog McDonald recorded a team-high 21 touches against Sturt, but it was his impact on the scoreboard which proved most effective. Alongside the imposing overall numbers he is assembling, McDonald’s 74 per cent disposal efficiency on the season also stands out. Elsewhere for the Bulldogs, Brodie Tuck recorded nine hit-outs, nine marks and four tackles, Adam Deakin collected five rebound-50s from defence, Tyson Linke snared two goals and Declan Whelan assembled 20 touches and nine marks.

Norwood 6.4 (40) def. by West Adelaide 19.12 (126)

A brilliant eight-goal third term saw West Adelaide hammer the Redlegs at The Parade. Ball-magnet Kobe Ryan once again appeared to bring his own football, collecting 33 disposals, four marks, three tackles, eight clearances and eight inside-50s for the Bloods. The on-baller sits seven touches clear at the pinnacle of the disposals leaderboard after two weekends of action. Four goals from Charbel Oueiss, three each from Max Downs, Joshua Fedele and Ashley Wilson, and a couple from Tyson Coe lifted Westies to a final score of 126. Their 19 goals to 12 behinds painted a much prettier picture than their inaccurate seven goals and 15 behinds against the Roosters. Jameson Whitbourne’s eight tackles and Harry Barnett’s 32 hitouts also stood out on a tremendous morning for the visitors. Riley Verrall was again impressive for Norwood, gathering 24 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances and five inside-50s. Taj Rahui laid an impressive seven tackles and Alexander van Wyk was his side’s only multiple goalkicker, kicking a pair. It certainly appears as if the Bloods will contend for the Under 16 crown once again.

Woodville-West Torrens 4.5 (29) def. by Glenelg 15.13 (103)

Glenelg stormed out of the blocks on Sunday evening to record its second win of the campaign. Incredibly, having held Central Districts goalless in the first half last weekend, the Bays’ sensational defence again managed to hold the Eagles to just two behinds at the main break. Charlie Hildyard earned best-on-ground honours, amassing 29 disposals, eight marks, four tackles, four inside-50s and two goals to lead the league in Dream Team Points (258) after two weeks. Jake Walker sent it inside-50 on 11 occasions, proving integral in his side’s high scoring. He also managed six tackles and 29 disposals. Archie Lovelock was not quite as prolific as last weekend but was as hard-working as ever, laying seven tackles. Brodie Pratter stole the show up forward, booting four majors. For the Eagles, Adam D’Aloia worked tirelessly once again, racking up 24 disposals, nine tackles and four clearances. Midfield partner Mattaes Phillipou was the game’s most prolific ball winner, notching up 30 touches. His work around the stoppages was also strong, finishing with six clearances. James Ellis (two goals), Samuel Harnas and tall Sebastian Menta were the only Eagles to hit the scoreboard.

Note: Whilst SANFL officials have suspended the League, Reserves and Under 18 competitions until further notice, an update on the immediate future of the Under 16 competition is expected to be announced in the coming days.