SOUTH Australian football is headlined by some outstanding AFL preseason performances this week, as well as another strong showing from potential top 10 draft pick Jack Lukosius in the SANFL trial games. Meanwhile, the league hosted its Annual General Meeting (AGM), granting a swag of former stars life membership status.
AFL News – JLT Community Series:
The JLT series concluded last week and there is no doubt that sides are a step closer to finalising their line ups for Round 1. South Australian talent was on show again, with none more impressive than Adelaide Crow Darcy Fogarty. A three-goal haul helped the powerful forward to stake his claim for a Round 1 debut. The former Rostrevor lad has showed he is up for the task at AFL level so far and deserves a chance. Former Glenelg player Dom Barry also looks like he will make his way into the Power lineup for Round 1.
SANFL League and Reserves News – Trial Games:
It was a busy weekend for SANFL clubs with League, Reserves, U18 and U16 sides all playing trial games.
The Port Magpies and Eagles League contest proved to be another step in the right direction for 2018 draft prospect Jack Lukosius in his development with a dominant five-goal haul in three quarters against AFL Power-listed defenders. It is going to be hard to keep a lid on Lukosius this year as he continues to show he should be at the very pointy end of this year’s draft. The Eagles won both League and Reserves games easily, with Jake Weidemann slotting five goals in the second game.
In South vs North reserves and league trial games last weekend, there were some notable under 18 performers. North won reserves by 34 points, with Boyd Woodcock creating some space to slot four goals. James Langley played in the ruck and forward and also kicked a goal. Dyson Hilder, an underager in 2018 continues to impress particularly in and around the packs and with his effective disposal, also managed a goal. For South, strong bodied midfielder Tom Sparrow worked hard all day, including a number of tackles and also kicked his side’s first goal. Job Colwell was also amongst the possessions and looked dangerous across half forward. In the league trial won by North, AFL Academy Member Connor Rozee played off the wing and Adelaide father-son prospect from South, Hayden Sampson, also had a run.
In the Centrals vs Glenelg hit-outs, AFL Academy prospect Jackson Hately was amongst Centrals best in a losing team, with his tackling noticeable to go with 20-odd possession game. Centrals’ Jez McLennan also played and was a solid contributor. Glenelg looked solid under new coach Mark Stone, with Reserves coach Narelle Smith also having her first hit-out and victory. Lachlan Hosie snagged four goals in the League match, while Ben Edwards slotted six in the Reserves
West Adelaide took on Adelaide Crows Reserves team in scorching heat, and the Crows were victorious by 34 points. Father-sons Jackson Edwards and Ben Jarman took the field for Adelaide, and Crows Development player Paul Hunter was a standout.
The under 18 and under 16 trials played were a chance for some clubs to see their younger crop in action for the first time, and large squads were run with most clubs swapping their whole teams at half time. A clear standout in the Glenelg and West Adelaide U18 match was underager Luke Edwards, brother of Jackson and son of Tyson. He will no doubt attract attention in the coming years. An early bolter for 2018 who impressed was Jye Sinderberry from the Bloods, with the Goodwood Saints player amongst his side’s best.
Trial Games continue this weekend for SANFL teams and the first round of SANFL U16 games kick off as well.
The full schedule of trial games can be found here.
It has been a big week for the SANFL, with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held during the week and a host of positive news from head office in the financial reports from 2017. SANFL made large debt reductions of $2.16 million and increased investment in Game Development to $5.5 million, plus another $4.38 million paid to SANFL Clubs for Game Development. Playing numbers continue to grow, with over 174,000 players being 15 per cent higher than previous year, and female participation increased by 53 per cent.
“Reducing debt levels has been the Commission’s priority over the past few years to ensure the League and its clubs create a solid financial footing for the future,” SA Football Commission Chairman John Olsen AO told the SANFL website.
“However, we have also been careful to balance this with a continued focus on strengthening our investment in development for areas such as SANFL Juniors, our elite programs, women’s football and umpires.”
Life Members were also inducted to the SANFL as well as former players, Darren Jarman, Rodney Maynard, Stephen Rowe, Greg Anderson, Scott Hodges and Sean Tasker. In 2017, SANFL Player Life Member rules were amended to include Adelaide Football Club and Port Adelaide Football Club games in a player’s total as long as 150 SANFL games were part of the minimum total of 200 matches.