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Scouting Notes: 2020 SANFL – Round 13

ROUND 13 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) brings along with it another edition of our scouting notes, focusing on the top draft-relevant performers from around the competition this weekend. In this instalment, we again turn our attention to the prospects running around in the Under 18 competition, with a focus on State Academy based talentNational Combine invitees, and others who may push for selection along the line. A bunch of top-end juniors plied their trade in senior grades over the weekend, so they also get a look-in.

Please consider that each set of notes showcases the opinions of our scouts individually, and there are only so many players we can keep an eye on each week.

>> Power Rankings: September Edition

Norwood vs. South Adelaide

By: Michael Alvaro

Norwood:

#1 Cooper Murley

He may not have been at his absolute dominant best, but the bottom-ager still managed to impact proceedings with his searing pace and forward running. Murley built into the contest well, stationed at his typical midfield post as others rotated heavily around him. His break-neck acceleration and cleanliness came to the fore in tandem during the latter stages, as Murley gathered ground balls or received out of congestion, before freeing himself of opposition pressure with pure speed and delivering inside 50. He first found the goals in the second term after cooly converting a holding the ball free kick, but Murley’s highlight of the day came as he burned an opponent to win the ball over the back, before steadying and slotting a second major at full flight. There is no stopping him when he gets going, and the talented midfielder finished with 19 disposals, seven inside 50s, and two goals after a steady start.

#4 Henry Nelligan

Nelligan is a player who has no trouble in finding the ball, and that was exactly the case in this outing as he racked up an equal team-high 23 disposals for Norwood. The diminutive ball winner was one of the many Redlegs to rotate through midfield, providing a relevant two-way presence with numerous ground ball gets and a game-high eight tackles. He did well to chain his possessions and bring teammates into the game, while also working back into defence to help out – particularly when South was on top in the first term. Nelligan also has the ability to impress with weaving runs through traffic and outstanding use of his lateral vision, though much of his work came via scrubbed clearances and short-range passes to keep the play moving. A solid day out, nonetheless.

#11 Xavier Tranfa

One of the many prospects to return to SANFL action via the college football scene, Tranfa slotted into Norwood’s midfield well. The Rostrevor skipper also moved through the forwardline, but was arguably most impactful while operating the engine room. While Tranfa tended to bomb hurriedly out of congestion, he also had some nice passages where his agile step and quick, pumping bursts allowed him to exit the contest. The top-ager very nearly hit the scoreboard, as two final-term set shots only just failed to hit the target. He did provide a handy goal assist in the same term though, measuring a nice pass to honour William Warrick‘s lead inside 50. While others found more of the ball, Tranfa made the most of his 16 disposals with six clearances and eight inside 50s among them, as well as a couple of strong contested marks.

Others:

Another school football inclusion, Ethan Schwerdt notched 23 disposals as he slotted into the midfield fold. The Pembroke gun was clean and hard at the ball, also laying seven tackles in a solid outing. Samuel Duke was the other Redleg to have 23 touches, as he was made particularly busy in the early stages before settling Norwood down back. He contributed 10 marks, many of which were intercepts, and 10 rebound 50s. Finn Heard was another big performer for the victors, booting five goals and presenting beautifully up forward as a key position focal point. Half of his eight marks were contested. Rounding out, Michael Cavallaro continued his promising season with 19 touches and 11 marks, linking well between the arcs.

>> MORE NORWOOD CONTENT

South Adelaide:

#10 Brayden Cook

Cook is every bit the difference maker for South Adelaide, proving as much despite his five-goal effort being made in vein. While the draft bolter’s finishing has wavered at times among his wealth of opportunities, Cook was efficient as ever inside 50 on this occasion. He sparked the Panthers’ early onslaught with the opening goal of the game, burning an opponent before slotting the ball home. Another was added late in the same term, this time as he anticipated well after a long ball hit the deck. A classy dribble finish made for a third goal in term two, before Cook arrested Norwood’s momentum in the following period with two goals at the death, putting South back in front heading into the final break. Both majors showcased Cook’s incredible class on the ball, and an innate ability to know exactly how to move, to find space and the goals. Swinging him forward from the wing is South Adelaide’s wildcard, and it almost worked once again. Only 13 disposals this time out, but Cook only needs a few moments to make an impact.

#21 Matthew Roberts

It is as if he never left. Another to return to SANFL Under 18s action via the school football competition, Roberts immediately reminded onlookers of his class. Along with Brayden Cook, the bottom-ager was integral to South Adelaide’s blistering start, booting two outstanding goals in the first term. He was simply everywhere, tracking back to intercept in defence, extracting at the coalface, and eventually sneaking forward to bomb home those two majors. Roberts just has the happy knack of being able to find the ball in all parts, which is largely aided by his high-level work-rate. Add courage, the ability to lift a side on his shoulders, and neat use of the ball to those traits, and you have a first round prospect heading into next year’s draft. He copped some nagging opposition attention in the end, but still managed 31 disposals, six marks, six clearances, and two goals.

#33 Arlo Draper

Another bottom-age gun who has proven he is easily up to scratch, Draper continued his terrific form as a primary midfielder for the Panthers. He is already a good size, and uses every bit of his frame to stand up in tackles, most notably in the first term as he dished off to Brayden Cook while being pulled down on the attacking arc. While extracting has largely been his game, Draper also worked hard around the ground to gain an accumulative factor, but was much more suited to the cut and thrust of clearance work. He faded out of the game a touch, but still had a hand in numerous score involvements – including his own set shot which hit the post late in the day. Draper ended with 20 disposals, four clearances, and four inside 50s.

Others:

Max Clifton was another terrific part of the South Adelaide midfield, and attempted to lift when his side needed it. His ability to take the game on through the corridor and deliver forward via foot was again on show, as he managed eight inside 50s from 13 disposals. Jack Flett again showed good signs in defence, popping up for intercept marks and providing some dare on the rebound. He had 20 disposals and seven marks, while Harry Spacie took six marks from his 18 touches in defence. Dylan Brown‘s pressure was another strong point, as he laid six tackles in another valiant effort.

>> MORE SOUTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

North Adelaide vs. Sturt

By: Eli Duxson

North Adelaide:

#5 Leo Coates

The key forward had the Ned Grieve matchup all game and kept him accountable, kicking two goals and two behinds, and taking five marks. He scored the first goal of the game after being the recipient of a downfield free kick, and after starting his run up from the cricket pitches, he drilled the set shot and made the distance comfortably from 50 metres. Coates did not seem to be kicked to with long entries, so whether he was not in the right position or caught out with ill-directed kicks, that is certainly an area where he can stamp his authority more in games. When he pushed up the ground, he created contests at the very least and tried to follow up with pressure or blocks. He looked most impressive with slow forward entries as he was able to find space on Grieve and lead out and mark on several occasions. He kicked his second goal this way.

#20 Jayden Davison

The hard-running midfielder worked all game and continued to get to contest after contest. He finished with 27 disposals, one goal, and six clearances as he continues to put up solid performances. He lined up on Tom Powell at most stoppages but continued to hunt the ball himself. Davison had first hands on the ball at most stoppages and with good evasive skills, accurate handballs with either hand, and a relentless work ethic to put in repeat efforts, it was hard to stop his output. He was a little clumsy early over the ball either fumbling or going to ground, but once he got going he looked as clean as anyone. He spent most of the game in the midfield and continued to run hard both ways. His efforts were rewarded in the second quarter as he managed a goal with a quick gather and kick out of congestion. With more than 20 disposals and a goal in four of his previous five matches, Davison has proven himself to be a valuable member of this Roosters outfit.

#22 Lam Simon

Simon did not start the game the way he would have liked, giving away a free kick for high contact in front of goal, gifting Sturt their first goal. From there, it was strength to strength for the defender as he showed off his athleticism and ability to read the play to find his own ball. He clearly had a defence-first mindset though with some good one-on-one spoils, even courageously backing into a pack to fist it away. Once his job was done in defence, his acceleration and attack on the ball enabled him to burst through packs and provide some run-and-carry. His disposal was rushed at times under pressure, so he kicked a lot more than he handballed, but his disposal was neat more often than not. Simon finished with 16 disposals and six marks (three contested) in what was a good day for the North Adelaide defence.

#25 Blayne O’Loughlin

One of the more trusted ball users in the side, the defender ended up with 31 disposals, one goal, eight marks, and seven rebound 50s to help his side get the win they had. While some of his 26 kicks were chips sideways in defence, he also showed a willingness to attack the footy and lead his opponent to the ball, picking the ball up cleanly on the bounce on many occasions. His acceleration and cleanliness make him very damaging and when you factor in his ball use with that left boot, he becomes an exciting player to watch. When he runs off his opponent he manages to impact the contest with a spoil or mark or simply by creating a stoppage. When he does this, he does lose touch easily and although it did not cost him or his side, it is an easy way to give your opponent a freebie if it gets over your head. He capped off his game in the third quarter after receiving a 25-metre penalty to allow him to nail a set shot from 45 metres. While he does accumulate with short sideways kicks, his attack on the ball and ability to set up play from his defensive half is impressive and one to watch for opposition teams.

#37 Karl Finlay (League)

Finlay spent most of his day deep in defence and was the James Borlase matchup when he was playing forward. The key defender spoiled well and tackled strongly as he usually does, but it was his marking that stood out the most. He took two contested marks out of his six, with one of them being in a one-on-one contest with Borlase playing on the back shoulder. He read the flight of the ball well all game and looks to be growing in confidence. In the final quarter he managed to get knee in the back of a Sturt player and take a nice overhead mark. He set up well behind the ball to help the North Adelaide forward squeeze but decided to push forward on one occasion and try to impact the scoreboard. He gathered and wheeled on his left boot and had a shot from 40 metres, but could only manage a behind. Along with his six marks he had 14 disposals and efforts that would not have made the stat sheet.

#38 Dyson Hilder (League)

Hilder found himself on Borlase on a few occasions but with Finlay, he remained solid down back for the Roosters. Also still growing in confidence in his second consecutive game back in the League side, he got on the attack, involving himself in links from deep in defence to clear. His kicking was tidy and he was confident enough to go on either side of his body. Hilder ended up with 13 disposals and four rebound 50s as he looks to hold his spot in the senior side for finals.

Others:

North Adelaide enjoyed two solid victories but in the Under 18’s, James Willis stood out and it was not for his bright blonde hair, but his 23 disposals and two goals. He provided some exciting run while also doing some of the grunt work inside for the Roosters. Thomas Millar was also very serviceable down back being strong in the contest, while distributing the ball efficiently out of his defensive 50. He finished with 17 disposals, eight marks, and five rebound 50s.

>> MORE NORTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

Sturt:

#2 Tom Lewis (League)

The 20-year-old enjoyed one of his better games for the season as he found his way to 21 disposals to go with nine tackles and seven clearances. Shifting between the midfield and the forward line, Lewis was not afraid to enforce a physical presence around the contest. His tackle count is indicative of the pressure he applied and him doing most of his work on the inside. He earned multiple free kicks by being the first at the ball and was tidy with his left boot. A brilliant chase down tackle in the final quarter even though Sturt trailed exemplified his effort and capped off a good game for him despite the loss.

#9 Malachy Carruthers

The combine invitee spent much of the day at half-back and was kept busy with 21 disposals and eight marks. He was lively early as he ran out of defence and created width on forward movements for Sturt. He also looked to be poised with ball in hand, opting to handball instead of kicking it to a contest. His marking was impressive, taking one overhead running back with the flight, and another intercept mark in a pack. His disposal looked reliable and his dash and effort to continue Sturt’s surge forward was important. However, he opted to have a shot on goal from a tough position after working hard with repeat efforts, instead of going inboard. Although it was a tough day for his side, his athleticism and ability to read the play looked threatening.

#11 Will Spain

The inside midfielder continues to prove himself as a reliable contributor in the Sturt midfield, but today, he showed off some of his ability on the outside. He spent more time in the forward line and spread hard from some of the stoppages, instead of being the one constantly over the ball or laying tackle after tackle like usual. He had some nice runs through the middle of the ground, showing off his run-and-carry with his smooth movement. Spain finished with 29 disposals, five tackles, and five clearances and continued to remain consistent all game.

#17 Mani Liddy

Liddy did not have the output that we have come to expect from him, but 16 disposals and six clearances is still a serviceable effort. His strength was on display as usual and he did most of his work on the inside with 11 of his disposals being handballs. After a quiet second quarter, he looked much more active in the third which is a good indicator of his resilience and persistence to continue, despite it not coming as easy to him as it usually does.

#18 Tom Powell

One of Sturt’s most highly rated performers put in another big game to end with 35 disposals, 10 clearances, and seven inside 50s. His work rate and speed to burst from stoppages with the ball and create, as well as without the ball to get to a dangerous positions, continues to be his trademark. He puts in long-distance efforts so even if opposition teams think they get the better of him at a stoppage, he will just keep running. His handballs under pressure in-close are very tidy, and he demands respect from his opponents whenever he is around the ball. He often lines up beside or behind the ruckman to enable him to run to hit zones and whenever he did this during the game, a North Adelaide player was right next to him. When he was resting and another Sturt player was in the midfield, they were left alone – a good indicator of the respect that opposition coaches are showing to him. Another big performance from him which we have come to expect and with one game left in the season, we will see if the coaches decide to give him a League chance, or allow him some continuity as his Under 18 side moves into finals.

#29 James Borlase (League)

The key position Borlase returned to the senior side and showed glimpses of why people are so excited about him. The Crows Next Generation Academy prospect split his time between forward and back, although he has been touted as a defender during his time in the pathway programs. As a forward, he presented up the ground well and continued to create contests. His marking looked a little bit inconsistent and he seemed to struggle to find space on leads except for one occasion in the second quarter. After a beautiful delivery, he leant back on the set shot kick from around 40 metres and put it out on the full.

He moved back for the second half and did not get much of a chance to show off his defensive traits in one-on-one contests. He looked to be accountable and found himself on a few different opponents, both taller and shorter than him. He became more attacking in the final quarter; seeming to grow in confidence, clearing the ball, and looking to mark. He reads the flight of the ball well but looked a little tentative with his overhead marking at times. A miskick from a kick-out in the final quarter sent the ball straight back over his head for a goal. His first game back showed he was still a bit rusty, and perhaps he has some development left. There is still a lot to like about him with his versatility, size, and athleticism.

#34 Casey Voss (League)

Voss assumed his role at half-back and managed 21 disposals and five marks. Defensively he was very solid, showing courage on several occasions backing into packs to spoil, but it was his attacking play that was impressive. He is clean and strong over the ball much like his father, and his kicking ability was tidy. He found space very often around the stoppage and seems to want the footy. He had 17 kicks and four handballs but was often the player providing run and being on the end of handballs. After one of his higher disposal games for the season, Voss has been consistent for Sturt and will look to finish his season off strongly.

#46 Jack Henderson (League)

The 21-year-old midfielder has been impressive for Sturt since breaking through into the senior side and had another solid outing with 19 disposals and six inside 50s. One of those inside 50s was to Borlase in the first quarter with a beautiful 40-metre bullet pass which thumped into the forward’s chest. Spending some time all over the ground, Henderson looked best hanging off the contest as his ball use was elite, and his first touch ability aided that well. He showed good speed getting involved in attacking chains and put in repeat efforts to keep pushing the ball forward. If his right-foot kicking was not enough, he also set up a goal with his left, showing plenty of ability.

Others:

Other ball winners for Sturt included Bradley Jefferies (28 disposals, eight clearances) and Lachlan Thomas (24 disposals), while Morgan Ferres was the Double Blues’ major goal scorer kicking four majors. Grieve was down on his usual output, playing the defensive role on Coates and picking up just the nine disposals.

>> MORE STURT CONTENT

Central District vs. Glenelg

By: Tom Wyman

Central District:

#13 Austin McDonald

As has been the case all season, inside midfielder, McDonald was everywhere for the Bulldogs. McDonald’s smart and tireless running patterns allowed him to accumulate the ball en masse, particularly early in the game. The 16-year-old possesses football smarts well beyond his age and read the tap-work of ruckman Wyatt Ryan particularly well. Throughout the season, he has laid some excellent tackles and he did so once again at Prospect Oval, when a textbook tackle was rewarded with a holding-the-ball free-kick. Although lacking penetration at-times, his kicking was predominately effective, hitting up a number of targets on the exterior with his natural left-foot. He refused to give up on a contest and was rarely beaten in contested situations – a testament to his core strength and ball winning abilities. Arguably best-on-ground in the Bulldogs’ win, McDonald finished with a game-high 34 disposals and five marks.

#15 Finn Read

Read played arguably his best game for the season in the Bulldogs’ thrilling win. He booted the opening goal of the game within the first minute of play, then nailed a second against the flow of play late in the third quarter to arrest some of the Tigers; momentum. With the Bulldogs up by just one point late in the final term, Read’s goal at the 25-minute mark all but sealed the deal for Central District. Read was an aerial threat all day across half-forward, taking seven marks including a strong contested grab. His ball use inside 50 was also pivotal in the Bulldogs’ win. He finished the contest with 24 disposals and six inside 50s.

#16 Brodie Lake

The Northern Territory native played an important hand in the win, combining well with Austin McDonald, Wyatt Ryan and Luigi Mondello through the midfield. Lake, who has also spent some time in the Reserves since joining the Bulldogs, attacked the ball with ferocity and looked to use his aerial leap and burst of speed to good advantage when thrown into attack by the Central District coaching staff. Similar to McDonald, Lake’s clearance work was terrific, particularly at centre bounces where he gathered, accelerated away from his direct opponent and thrust the Dogs into attack. Lake finished with 21 disposals, three marks, four tackles, eight clearances and six inside 50s.

#22 Luigi Mondello 

Mondello provided some class through the midfield, to compliment the hard, contested ball-winning of McDonald and Lake. Mondello had some eye-catching moments throughout the contest, with his evasiveness at stoppages, smooth movement through traffic and creative handballing standing out. However the highlight of his game was a fantastic snap goal around the corner, shortly after the half-time break. Although he fumbled on a couple of occasions, his evasiveness and agility were impressive. Mondello finished the game with 20 disposals, four marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

#39 Wyatt Ryan

The big ruckman once again provided a real presence for his side, in the air and also at ground level. He marked almost everything that entered his air space, including several intercepts. The Bulldogs often looked for him as the target down the line and he hardly let them down, clunking five contested marks and ten grabs in total. However his competitiveness and brute strength were also on display at ground level, where he was able to win the contested ball and send it forward on several occasions. His kicking was up and down, but he hit several targets which ruckman of his age could be hesitant to attempt. He had a good battle with Glenelg’s Calvin Perks and William Wiseman in the ruck and managed to win 28 hit-outs. Ryan’s work rate was exceptional, accumulating 31 disposals all over the ground and sending the ball inside 50 on nine occasions. Clearly one of the Under 18 competition’s best ruckman this season, Ryan was once again terrific for the Bulldogs.

Others:

Cody Gilchrist provided a target up forward, taking several strong marks in attack. He booted three goals from 13 disposals and seven marks. Michael De Jonge hit the scoreboard with two majors to go with 19 touches, four marks, four tackles and three clearances. Jacob Fiebiger (11 disposals and four marks) and Luca Whitelum (16 disposals, six marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s) both performed well down back under pressure for Central District.

>> MORE CENTRAL DISTRICT CONTENT

Glenelg:

#1 Harry Tunkin

Tunkin was among Glenelg’s most consistent performers despite the frustrating result. In the midfield, he spent time going head-to-head with Austin McDonald, but it was his work forward of centre where he looked most damaging. He slotted a classy goal from 40 metres in the dying minutes of the first term and showed great goal nous and football smarts to follow it up with a goal from a quick hack forward. Despite his smaller size, the Prince Alfred College student applied plenty of pressure, competed well, and finished the day with 22 disposals, six marks, a game-high seven tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s.

#12 Xavier Robins

The Bays were certainly glad to have Robins back from school football duties. He slotted straight into the backline and provided some class and rebound from defence. He read the play well and looked to take the game on with his pace and run-and-carry whenever possible. He displayed nice vision to spot up Harry Tunkin in some space on the grandstand side of Prospect Oval twice within a couple of minutes in the third term and found the ball with ease for the entire game. At stoppages in the defensive 50, Robins had a high impact, winning five clearances. Trusted with the kick-in duties, he used the ball well over a variety of distances and controlled much of the play for the Bays in defence, finishing with 30 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and ten rebound-50s.

#19 Jayden Davis

The bottom-aged Jayden Davis was terrific for Glenelg, particularly in the third term when it was all one-way traffic in favour of the yellow and black. Early on in the game, he found Riley Holder with a beautiful kick inside 50 which led to Harry McInnes’ second goal. He displayed great courage to mark whilst running back with the flight and booted his first goal at the ten minute mark of the third term to trigger a couple of Tigers goals. During the third quarter, his link-up play and delivery inside 50 was outstanding, hitting target-after-target with precision. After setting-up several Bays majors, he booted his second after getting out the back of a marking contest to continue Glenelg’s surge. Davis could have had a third for the term if his long range effort wasn’t touched on the goalline. He finished another strong showing with 19 disposals and ten marks (including three contested).

#21 Riley Holder

The return of centre-half-forward Holder helped straighten the Tigers up and provided a presence around the ground. His hands overhead were a real feature, even managing to outmark Wyatt Ryan in attack before kicking truly. He combined well with fellow key forward Harry McInnes, with Holder getting up the ground and McInnes staying closer to goal. His foot skills, over both long and short distances, were effective and his accuracy in front of goal ensured his capitalised on his work rate. He was thrust into the middle for a short stint to provide a big-bodied presence around the ball but was at his best on the lead. The Glenelg skipper finished with game with 24 touches, 11 marks (including a game-high six contested), three tackles, a couple of clearances and five inside 50s, to further his case as one of South Australia’s premiere centre half-forwards.

Others:

Seven Tigers found in-excess of 20 disposals, including Oscar Clark, who ran well both ways and provided an option on the outside. He finished with 27 disposals, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s. Henry McAuliffe battled hard in the midfield and laid a couple of strong tackles. He won 27 touches and used the ball well. Fresh off an Intercol medal for his performance down back against Rostrevor, Cooper Beecken was valiant in the backline, concluding with 17 disposals. The aforementioned Harry McInnes booted three goals and competed well in the air to take six marks. William Watts (25 disposals, nine marks and a goal) and Hunter Window (21 disposals and six marks) were also among Glenelg’s best performers.

>> MORE GLENELG CONTENT

WWT Eagles vs. West Adelaide

By: Peter Williams

WWT:

#4 James Tsitas (League)

The former Williamstown star made his presence felt in this game with a mammoth 39 disposals in a clear best on ground performance. While James Rowe and Sam Lowson kicked nine between them, it was the clearance work and class of Tsitas that shone the brightest. In a time where clubs might look to mature-age ready-to-go midfielders, Tsitas showed exactly what he is capable of with a huge performance on-ball. His goal late in the game off the outside of the boot was all class, and he just managed to find so much space around the ground.

Tsitas had a lazy 39 disposals, seven marks, 10 tackles, 10 clearances, five inside 50s, two rebounds and a goal.

#5 Sam Lowson (League)

The former Coburg forward had a quiet first half before coming alive with four second half goals to blow the game right open. He was clever inside 50, kicking one right before the three-quarter time siren, and continually found space and made opportunities out of nothing. He nailed a set shot and missed another, but Lowson was a clear standout in front of goal once Rowe moved into the midfield, and he remained a real danger at ground level and one to watch ahead of the SANFL finals series.

Lowson had 13 disposals, two marks, two inside 50s and four goals on the night.

#16 James Rowe (League)

If you are an aspiring small forward, then highlights of Rowe should be what clubs use to show exactly how you play the role. Every time he went near it he looked dangerous, and he finds space with ease and has some serious wheels when he takes off. But it is more about his anticipation and game sense inside 50 that makes him so damaging. It was obvious the Eagles had set plays in the forward half where teammates would help block for him and he would cruise on through and kick a goal off the stoppage. A couple of times he did it and looked far too easy, and had another great running goal close to the pocket reacting quicker than everyone else. With a couple of set shot goals – and a couple of misses – Rowe was far too dominant for whoever came his way. Deserves a chance at the next level because if you are good enough, you are big enough.

Rowe finished with a massive 5.2 from 19 disposals, four marks, four clearances and two inside 50s.

#19 Zachary Phillips

His ruck work was superb and follow-up work also strong, as Phillips played a solid game across the four quarters. He showed his ability to clunk marks in the air, and provide a target around the ground, as well as showing smarts to tap the ball to a teammate on the wing rather than take possession and be tacked, then receiving the ball back and handballing off again. He had a couple of flying shots on goal that both missed wide, but it was due to his hard running to get to half-forward from initial centre clearances that gave him those chances on goal. He showed quick hands to a teammate when in congestion and was happy to drop back to help play a kick and a half behind play when his side was attacking.

Phillips finished with 20 disposals, nine marks (two contested), 22 hitouts, three clearances and four inside 50s.

#25 Henry Smith

Smith played an almost-game where he continually got to the right positions and worked his opponent under the ball, but could not quite hold the grabs. When battling one-on-one Smith was solid, but when facing a couple of opponents, it was body contact from behind that often caused him to spill the mark. He still worked hard and showed great decision making in the third term to set up a great goal to Cormack O’Reilly with a lovely long kick to the other side of the ground for his teammate to run in and kick a major. He kicked a goal of his own on the run when he saw an open goalsquare and popped it home.

Smith had the 13 touches, three marks (two contested) six hitouts, three inside 50s and one goal to his name.

#28 Nick Mitzithras

Caught the eye midway through the game with his run out of defence and penetrating kick. He had a couple of scrubber kicks but they seemed to still work out, and he was strong in the air as well. One-on-one, Mitzithras held his own, marking in the defensive goalsquare six minutes into the third term, and then early in the fourth, held off an opponent and used momentum to push off him, win the loose ball in front and kick long to the wing. His decision making and disposal generally was pretty good and he was not afraid to take the game on, rebounding on a number of occasions.

Mitzithras had 21 disposals, four marks (one contested) and seven rebounds for the match.

#29 Jay Watson

Always looking lively in the forward half, Watson could have had a massive day out, but just finished with the two goals from six scoring shots. His first goal came from a set shot midway through the second term, and he then set up a teammate not long after with a lovely pinpoint pass inside 50. He continued to try hard throughout the game, and had a set shot that went close to the line but just missed to the right, before kicking truly with a clever snap off the left playing on from a mark close to the boundary. Having a couple of long-range set shots in the final term, one missed to the right and another hit the post, but nonetheless, Watson was always active inside 50.

Watson finished with 2.4 from 21 disposals, five marks (one contested) and four inside 50s.

#31 Jase Burgoyne

The prominent ball winner on the ground, Burgoyne showed his dual-sidedness with an ability to hit targets off his left when required, even though he was a predominant right-footer. Most of his kicks during the match were short, sharp passes without penetration, but with high efficiency. Burgoyne just makes the right decisions and did not go for anything that was unnecessarily risky, but he did open up the game with some neat kicks inboard. His work around the clearances was superb and he was the clear dominant midfielder on the ground with his effectiveness. He set up a number of scoring opportunities with his ball use and his cleanliness both in the air and ground level was terrific. He had a set shot himself from 40 metres, eight minutes into the final term, and showed he possesses a long kick, hitting the post midway up and proving unlucky not to kick the goal.

Burgoyne ended the match with a game-high 35 disposals, seven marks, nine clearances, two inside 50s, four rebounds and three tackles.

#34 Lachlan Jones (League)

The Port Adelaide Next-Generation Academy member might have finished with the least touches on his team (seven) but he was far from ineffective. His work rate was high and a lot of the time his running went unrewarded. He would spread from half-back to the wing and kept the ball moving in transition. His ability to cover ground from deep in defence to half-forward was a credit to his running, and he also laid a couple of good tackles in the game. The fact that most of his touches were either rebounds or inside 50s told a tale of his effectiveness in moving the ball.

Jones ended with seven disposals, one marks, two tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds.

#47 Ben Jungfer (League)

The over-age talented midfielder spent time across the ground, winning the ball at half-forward, along the wing, and even at half-forward. He has always been known for his tackling pressure, and he showed it by laying a massive tackle on an opponent in the final term at half-back, earning the plaudits of his teammates. One aspect about Jungfer’s game that really stood out was his composure and ability not to be overawed. The majority of his touches were quick handballs, but he managed to execute generally well and even had a flying shot on goal from 50m which narrowly missed.

For a debut, Jungfer was mighty impressive with 19 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two inside 50s and five tackles.

#51 Lachlan McNeil (League)

The over-age talent was willing to take the game on and seriously impressed throughout. He can make the odd mistake, but his metres gained – including a run down the middle with a couple of bounces – more than makes up for it with his determination to break the lines. He is a high-impact player in that regard and he did well off half-back and pushing through the middle throughout the four quarters.

McNeil finished 14 disposals, one mark, three inside 50s, two tackles, two clearances and two rebounds.

Others:

Brayden Calvett was the biggest standout of those not mentioned above, amassing nine inside 50s and six marks from 27 disposals, also booting a goal. O’Reilly (25 touches, seven marks, eight inside 50s and a goal), Max Litster (23 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s) and Zeke Scott (21 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal) were the others to catch the eye.

>> MORE WWT EAGLES CONTENT

West Adelaide:

#4 Cade Kennedy

The bottom-age midfielder was a clear standout for the Bloods, and one of the four-quarter performers. He attacks the ball hard and tracks it well, always having eyes for the footy. There is not much of him, but he is always running hard and often looking to present in defensive 50 from the kick-out and then quickly give-and-go with teammates down the field. He had a memorable moment late in the third term with a huge tackle on Henry Smith to trap the bigman’s arm and win a free. He opened the fourth quarter with a good centre clearance, and whilst he did sell a teammate into trouble in the final term with an extra handball when it should have probably been a kick, Kennedy could hold his head high in that performance in what was a 90-point defeat.

Kennedy ended the game with 30 disposals, 10 marks, seven tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and four rebounds.

#49 Lachlan Squire (League)

Had a tough day at the office having to spend time on competition danger man, James Rowe early. He was good one-on-one, but Rowe was quick at ground level, and Squire was unlucky to give away a free kick close to the boundary line for keeping him in check at one stage. While Rowe certainly took the chocolates in their duel – and it was not just him – Squire showed what he is capable of doing with some lovely long kicks out of defence, and a fierce tackle on Rowe to win a free kick. His defensive pressure and strength standing up in tackles was a feature, having some time in the midfield but predominantly stationed back on the last line and having the kick-out duties.

#59 Hamish Ellem (League)

It was a tough day for the big man who continually presented for the Bloods, having more of an influence late in the game when his marks were starting to stick. He had a few chances going up for grabs in the first two quarters but could not quite bring them down, but once he gained confidence he looked good. He set up a goal to a teammate in the final term, whilst kicking a goal himself in the sixth minute after some good work inside 50. Ellem was not able to have too much time and space when in possession, which is why he ended up with a predominantly handball-focused game, but used his body well in close.

Others:

Eduard Van den berg tried hard for the Bloods’ Under 18s, amassing 31 disposals, six marks, five tackles and nine rebounds, playing in a tough position on the last line. He repelled time and time again for the Bloods, but could not have too much salvation with the relentlessness of the Eagles. Ben Burbridge (23 disposals, six inside 50s and five tackles) was good, whilst Edward Faulkner (20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s) had a huge run-down tackle in the last term which caught the eye. Zac Venning (15 disposals, four marks and three rebounds) also tried hard, as did Kane Sherlock (18 disposals, eight rebounds and six marks).

>> MORE WEST ADELAIDE CONTENT

Featured Image: Sturt’s Morgan Ferres flies for a mark | Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Young gun focus: 2020 SANFL Round 13 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our next altered edition, with Under 18 prospects scattered across the two senior competitions, and a bunch of youngsters impressing in the junior grade in Round 13. Some returning school football guns also made for handy inclusions, putting in eye-catching cameos.

West Adelaide vs. WWT Eagles

League: West Adelaide 5.4 (34) def. by WWT Eagles 16.14 (110)
Reserves:
West Adelaide 3.6 (24) def. by WWT Eagles 11.8 (74)
Under 18s:
WWT Eagles 15.17 (107) def. West Adelaide 2.5 (17)

Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) did the triple over West Adelaide on Friday and Saturday, taking home its hat-trick of wins by a combined margin of 216 points. At League level, the Eagles have all-but officially clinched the minor premiership, while Westies look destined to finish in the wooden spoon position.

Mature-age draft prospects James Rowe (five goals) and Sam Lowson (four) were electric up forward, combining for nearly half of the winners’ score. NT Thunder product Ben Jungfer collected 19 touches on his League debut, while Port Adelaide NGA prospect Lachlan Jones had just seven disposals. Jacob Wehr, who is garnering some attention, managed 13 disposals and laid six tackles down back. Former Port Rookie Kai Pudney is set to compound the selection squeeze come finals, having notched 26 touches in his fourth game for the season.

The Bloods had some good young talent take the field as well, headlined by National Combine invitee Mitchell Duval, who reeled in seven marks on a tough day for the Westies defence. GWS Academy graduate, Lachlan Squire continued his run in the top flight with 19 disposals and nine rebound 50s in a slightly different role, while Sydney Academy product Hamish Ellem booted a goal up forward.

Bailey Chamberlain again narrowly missed the cut at League level, but continues to thrive in the Reserves despite his side’s shortcomings. Westies went down to another strong Eagles side in the second grade, but had Chamberlain and Jye Sinderberry named among the best players. Fellow Under 18s prospect Nicholas Couroupis has also proven an asset in the side across the last few weeks alongside Cooper Gilbert, while Hugo Kelly returned to the fold, and another Swans Academy product in Kyle Martin continued his streak in the Reserves. Taj Schofield and Harrison Dawkins were present for the Eagles in their big win having recently earned promotion, joining goalkicker and first round bolter Caleb Poulter at the level.

WWT booted 13 goals to West Adelaide’s one after quarter time to seal a massive Under 18s win on Saturday, despite both sides missing some key personnel – listed above. Another Port Adelaide-aligned prospect, Jase Burgoyne again topped the disposal charts for the Eagles with 35, leading from fellow bottom-agers Brayden Clavett (27) and Cormack O’Reilly (25), who also kicked a goal each. Jay Watson could have had a massive day out having managed 2.4 from 21 touches, while Zac Phillips (20 disposals, nine marks, 22 hitouts) was prominent aerially.

Eduard van den Berg was again kept busy down back for West Adelaide, racking up a team-high 31 disposals and nine rebound 50s. Cade Kennedy (30 disposals, seven tackles) and Ben Burbridge (23 disposals) were the main forms of resistance from midfield, while Luke Young again worked hard up the field from his forward post, but couldn’t find the goals.

South Adelaide vs. Norwood

League: South Adelaide 17.14 (116) def. Norwood 6.6 (42)
Reserves:
South Adelaide 8.7 (55) def. by Norwood 9.5 (59)
Under 18s:
Norwood 14.10 (94) def. South Adelaide 10.9 (69)

South Adelaide crushed Norwood’s League finals dream on Saturday, running out 74-point victors to consolidate its own top four position. The Panthers were terrific across the board against a wounded Redlegs outfit, but in terms of young talent, saw Jason Horne and Beau McCreery each boot a goal. Victorian recruit Daly Andrews had his quietest outing yet, but still managed 12 disposals. Another VFL pick-up, Nikolaus Rokahr was one of Norwood’s best, while 21-year-old Cole Gerloff snared a goal, Brodie Carroll kept his spot after a Round 12 return, managing nine touches alongside Under 18s gun, Daniel Fairbrother.

The Redlegs’ Reserves pipped South Adelaide at the post, claiming a four-point victory despite remaining planted to bottom spot with two wins. Jack Saunders continued his terrific run of form, this time in a slightly different aspect with two majors among a relatively young squad. National Combine invitee Phoenix Spicer again hit the scoreboard for the Panthers with one goal, while Damon Freitag matched his feat as he looks to gain an extended run.

Norwood’s defeat of South Adelaide at Under 18s level also sets up an intriguing final round of action, with the Panthers only just holding on to their top four spot. The Redlegs had plenty of strong contributors, with Finn Heard booting five goals, while Sam Duke had 21 kicks from his 23 touches, and Henry Nelligan was industrious as always with fellow AFL Academy member, Cooper Murley. School football returnees Ethan Schwerdt (23 disposals) and Xavier Tranfa (16) also showed good signs.

Speaking of, Matthew Roberts picked up where he left off, racking up a game-high 31 disposals and booting two goals for South. He was supported well by fellow bottom-ager Arlo Draper in midfield, while Brayden Cook slammed home five majors, and the defensive pair of Jack Flett and Harry Spacie was again strong.

Sturt vs. North Adelaide

League: Sturt 8.6 (54) def. by North Adelaide 12.13 (85)
Reserves:
Sturt 7.8 (50) def. by North Adelaide 8.12 (60)
Under 18s:
North Adelaide 14.7 (91) def. Sturt 8.7 (55)

North Adelaide secured second spot at the very least at League level on Saturday, defeating Sturt by 31 points to complete what ended up being a clean sweep of the Double Blues. The defensive duo of Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder was reunited at League level having interchanged through the Reserves, and both had an impact in the Roosters’ win.

Sturt bigman Daniel Fahey-Sparks was prominent as he bagged two goals and won 29 hitouts, while midfielders Tom Lewis and Casey Voss were again serviceable with 21 touches apiece. Crows NGA hopeful James Borlase returned from College football duties, managing 10 disposals in a more advanced role.

It was a much tighter affair in the Reserves as the Roosters crowed to the tune of 10 points, but Sturt still boasted a couple of strong young performers. Tom Emmett was again among the most notable, booting three goals to take his fortnightly tally to eight. The strongly-built forward has suited the level well since earning a berth last month.

Another dominant performance at Under 18s level sees North Adelaide in with a big chance of snaring a top four spot, having knocked off the ladder leaders in true style. Bottom-age Crows NGA prospect Blayne O’Loughlin again accumulated plenty of ball with 31 disposals, while Jayden Davison and James Willis both hit the scoreboard from midfield among a raft of impressive performers. Unsurprisingly, Sturt’s Tom Powell led all comers with 35 disposals, while the likes of Bradley Jefferies, Malachy Carruthers, and Morgan Ferres (four goals) all made an impact upon their returns to the competition.

Glenelg vs. Central District

League: Glenelg 11.11 (77) def. Central District 10.16 (76)
Reserves:
Glenelg 11.9 (75) def. by Central District 15.14 (104)
Under 18s:
Central District 13.7 (85) def. Glenelg 12.6 (78)

Reigning League premier, Glenelg secured its spot in finals, but not before being pushed all the way by a gallant Central District outfit on Saturday evening. Callum Park (27 disposals, 11 rebound 50s, one goal), Luke Parks (18 disposals, eight marks), and Jonty Scharenberg were among the defence which helped stave off Centrals in the dying stages. Dandenong Stingrays graduate Jack Toner also played arguably his best game yet for the Bulldogs, notching 27 disposals and laying seven tackles in the defeat.

Plenty of talented prospects also impressed in the Reserves grade, particularly for the Bays despite a 29-point loss. Ty Murphy was in everything early, finishing with three goals alongside Victorian Mitch Martin, while Kye Dean also found the big sticks upon his return to the twos. Hagan Wright was named among the Tigers’ best, while potential Adelaide father-son Luke Edwards played alongside his brother, Jackson, and Under 18s Cooper Horsnell and Connor Drum added to the young talent afield. Fresh off a five-goal haul, Lachlan Grubb managed to find the goals again with one major, while mature-age prospect Nicholas Lange booted four.

Centrals also picked up a win in the Under 18s, their fourth for the year, to close the gap to Glenelg among the bottom four. 16-year-old Austin McDonald was back to his prolific best with a game-high 34 disposals, while bigman Wyatt Ryan (31 disposals, 10 marks, 28 hitouts) had another monster game, Finn Read snared three goals from midfield, and Brodie Lake (21 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) fit right back in after a run in the Reserves.

School football standout and National Combine invitee Xavier Robins showed his wares with 30 disposals and 10 rebound 50s for the Bays, while Riley Holder and Harry Tunkin combined for an evenly-shared 46 disposals and four goals. Harry McInnes was another Tiger, among others, to show promise with three majors.

Featured Image: North Adelaide’s Karl Finlay flies for a mark | Credit: Phil Radoslovich/SANFL

Out to impress: SANFL Round 13 Preview

THE penultimate round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) action is upon us, with a couple intriguing matches coming given the way the respective ladders are currently set up. As we roll into Round 13, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game.

West Adelaide draft hopeful Bailey Chamberlain is in contention to make his SANFL League debut after being named on the extended bench for the Bloods’ Friday night encounter with Woodville-West Torrens. The Roxby Downs product has produced a highly consistent and productive season, rising up from the under-18s and performing well in the reserves over the past few rounds. Unfortunately, exciting tall Riley Thilthorpe will miss another match with a groin injury.

The top-of-the-table Eagles could call upon physical midfielder Ben Jungfer, who has impressed whilst spending the year at reserves level. Skilful utility Caleb Poulter has once again been named in the reserves to face a Bloods side which features strong marking defender Jye Sinderberry. Power father-son prospect Taj Schofield and tough onballer Harrison Dawkins have also been elevated to the Eagles seconds.

In the under-18s, talented bottom-ager Cade Kennedy has been named in the centre for the Bloods, with Luke Young named at centre half forward and Edward Van den berg in the back pocket. Talls Henry Smith and Zac Phillips will once again be looking to control the airways for the Eagles, with consistent midfielders Max Lister and Jase Burgoyne lurking at ground level.

Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect James Borlase will return to the Double Blues league side after he missed their round 12 clash due to school football commitments with Prince Alfred College. Named on the extended bench, he will provide a key position option down back against a talented North Adelaide forward line. Tom Emmett will run out with Sturt’s reserves at Peter Motley Oval and midfield trio Will SpainTom Powell and Mani Liddy will front up again for the clubs under-18s at Prospect Oval.

North Adelaide have added 19-year-old Karl Finlay to the selected squad after he spent a week with the reserves. The Roosters under-18s appear to be peaking at the right time of the season, but will face a Sturt side which has been the competition’s pace-setter all season. Forwards Leo Coates and Zyton Santillo have provided excellent service in attack and 16-year-old ruckman Isaac Keeler has provided good service to midfielders Matthew BorgJames Willis and Kyle Brazell. The Roosters have been well led by Adelaide Academy trio Lam Simon, Blayne O’Loughlin and Tariek Newchurch and boast a formidable line-up.

South Adelaide young gun Jason Horne and Victorian import Daly Andrews have been named on the extended bench for the Panthers home clash against the Redlegs. Mature-aged key defender Tom Highmore will play a key role down back in the seniors, while fellow draft hopefuls Zac Dumesny and Phoenix Spicer line-up in the reserves.

South Adelaide’s under-18s have named a strong side for their important meeting with Norwood. Brayden Cook has been named on the wing, with Max Clifton set to lead the onball rotation. Nick Kraemer will start at centre half forward, flanked by Liam Hamilton and Liam Nye. Strong-bodied defender Harry Spacie and midfielders Jayden Magor and Matthew Roberts will also return to bolster the under-18s.

Midfielder Jack Saunders is a chance to make his league debut with Norwood after performing well at reserves level. If he survives the final cut, he will join fellow junior Daniel Fairbrother in the side. Both have worked their way up the ranks off the back of consistent performances throughout 2020.

The Redlegs under-18s, like their southern opponents, have named a strong lineup for the Saturday morning clash. The skilful Michael Cavallaro will form a damaging onball rotation with bottom-aged star Cooper Murley and ball magnet Henry Nelligan. Tall utility Ned Cary could provide a focal point in attack, in tandem with leading target Finn Heard.

The Edwards brothers, Luke and Jackson, will front up for the Tigers reserves when they face Lachlan Grubb and the Bulldogs reserves. Glenelg’s under-18s have been bolstered by the return of several college footballers. Talented trio Xavier Robbins, Henry McAuliffe and Cooper Beecken will be looking to help Glenelg record their sixth victory of the season, after leading Sacred Heart to victory over arch-rivals Rostrevor last weekend.

Midfielder Austin McDonald and Northern Territory import Brodie Lake will be looking to help Central Districts to another victory in what has been a challenging season.

FIXTURES

League:

West Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday September 18, 7:20pm @ Hisense Stadium
Sturt vs. North Adelaide | Saturday September 19, 2:10pm @ Peter Motley Oval
South Adelaide vs. Norwood | Saturday September 19, 2:10pm @ Flinders University Stadium
Glenelg vs. Central Districts | Saturday September 19, 4:10pm @ ACH Group Stadium

Reserves:

West Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday September 18, 4:50pm @ Hisense Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Norwood | Saturday September 19, 11:05am @ Flinders University Stadium
Sturt vs. North Adelaide | Saturday September 19, 11:30am @ Peter Motley Oval
Glenelg vs. Central Districts | Saturday September 19, 1:30pm @ ACH Group Stadium

Under-18s:

Norwood vs. South Adelaide | Saturday September 19, 11:00am @ Coopers Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Sturt | Saturday September 19, 11:00am @ Prospect Oval
Central Districts vs. Glenelg | Saturday September 19, 1:25pm @ Prospect Oval
Woodville-West Torrens vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 19, 1:25pm @ Coopers Stadium

Out to impress: SANFL Round 12 Preview

POTENTIAL top ten draft pick Riley Thilthorpe will return to the West Adelaide league side for their Round 12 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Friday night clash with South Adelaide. The athletic big man has been named at full forward, after spending a fortnight on the sidelines with a minor groin injury. Thilthorpe could be joined in the senior side by fellow draft hopeful and Roxby Downs product Bailey Chamberlain, who earned a spot on the extended bench. The prolific midfielder has progressed through the SANFL ranks this season, performing well for West Adelaide’s under-18s and impressing at reserves level more recently.

Bottom-aged sensation Jason Horne has retained his spot in South Adelaide’s senior side as they look to consolidate their place inside the top four. The Panthers will also welcome back impressive key defender Tom Highmore, who returns from an ankle injury. The Canberra product proved a revelation down back for the Noarlunga side prior to his injury setback, and was rewarded with a national combine invite.

A couple of versatile draft hopefuls will go head-to-head when the Bloods and Panthers reserves sides lock horns on Friday evening. West’s Jye Sinderberry makes the step up from under-18s level, while South welcome back Zac Dumesny from an ankle complaint. Panthers wingman Phoenix Spicer and defender Harry Spacie will also front-up for the reserves, having both performed well since joining the ranks.

At under-18s level, Edward van den Berg will once again lead the Bloods under-18s, alongside talented bottom-agers Luke Young and Cade Kennedy. Draft bolter Brayden Cook has been named on the wing, Max Clifton and Arlo Draper in the centre, SA Academy member Nick Kraemer at centre-half-forward and Liam Hamilton on the forward flank for the blue and white.

Norwood defender Daniel Fairbrother will once again assume his defensive-50 role for the Redlegs when they take on eastern suburbs rivals Sturt under the Coopers Stadium lights. However Double Blues defender and potential Adelaide academy selection James Borlase will miss the clash due to school football commitments with Prince Alfred College. Nineteen-year-old Oliver Grivell will line up at full-forward for Sturt.

Norwood duo Jack Saunders and Michael Cavallaro will play reserves again, after both proving a class above under-18s level earlier in the season. Speedy backman Lachlan Falco has also been elevated to the Redleges reserves. Double Blues key forward Tom Emmett will also front-up for the seconds and be expected to provide a presence in attack.

All eyes will be on the midfield battle at under-18s level when the competitions two top sides meet. Close mates Tom Powell (Sturt) and Henry Nelligan (Norwood) could go head-to-head in what would be a tantalising duel, with the duo being amongst the states most prolific onballers. Crucially, Powell and Nelligan have also shown glimpses of their talent up forward. Sturt’s Mani Liddy and Norwood bottom-ager Cooper Murley will also do battle in the centre when the two clubs lock horns. Norwood will also be bolstered by the return of Ben Ianniello after he spent several weeks in the reserves.

The Eagles are now well and truly premiership favourites after the league side knocked off second placed North Adelaide last round. Power academy prospect Lachie Jones played a major role in the victory, providing toughness and athleticism down back in tandem with Tassie product Rhyan Mansell. Skilful utility Caleb Poulter has been eyeing off a league debut in the back half of the season, but has been made to bide his time in the reserves. The Bays reserves suffered a disappointing loss to West Adelaide at home last round, but likely Crows father-son Luke Edwards and diminutive midfielder/small forward Cooper Horsnell were amongst the side’s better players.

Eagles bigmen Henry Smith (centre-half-forward) and Zac Phillips (ruckman) could cause significant issues for the Bays as they alternate from roles up forward and on the ball. Reliable midfielder Max Lister has provided excellent support to Power father-son prospects Taj Schofield and Jase Burgoyne and will be hoping to make things difficult for Bays midfielders Kye Dean and Hagan Wright, who will both spend time in the middle.

North Adelaide will switch key defenders for their clash with Central Districts. Dyson Hilder is set to replace Karl Finlay in the Roosters league side. Unfortunately, Bulldogs forward Corey Durdin will spend the remainder of the season on the sidelines after he re-injured his hamstring early in the ‘Dogs win over Norwood last round. Victorian Jack Toner has been named on the interchange for Central Districts.

Central Districts forward Lachlan Grubb will line up in the reserves alongside NT import Brodie Lake. The Bulldogs under-18s will start as underdogs against a strong Roosters core led by forward Leo Coates and inside midfielders James Willis and Matthew BorgTariek Newchurch has been named in his customary forward pocket role, with Lam Simon selected at centre-half-back alongside the skilful Blayne O’Loughlin. Impressive 16-year-old Austin McDonald will be relied upon to do much of the heavy lifting in the midfield for Centrals, despite his inferior age.

FIXTURES

League:

West Adelaide vs. South Adelaide | Friday September 11, 7:20pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Sturt | Friday September 11, 7:40pm @ Coopers Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. Glenelg | Saturday September 12, 1:45pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval
North Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Sunday September 12, 2:10pm @ Prospect Oval

Reserves:

West Adelaide vs. South Adelaide | Friday September 11, 4:50pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Sturt | Friday September 11, 5pm @ Coopers Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. Glenelg | Saturday September 12, 11:10am @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval
North Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Sunday September 12, 11:30am @ Prospect Oval

Under-18s:

Central Districts vs. North Adelaide | Saturday September 12, 11:30am @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. Norwood | Saturday September 12, 11:30am @ Peter Motley Oval
South Adelaide vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 12, 11:30am @ Flinders University Stadium
Glenelg vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Saturday September 12, 11:30am @ ACH Group Stadium

Young gun focus: SANFL Round 11 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our third altered edition, with Under 18 prospects scattered across the two senior competitions, and a bunch of youngsters impressing in the junior grade.

>> SCROLL for full results 

Central District vs. Norwood

League: Central District 15.8 (98) def. Norwood 13.7 (85)
Reserves:
Central District 15.11 (101) def. Norwood 5.4 (34)
Under 18s:
Central District 4.7 (31) def. by Norwood 17.16 (118)

Central District pulled off a terrific upset win over Norwood at League level, though both sides were hit by casualties throughout. Of draft relevance, Bulldogs small forward Corey Durdin would only manage one touch before again going off injured in his return game. Dandenong Stingrays graduate Jack Toner impressed again with 16 disposals and a goal in Centrals’ triumph, while Isaac Saywell (14 disposals, five marks) showed promise and 18-year-old Daniel Fairbrother (11 disposals) retained his spot. The result sees Central District move off the bottom of the ladder, while delivering a big blow to Norwood’s finals hopes.

At Reserves level, goalsneak Nicholas Lange booted two majors as the Bulldogs earned a 10th win for the season to remain atop the two’s ladder. NT draft prospect Brodie Lake also found the big sticks in his debut outing, while fellow Under 18 Lachlan Grubb was another to contribute to the Dogs’ victory. For Norwood, crafty junior Michael Cavallaro was one of just two goalkickers, while Jack Saunders and Jack Heard were named among the Redlegs’ best players.

The absence of Lake, and 16-year-old Austin McDonald among others proved too much for Centrals’ Under 18s to cover, as they went down by 87 points to the ladder-leading Redlegs. Matthew Borlace (25 disposals) and Brodie Tuck (11 rebound 50s) were kept busy among an under-siege defence, as Henry Nelligan and Cooper Murley ran riot for the victors. Both accumulated over 40 disposals and booted three goals apiece as the clear best two players afield.

Sturt vs. South Adelaide

League: Sturt 11.14 (80) def. South Adelaide 7.5 (47)
Reserves:
Sturt 9.9 (63) def. by South Adelaide 10.8 (68)
Under 18s:
Sturt 11.10 (76) def. South Adelaide 10.7 (67)

Sturt blew the League finals race wide open with a crucial win over South Adelaide on Saturday, giving the Double Blues a sniff at top four qualification. Among the youngsters afield, Tom Lewis worked hard for 19 disposals, 11 tackles, and a goal, while Casey Voss managed 16 touches, and Adelaide NGA hopeful James Borlase was retained in the lineup. Victorian Daly Andrews (17 disposals) was again prevalent for South, while 17-year-old Jason Horne booted a goal from his 10 touches.

The Panthers got one back in the Reserves in a fighting upset, with recent National Combine invitee Phoenix Spicer named among the best for his two-goal effort. Defensive duo Jack Flett and Harry Spacie also made their Ressies debuts in the win. For Sturt, another Under 18 prospect in Tom Emmett booted two majors as one of the Double Blues’ better contributors, while Josh Shute managed one.

Sturt also took out a win with big finals ramifications in the Under 18s, with Tom Powell (27 disposals, nine clearances, one goal) and Mani Liddy (22 disposals, two goals) again among the numbers. Ned Grieve also chimed in nicely with 10 marks. Arlo Draper continues his strong form through midfield, adding 29 disposals, 10 clearances, and a goal to his name. Draft bolter Brayden Cook was good for 2.3 from 20 disposals, while Max Clifton pumped forward for nine inside 50s.

Glenelg vs. West Adelaide

League: Glenelg 21.9 (135) def. West Adelaide 8.13 (61)
Reserves:
Glenelg 7.9 (51) def. West Adelaide 11.11 (77)
Under 18s:
Glenelg 16.3 (99) def. West Adelaide 13.7 (85)

Reigning League premier Glenelg flexed its muscle to all but seal a finals berth for 2020, consigning West Adelaide to the bottom of the ladder spot. 19-year-old Callum Park was again impressive with 16 disposals, eight rebound 50s and a goal from defence. 15 of his touches were kicks. Luke Parks was another to stand up in patches, taking six marks in his eight-disposal effort. Lachlan Squire worked back into form with 17 disposals for Westies, while recent National Combine invitee Mitchell Duval found it 13 times with four marks.

There was plenty of young and Under 18 talent running around in the Reserves clash. Most notably, Luke Edwards returned to action, running out alongside older brother, Jackson as the Bays went down. The solidly built 18-year-old found the goals, as did teammates Ty Murphy and Mitch Martin. Bailey Chamberlain, who missed out on a combine invite, also booted a major and was named among the Bloods’ best players.

The Under 18s played out a high-scoring contest, with 19-year-old tall Calvin Perks bagging a game-high six goals to lead the Tigers to victory. Kye Dean and Hagan Wright were unsurprisingly the leading ball winners with 31 touches apiece, while bottom-ager Jayden Davis snared a couple of majors from his 28 disposals. Luke Young managed three goals as the most potent West Adelaide forward, while Jye Sinderberry had 19 disposals and five marks up the other end. Cade Kennedy (18 disposals, seven inside 50s) was also valuable.

WWT Eagles vs. North Adelaide

League: WWT Eagles 10.9 (69) def. North Adelaide 6.8 (44)
Reserves:
WWT Eagles 9.7 (61) def. by North Adelaide 9.18 (72)
Under 18s:
WWT Eagles 11.11 (77) def. by North Adelaide 12.9 (81)

The ladder leading Eagles bounced back to winning ways against North Adelaide, moving clear once again to lay one hand on the minor premiership. James Rowe was kept to just one goal, but the Eagles had plenty of firepower, while the likes of Rhyan Mansell (22 disposals, seven rebound 50s) and Port NGA prospect Lachlan Jones (16 disposals, eight rebound 50s) generated plenty of drive out of defence. VFL recruit Sam Lowson managed 10 touches on his SANFL League debut.

North pegged one back in the Reserves, helped by key defender Dyson Hilder’s best-afield display. He could be in line to join partner-in-crime Karl Finlay at League level. Under 18 gun Caleb Poulter enjoyed his second Reserves outing for the Eagles, but could not pull his side over the line.

The Roosters also crowed at Under 18 level, as Blayne O’Loughlin (28 disposals) and Matthew Borg (27) found plenty of the ball. Adelaide NGA prospect Tariek Newchurch also bagged two goals in the win. For the Eagles, Jase Burgoyne was again huge with eight clearances from his 27 disposals, while bigmen Henry Smith (15 disposals, 15 hitouts, one goal) and Zac Phillips (11 disposals, 30 hitouts, 2 goals) were also impactful.

Featured Image: Jason Horne celebrates a goal for South Adelaide | Source: Cory Sutton/SANFL

Out to impress: SANFL Round 11 Preview

ROUND 11 of the South Australian Football League (SANFL) is set to see a number of youngsters take the field to ply their trade for their respective teams across the weekend as Draft Central brings to you a new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In this edition, we zone in on the talented youngsters taking the field across all three major divisions.

Sturt midfielder Tom Powell could get his first opportunity to impress at League level after he was named on the extended bench for the Double Blues’ Saturday afternoon clash with South Adelaide. After battling with injury for parts of 2019, Powell has dominated the under-18 competition this season, averaging 36 disposals and nine clearances per game. He will be hoping to join fellow draft hopeful James Borlase in the senior side, after the Crows Academy prospect retained his spot in the line-up.

Talented Panthers utility Zac Dumesny and key defender Tom Highmore will spend at least another week on the sidelines as they recover from ankle injuries. Bottom-ager Jason Horne will feature in the South Adelaide league side once again, after he was named on the half-forward flank, whilst wingman Daly Andrews will play his third game for the club after crossing from Victoria.

Strongly built defender Harry Spacie, clean-kicking half-back Jack Flett and speedster Phoenix Spicer have all been named in South’s reserves side to face the Double Blues at Peter Motley Oval. At under-18s level, Mani Liddy and Will Spain are once again set to lead the Sturt onball brigade against the likes of South Adelaide’s Max CliftonArlo Draper and Brayden Cook.

Central Districts will be bolstered by the return of 18-year-old Corey Durdin after proving his fitness during the week. Durdin last played in the clubs Round 8 meeting with Sturt, where he suffered a hamstring strain. Wingman Jack Toner has kept his spot in the Bulldogs league side, along with goal-sneak Jordan O’Brien, who is set to join Durdin up forward. Norwood defender Daniel Fairbrother will be looking to build upon his impressive League debut, after being named on the interchange bench for the Round 11 clash.

Bulldog Lachlan Grubb will be joined at reserves level by Brodie Lake, who has been elevated after performing well for the under-18s since crossing from the Northern Territory. The talented duo will take on fellow teenagers Michael CavallaroJack Saunders and Ben Ianniello, who have been included in Norwood’s reserves side.

At under-18 level, Norwood will be hoping for big games from ever reliable midfielders Cooper Murley and Henry Nelligan. After racing out of the blocks and emerging as the team to beat in the under-18s, the Redlegs have lost their last two matches and will be looking to get back onto the winners list when they host a Central Districts side led by impressive 16-year-old onballer Austin McDonald.

Promising defender Luke Parks and his namesake Callum Park are both set to play vital roles in defence for Glenelg when they host West Adelaide. However they will not be faced with the challenge of nullifying Bloods tall Riley Thilthorpe, with the talented draft prospect set to spend another week on the sidelines as the club manages his workload.

A couple of Henley High School products will take to the ACH Group Stadium turf when the reserves kick off proceedings early on Saturday afternoon. West midfielder Bailey Chamberlain could line-up on potential Crows father-son prospect Luke Edwards, who returns to action after missing several weeks through concussion. Bloods defender Jye Sinderberry and Tigers forward Cooper Horsnell are also set to play reserves for their respective sides.

With Brodie Edwards named in the under-18 side, the Edwards-clan have a son playing for Glenelg across all three levels this weekend. Edwards and the likes of Hagan Wright and Kye Dean will be looking to put an end to Glenelg’s run of five consecutive losses when they take on the Bloods, led by Edward van den Berg and Luke Young.

The Roosters and Eagles will meet on Sunday afternoon in a top-of-the-table clash. Potential first round draft pick and Port Adelaide academy prospect Lachlan Jones will again suit up at league level, having impressed all season with his speed, leap and physical presence across half-back. Rhyan Mansell and Lachlan McNeil have become integral components of the Eagles side this season down back and in the midfield respectively. Roosters tall defender Karl Finlay has been equally as important for North Adelaide, often tasked with handling the oppositions best forward.

Eagle Caleb Poulter retains his spot in the reserves after making the step up last weekend. The usual suspects will take their place on the field for two of the under-18 competition’s in-form sides. The Roosters, fresh off a big win over Glenelg, will be looking to get the ball into the hands of skilful Adelaide academy prospects Tariek Newchurch and Blayne O’Loughlin, with Matthew Borg and James Willis set to handle the grunt work in the midfield. Port Adelaide have a couple of prospects in this clash too, in the form of Eagle midfielders Jase Burgoyne and Taj Schofield. The tall duo of Zac Phillips and Henry Smith could also cause some problems for the North Adelaide defenders.

FIXTURES

League:

Central Districts vs. Norwood | Saturday September 5, 2:10pm @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. South Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 2:10pm @ Peter Motley Oval
Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 4:10pm @ ACH Group Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide | Sunday September 6, 2:45pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Reserves:

Central Districts vs. Norwood | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. South Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Peter Motley Oval
Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 1:30pm @ ACH Group Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide | Sunday September 6, 12pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Under-18s:

Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 11:05am @ ACH Group Stadium
Norwood vs. Central Districts | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Sturt | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Prospect Oval

Dragons, Falcons lead the way as AFL announces 2020 Draft Combine list

NINETY six AFL Draft hopefuls will test themselves in their respective states over the next couple of months with the 2020 NAB AFL Draft Combine List released by the AFL today. Of the 95 players, those who played in either the Under 17s All-Stars game on Grand Final Day last year, or representing Australia against New Zealand, have also been included. The remaining players were formed after all 18 AFL clubs were asked to nominated 15 players outside the automatic entries, with those who received four or more club nominations invited to test.

Of the 96 players nominated, Vic Metro leads the way with 25, ahead of Vic Country (22) and South Australia (20). Western Australia is next with 12, followed by Queensland (six), New South Wales (four), Tasmania (four) and Northern Territory (three). For those in the Northern Territory – Joel Jeffrey and Brodie Lake as well as Queenslanders Alex Davies and Max Pescud – the Gold Coast Suns can take them outside the AFL Draft. Among others to be included are father-son prospects, Maurice Rioli Jnr (Richmond), Luke Edwards (Adelaide) and Taj Schofield (Port Adelaide), as well as a host of highly touted Next-Generation Academy members.

In terms of club representation, the Sandringham Dragons and Geelong Falcons have the most nominations with eight apiece, one ahead of Oakleigh Chargers (seven). The next highest are a number of clubs with four players testing, including Calder Cannons, Northern Knights, Murray Bushrangers, Glenelg, South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens. Four Gold Coast and Brisbane Academy players are also testing, with two Sydney and one GIANTS Academy players testing.

Tasmania will be the first state to hold its Draft Combine, starting on September 21. Following them, South Australia and Western Australia will test on September 30, with Northern Territory and Queensland to test on October 3. New South Wales will have a later testing date on October 25. Victoria is yet to announce combine dates, which will be dependent on the State Government regulations.

2020 NAB AFL Draft Combine list

NSW [4]
Braeden Campbell (Sydney Academy)
Charlie Byrne (Murray Bushrangers)
Errol Gulden (Sydney Academy)
Joshua Green (GWS Academy)

Northern Territory [3]
Joel Jeffrey (Wanderers/Gold Coast Academy)
Maurice Rioli jnr (Oakleigh Chargers)
Brodie Lake (Southern Districts/Central District (SA)/Gold Coast Academy)

Queensland [6]
Alex Davies (Gold Coast Academy)
Blake Coleman (Brisbane Academy)
Carter Michael (Brisbane Academy)
Jack Briskey (Brisbane Academy)
Max Pescud (Gold Coast Academy)
Saxon Crozier (Brisbane Academy)

South Australia [20]
Brayden Cook (South Adelaide)
Caleb Poulter (Woodville West Torrens)
Corey Durdin (Central District)
Henry Smith (Woodville West Torrens)
James Borlase (Sturt)
Jye Sinderberry (West Adelaide)
Kaine Baldwin (Glenelg)
Lachlan Jones (Woodville West Torrens)
Luke Edwards (Glenelg)
Luke Pedlar (Glenelg)
Malachy Carruthers (Sturt)
Mitchell Duval (West Adelaide)
Phoenix Spicer (South Adelaide)
Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide)
Taj Schofield (Woodville West Torrens)
Tariek Newchurch (North Adelaide)
Tom Powell (Sturt)
Tom Highmore (South Adelaide)
Xavier Robins (Glenelg)
Zac Dumesny (South Adelaide)

Tasmania [4]
Jackson Callow (North Launceston)
Oliver Davis (Clarence)
Patrick Walker (North Hobart)
Sam Collins (North Hobart)

Vic Country [21]
Blake Reid (Geelong Falcons)
Cameron Fleeton (Geelong Falcons)
Charlie Ham (Geelong Falcons)
Charlie Lazzaro (Geelong Falcons)
Clayton Gay (Dandenong Stingrays)
Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers)
Harry Sharp (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Henry Walsh (Geelong Falcons)
Jack Ginnivan (Bendigo Pioneers)
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Josh Treacy (Bendigo Pioneers)
Nick Stevens (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Noah Gribble (Geelong Falcons)
Oliver Henry (Geelong Falcons)
Ryan Angwin (Gippsland Power)
Sam Berry (Gippsland Power)
Seamus Mitchell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Tanner Bruhn (Geelong Falcons)
Will Bravo (Dandenong Stingrays)
Zach Reid (Gippsland Power)
Zavier Maher (Murray Bushrangers)
Dominic Bedendo (Murray Bushrangers)

Vic Metro [25]
Lachlan Carrigan (Sandringham Dragons)
Archie Perkins (Sandringham Dragons)
Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh Chargers)
Campbell Edwardes (Calder Cannons)
Cody Brand (Calder Cannons)
Connor Downie (Eastern Ranges)
Conor Stone (Oakleigh Chargers)
Corey Preston (Eastern Ranges)
Eddie Ford (Western Jets)
Ewan Macpherson (Northern Knights)
Finlay Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers)
Fraser Rosman (Sandringham Dragons)
Jake Bowey (Sandringham Dragons)
Josh Eyre (Calder Cannons)
Joshua Clarke (Eastern Ranges)
Liam McMahon (Northern Knights)
Liam Kolar (Northern Knights)
Luke Cleary (Sandringham Dragons)
Matt Allison (Calder Cannons)
Max Heath (Sandringham Dragons)
Max Holmes (Sandringham Dragons)
Nikolas Cox (Northern Knights)
Ollie Lord (Sandringham Dragons)
Reef McInnes (Oakleigh Chargers)
Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)

Western Australia [12]
Blake Morris (Subiaco)
Brandon Walker (East Fremantle)
Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts)
Heath Chapman (West Perth)
Jack Carroll (East Fremantle)
Joel Western (Claremont)
Kalin Lane (Claremont)
Logan McDonald (Perth)
Nathan O’Driscoll (Perth)
Shannon Neale (South Fremantle)
Zane Trew (Swan Districts)
Isaiah Winder (Peel Thunder)

Scouting Notes: 2020 SANFL Under 18s – Round 10

ROUND 10 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) brings along with it another edition of our scouting notes, focusing on the top draft-relevant performers from around the competition this weekend. In this instalment, we again turn our attention to the prospects running around in the Under 18 competition, with a focus on State Academy based talent and others who may push for selection along the line. A bunch of top-end juniors plied their trade in senior grades over the weekend, so they also get a look-in.

Please consider that each set of notes showcases the opinions of our scouts individually, and there are only so many players we can keep an eye on each week.

WWT Eagles vs. Norwood

By: Tom Wyman

WWT:

#3 Taj Schofield

The Port Adelaide father-son prospect pieced together another polished performance across the wing for the victorious Eagles. His precise kicking was a standout, along with his vision, smarts, and ability to take his time with ball in hand and assess the situation before making a decision. Schofield also showed a couple of nice tricks, including a well rehearsed ‘dummy’ and swift side-step. Although he missed a couple of scoring opportunities, he kicked a classy goal from 35 metres out on a slight angle to somewhat rectify his previous blemishes. The midfielder finished with 22 disposals, eight marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s in a strong outing.

#6 Zeke Scott

Scott’s contested marking was the highlight of his game on Saturday. A dynamic forward, he is one of several Eagles to possess a strong body, which he was able to use to his advantage in the air. At ground level, Scott tackled hard and wasn’t afraid to use his strength to attack the contest. He finished with 21 disposals, six marks (two contested), five tackles and five inside 50s for Woodville-West Torrens.

#9 Max Litster

The ever-consistent Litster produced another strong performance through the midfield. His toughness around the ball was particularly noticeable, attacking each contest at full speed and backing it up with several repeat efforts if he didn’t win the ball himself. Although his best work was done in close quarters, he worked hard both ways to provide an outlet option away from the contest as well. A strong contested ball winner, Litster showed why he is amongst the SANFL Under 18 competition’s most prolific on-ballers, finishing the game with 26 disposals, four marks, five clearances and six inside 50s.

#18 Harrison Dawkins

The big-bodied Dawkins provided a real presence around the contest for the Eagles. Dawkins was able to use his size to advantage when opposed to some of Norwood’s smaller midfielders in Cooper Murley and Henry Nelligan. He was terrific at stoppages, knowing which spaces to run into, then doing his utmost to win the ball at the coalface. His strength overhead was also terrific and is one of his best assets as a strongly-build on-baller. A crucial component of a strong Woodville-West Torrens lineup, Dawkins finished the outing with 25 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles, ten clearances, six inside 50s and three rebound 50s in another strong showing.

#25 Henry Smith

The AFL Academy member produced arguably his best performance of the season to-date, dominating the airways up forward and providing a presence in the ruck in relief of teammate Zac Phillips. As usual, Smith was the Eagles’ number one target in attack. They looked to centre the ball for him inside 50, allowing him to run and jump at the ball and use his contested marking strength to advantage. A prime example of this came in the just minutes into the clash, when Smith took a strong grab then converted the resultant set-shot from close range.

However, aside from his strong aerial presence, Smith’s cleanliness at ground level, quick and effective distribution by hand, and willingness to crack in and tackle hard was impressive. He spent more time in the ruck against the Redlegs than in previous weeks and fought well against Nathan Hearing, combining particularly well with teammate Harrison Dawkins at stoppages. The key forward finished with 15 disposals, two goals, five marks (two contested), nine tackles, ten hit-outs and four inside 50s.

#31 Jase Burgoyne

The smooth-moving Burgoyne again proved why he is amongst South Australia’s most promising teenagers. Eligible to join Port Adelaide via the father-son rule in 2021, Burgoyne’s class was evident from the get-go in the first match of a Saturday double-header at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. Burgoyne was once again trusted with the kick-in duties this week and used the ball well throughout the contest, aside from a couple of rare skill errors in the third term. He was very composed with ball in hand and made good decisions by foot. Although kicking is his natural game, Burgoyne also produced some really creative and clean handballs to his teammates’ advantage. In all, it was another encouraging performance from the silky bottom-ager, who concluded the game with 26 disposals, four marks, four tackles and two rebound 50s.

Others:

Brayden Calvett provided some eye-catching moments on the outside of the contest. He moved well and showed some nice tricks with ball in hand. Calvett provided plenty of run and finished with 21 disposals, four marks and four clearances. Ruckman and AFL Academy Hub member Zac Phillips had a good battle with Norwood’s Nathan Hearing. He was particularly productive early on in the contest and, although not as prolific around the ground, was vital in giving his side an advantage (plus-11) in the hit-outs.

>> MORE WWT EAGLES CONTENT

Norwood:

#1 Cooper Murley

Talented bottom-ager, Murley was one of his side’s best in the frustrating loss. Starting in the middle, Murley was then shifted to the forwardline later in the opening term. He took an excellent lead-up mark in front of the likes of Henry Smith and showed he isn’t exclusively a ground-level player. Murley’s speed was obvious and his high endurance and relentless work-rate allowed him to get on the end of several handball chains across the ground. He was particularly prolific in the second term and showed excellent clean hands at ground level. Murley did shank an inside 50 with his opposite left-foot when he should have hit teammate Henry Nelligan on the lead, but he was once again heavily involved for Norwood. Despite his smaller frame, his natural talent ensured he was still a threat at stoppages and around the ball. Not afraid to dish out a solid bump, Murley collected 24 disposals, one final term goal, a game-high nine marks, four tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s.

#5 Henry Nelligan

Nelligan showed why he has spent time at League and Reserves level already in season 2020. A natural ball-winner, Nelligan spent most of the day through the midfield but also spent time as a pressure forward. His kicking and decision making was perhaps a little inconsistent throughout the contest; hitting up teammate Cooper Murley with a terrific pass early in the game, but then turning the ball over when going forward later on. Nelligan’s low centre of gravity and strength through the hips made him quite difficult to tackle on the move in congestion, and his work-rate around the ground was terrific. He was typically clean by hand and tackled strongly as always. He was involved in a heavy mid-air collision in the final term but bounced back and soldiered on – a testament to his courage and toughness. Arguably his side’s best player on the day, Nelligan finished the game with 24 disposals, three marks, five tackles, five clearances, six inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#27 Nathan Hearing

The Norwood big-man fought hard against Henry Smith, Zac Phillips and Jonte Hunter-Price, who also chopped out in the ruck for the Eagles. Hearing ran his opponents around the ground using his strong endurance, and took a couple of handy intercept marks when dropping back in defence. His kicking was also sound, despite his technique appearing awkward at times. Once again, his willingness to throw his weight around at ground level was impressive for player of Hearing’s physique. Although the Eagles won the hit-outs, Hearing’s tap work was the best of all the ruckman as Norwood finished plus-eight in the clearances. Hearing finished with 12 disposals, four tackles, and 16 hit-outs.

Others: 

Although not draft-eligible until 2022, Riley Verrall again looked comfortable at Under 18 level for Norwood. He was deployed off half-back where he was able to use his penetrating right-foot kick to good effect. He provided plenty of run and rebound from defence, finishing with 19 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound 50s. He combined well with Lachlan Falco in the defensive 50, who caught the eye with some terrific run-and-carry of his own. He was one who really looked to break the lines and would have finished with high metres gained. Falco finished the game with 23 disposals and three marks. James Warton (25 disposals, five tackles, eight clearances and five inside 50s) was good through the midfield and the clean-kicking Sam Duke (26 disposals, eight marks, four tackles, seven rebound 50s) was Norwood’s leading possession winner across half-back.

>> MORE NORWOOD CONTENT

Central District vs. South Adelaide

By: Michael Alvaro

Central District:

#12 Brodie Lake

The Northern Territory recruit continued his terrific start to life in the SANFL, again proving one of Centrals’ most prolific ball winners with 22 disposals, eight clearances, and six inside 50s. While a lot of his work on the spread and contributions around the ground have been key features to his previous outings, Lake seemed to take a more inside focus to his game this time out. His extraction work was on point, not only winning the ball in close, but also streaming away for some eye-catching centre clearances. The top-ager was a touch fumbly below his knees at full pace and inconsistent in his delivery by foot, but looked stylish in everything he did. The flash is there, but so is the hard stuff, with Lake applying some punishing defensive pressure and proving strong at the contest. He also boasts a sizeable leap and can take marks at full stretch, adding another string to his bow.

#13 Austin McDonald

McDonald’s uncanny knack of finding bucketloads of the ball carried on into yet another impressive Under 18s appearance, as he collected a game-high 29 disposals and five clearances. While he sometimes lacks the strength and speed to burst away from congestion, the 16-year-old has no trouble getting his hands on the ball in the first place, and looks tidy when disposing under less pressure. The next step in his development will be refining his disposal from the clinches, as well as gaining a touch more penetration on his kicks. He has the inside game, but was also clever on the outer with some nice drawing handballs and accumulation around the ground. Another pleasing part of McDonald’s game was his tackling, which has come to the fore in recent weeks. He laid five throughout this game and was aggressive in his defensive duties, ultimately rewarded for his efforts in taking opponents down.

Others:

Versatile bigman Wyatt Ryan was again productive for the Bulldogs, drifting back while taking on rucks duties, and also presenting well as a forward to finish with 17 disposals, five marks, and 31 hitouts. Finn Reed fared well through the middle to notch 19 disposals and a classy goal in the first term, while Luigi Mondello showed a zippy step en route to bagging two majors. Christopher Tidswell was another to pop up with some promising moments, particularly in the first half as he took on the highly-touted Brayden Cook.

>> MORE CENTRAL DISTRICT CONTENT

South Adelaide:

#10 Brayden Cook

This year’s first round bolter is building some serious momentum, and while he did not quite have the desired scoreboard impact in this game, Cook showed some promising signs. Starting on the wing, many of Cook’s highlights came through his aerial ability, rising above his opponents to stick some terrific overhead marks. Even when he couldn’t hold onto his marks, the top-ager followed up with handy work at ground level where he proved smooth and evasive on the ball. After being held relatively well in the first term, Cook spent a touch more time forward immediately after the main break and turned provider with a couple of goal assists to Hugo Hoeck. He would only manage three behinds of his own though, as the radar proved a little off. Still, Cook is the kind of player his teammates often looked for when transitioning into attack, and his positioning a kick behind the ball allowed the Panthers to better dictate possession.

#33 Arlo Draper

The bottom-ager has travelled somewhat under the radar of late, but seems to be thriving upon a more permanent move into the midfield. While still a touch light-on, Draper is a good size at 185cm and looks comfortable in contested battles. He was quiet in the early stages, but came into the game with some deft touches in congestion, while also showcasing his terrific agility and awareness to weave through traffic and come away with the ball in style. A couple of centre clearances attested to that, though his strength when caught was also evident. Draper’s work to accumulate at either end of the ground helped him have a more sustained impact, as he glided his way to 19 disposals and six clearances, while also laying six tackles.

Others:

As usual, there was a bunch of reliable performers who again stood up for South Adelaide. The likes of Liam Hamilton (19 disposals, eight marks, one goal) and Max Clifton (16 disposals, six marks) were busy through the midfield rotation, while Jayden Little provided a cool head across half-back with his 20 touches. Jack Flett was another to impact down back with his run-and-carry, as Liam Nye and Jamison Snelling both found the goals up the other end. Bottom-age smalls Dylan Brown and Luke Mitton were also lively through midfield and up forward, with Hugo Hoeck (four goals) the leading goalkicker.

>> MORE SOUTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

Glenelg vs North Adelaide

By: Eli Duxson

Glenelg:

#8 Hagan Wright

Wright looked the most dangerous for Glenelg all day, providing run both in the midfield and off half-back. He was active at most stoppages and contests, timing his runs well to get on the end of hit-outs and handball receives. The Bays were keen to get it in his hands as he moved smoothly on the inside and outside, generally using the ball well. Moving out of defence, where the ball so often was for Glenelg, looked simple for Wright as he so calmly weaved through traffic and displayed good evasive skills.

His physicality remained as the Roosters pushed further away in the second half and his balance over the footy was impressive. He seemed to be in good positions to receive the ball on many occasions and worked hard to get to stoppages. He ended up with 21 disposals, four tackles, and five clearances in a well-rounded performance on an ordinary day for his side.

#9 Kye Dean

The well-built midfielder spent most of his time on ball, but often drifted forward to try and impact the scoreboard. His composure was solid early as he opted to find shorter options instead of wheeling and blazing away, and he used it well by hand in-tight. He was hard to knock over the ball and used his strength to bustle his way through the contests. His ball use was not always reliable, but the blustery conditions certainly were not doing anyone any favours.

He finished the second half with a goal after getting on the end of a link and floating it in from a tight angle, while having a further two shots on goal for the game. He missed an open shot 30 metres out on the run, but made up for it with a tidy set shot in the fourth quarter. A big fend-off in the third term displayed his strength as he ended with 24 disposals, two goals, and five clearances.

#23 Callum Park (League)

The former Australian Under 18 baseball representative probably had his best game of the season with 18 disposals, seven marks, and seven rebound 50s. His ability to run-and-carry and use the ball well on his left-foot are probably his key strengths, and he did both well. He was taking the kick-outs for much of the game and provided plenty of run off half-back. He moved smoothly and was dangerous on the outside. He opted to kick more than he handballed, but his lone two handballs of the game were in critical areas deep in defence with clean ground ball gathers. Swapping between wing and half-back, he was accountable when he needed to be but was often utilised as a loose defender when playing on the wing and the Roosters were near their attacking 50.

Park set up well behind the ball to mark, but he also worked hard in attack. On one instance he kicked out, and then continued to work up and eventually received a handball centre wing. A pivotal smother in the tense final quarter capped off a solid outing for him as he looked comfortable with his role.

#27 Luke Parks (League)

The Sydney Swans Academy product was given the tough role on Lewis Hender and despite Hender’s three goals, Parks enjoyed a good game in the tight win. His aerial ability was on show early, taking a hanger at edge of the centre square. Like he has done for much of the season, it showed his confidence to mark in contests instead of going the for defensive spoil. There were some occasions where opting to spoil would have been more appropriate though. He reads the flight of the ball well and often parked himself under the high ball to mark courageously.

Hender managed to create separation but Parks was hot on his tail with good speed and agility. He also showed confidence to run off Hender and find his own ball or impact the contest, but when you do, you must impact. Parks was caught out on a couple of occasions and Hender just snuck away. His cleanliness and composure with the footy was good, but his physicality and aggression was also a highlight as he was not afraid to hit the ball hard or back up teammates in the push and shove.

Bays coach Mark Stone backed his aerial prowess in the last quarter and left him loose in crucial times and Parks did not let him down. Parks finished with 15 disposals and six marks and is definitely one to keep and eye on.

Others:

Glenelg did not have the best of days, but the play of Riley Davis was promising who had 17 disposals and six tackles, but three behinds could have made it a very solid outing. Tom Moyle-Read was also serviceable with 15 disposals and a goal and looked comfortable with ball in hand.

>> MORE GLENELG CONTENT

North Adelaide:

#21 Tariek Newchurch

Newchurch made the most of a dominant day for the Roosters, slotting three goals to go with his 16 disposals. He also made the most of a solid breeze to kick his first early in the contest off a couple of steps from 50 metres after winning a free kick. With patches in the midfield he showed he was capable of so much more and could play as a midfielder with his speed and cleanliness, but it was not on show for as much of the day as you would have liked. He looked to work back hard defensively, but it was his attacking run that was most exciting after roving well and running with ball the best part of 60 metres to goal from almost on the goal line.

His acceleration and pace again excited in patches as he displayed strength in-tight as well. He did burn teammates on a few occasions, kicking blindly toward goal, but after fluffing one kick he made up for it with a goal soon after. Newchurch is an exciting prospect with his pace, relative strength, ball use, and ability to hit the scoreboard, but there is certainly a higher potential to develop his game like Shai Bolton has in the AFL.

#28 Matthew Borg

Borg was prolific again and enjoyed a brilliant game with 26 disposals, three goals, and seven clearances. The midfielder worked hard both ways, taking intercept marks in defensive 50, but also getting dangerous up the other end. His pace and intent on the ball looked tough to defend and he kicked his first goal in the first quarter after creating space in a one-on-one in the pocket, before dribbling it through brilliantly. He even gave a bit to the crowd. Borg’s ability to get the ball from the ground to a target through hands in very little time was on show a few times, but he did appear reluctant to use his left hand to handball.

In a dominant day for his side, he found himself in space a lot, but he made his way to good positions instead of just floating and waiting for the ball to come. He found the ball and made things happen. One several occasions he broke away from the stoppage but was called back due to free kicks. He played out of full forward at one point and after a nice lead up and mark, he drilled the set shot from nearly 50 metres.

#37 Karl Finlay (League)

The up and down nature of the wind-affected game kept Finlay busy at full back, but he showed he was up to the task. After a wayward contest early, he began to read the flight of the ball well, providing some thumping spoils to clear the space. He also showed a willingness to get his own ball and use it which is indicative of his confidence, but a poor decision under pressure deep in defence was almost costly.

The former Prince Alfred College captain showed good discipline when the ball hit the ground to locate his opponent instead of being drawn to the ball. His hands looked solid with an intercept mark and with his mobility and 192cm and 88kg frame, he certainly showed potential to be a key position player for the future.

Others:

North Adelaide boasted many good performers in their 78-point win, but the leading disposal getters were Jayden Davison and Blayne O’Loughlin, who each had 28 disposals. Davison also recorded 10 clearances although his ball use did not always adjust well with the conditions. O’Loughlin found a lot of ball out the back and with the kickouts and could have been a lot more damaging, but he typically just opted for longer targets. Kyle Brazell kicked three lovely set shot goals to go with 23 disposals and showed versatility playing all over the ground. Harvey Harrison kicked four majors for the Roosters and was constructive whenever he had ball in hand.

>> MORE NORTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

Sturt vs. West Adelaide

By: Peter Williams

Sturt:

#11 Will Spain

Showed some promising signs and nice dash throughout the match, and continued to attack the contest hard. His speed at running through stoppages to try and win the ball and burst out was admirable, with great defensive pressure and tackling to go with it. At times his possession was a little rushed, and his determination to move the ball quickly often saw him step off his line such as marking at half-forward going to run trying to stop, then having to handball backwards. Overall his tackling pressure was superb, and he was not afraid to bring down bigger opponents, so it was no surprise to read he had an equal game-high seven tackles.

#17 Mani Liddy

Liddy might have been overshadowed in the stat-line by game’s end by partner-in-crime Tom Powell, but make no mistake, Liddy was just as influential, if not more so at times. His strength at the stoppages to win the ball, stand tall and get his arms free was a feature of his game, but he also has that touch of class about it too. He does the hard stuff then can add the touch of class, having a number of shots on goal out of forward stoppages. In the first term he snapped for goal twice, the first time missing but the second sailing through in the 25th minute of the game for Sturt’s fifth. He has the smarts to weigh his kicks and put it to his teammates’ advantage and it was his work at half-back under pressure to get it to Powell that ended in a goal to Oliver Britten-Jones at the other end. His hands are electric in close, also showing clean kicking, then working hard to get free into space. Not afraid to cop contact, Liddy was absolutely sensational, and his stoppage and contested work a real treat.

#18 Tom Powell

By the time you are reading this you will have seen the stat-line – 47 disposals, 10 clearances, nine marks, three tackles and 2.2 – so there is little need to tell you he had a huge game. The reason Powell is able to rack up these numbers is because he simply runs hard around the ground, gets to contest after contest, and then gets into ball-winning positions to quickly move the ball on. He is too strong for opponents inside the contest, and then just plays simple footy when needed to kick long to dangerous areas for the opposition to try and defend. Twice in the first term Powell hit up targets pretty much in the goalsquare with long bombs inside 50 to their advantage. It did not need to be pretty, just give his forwards a chance and he placed it well. His sheer work rate to win the ball in all thirds was admirable, and his stoppage craft is very clever. In the second term he set up a third goal with a nice run inside 50 then opted to pass to a leading Kai Tucker rather than go for goal.

His vision by hand is good, to sense teammates running in space, with his decision making and execution by foot an area of improvement from the game. A number of times he would bomb the ball long which, as it showed in the first time can pay off, but also turned it over on a number of times, such as when he was coming out of defence on a few occasions. Nonetheless, Powell’s offensive game really drove a dagger into Westies’ heart and he kicked his first goal from a set shot free kick four and a half minutes into the third term. His second came late in the quarter to lead out and take an uncontested mark at the top of the goalsquare thanks to some shepherding from teammates. A third shot on goal moments later saw Powell kick across the face of goal but hit the opposite behind post for out on the full. His second efforts when making a mistake were also solid, because he missed a handball trying to put it into the path of a teammate at half-forward, but then mopped up and gave it to his teammate running inside 50 for a scoring opportunity. Had some fun in the last term, racking up the stats with his teammates, but finished as a throughly deserved best on ground with a stat-line reflective of a high work rate and scoreboard impact. Not only did he boot two goals, but he directly had a hand in three others in Sturt’s big win.

#2 Tom Lewis (League)

Had some promising moments playing in the forward half of the ground with a particularly impressive third term. He first entered the foray with an important kick inside 50 at the nine-minute mark, then won the ball in midfield through good positioning and kicked long again leading to an Aidyn Johnson goal three minutes later. He had a quieter second term though still won touches, but came alive in the third, willing his side back into the contest. He had a quick snap off the left that went wide and bounced out of bounds, but was continually rushing the chaos ball inside 50. His kick to a dangerous area set up Mihail Lochowiak who goaled, and then put pressure on the West defence with another long kick to the goalsquare in the dying minutes before it was rushed through. He himself almost kicked an impossible goal from the behind post but went across the face to the other side of the ground. He finished with a strong 21 touches, five marks, four tackles, five clearances, and crucially, seven inside 50s.

#17 Jed McEntee (League)

Just a really hard-working effort by the over-ager who plied his typical fierce tackling game to good effect. He would use the ball quickly down the wing early in the game, got a second kick at half-forward, and then cleaned up in the pocket after trying to assist for another touch. He would win the ball in close and get ball to boot quickly, and then hit the scoreboard himself on the end of an end-to-end play by the Double Blues, marking uncontested in the goalsquare and kicking a major from 20 metres out straight in front in the 19th minute of the third term. In the last quarter with the game on the line, McEntee worked back into defence to provide some support and settle the team down.

#29 James Borlase (League)

Making his debut at League level, the Adelaide Next-Generation Academy prospect was one of the more impressive players, particularly early in the game. While many debutants might look and hope for an easy first few touches, Borlase held up with a handball under pressure then took a contested intercept mark. He used the ball well and was good in his positioning throughout the game, and while he did not always take every mark he went for, he still racked up quite a few – six in total – and also applied plenty of pressure both through tackling and implied pressure that would have impressed the coaches. In the final term in particular with the game in the balance, Borlase laid a massive tackle, but what was the most impressive fact was he grabbed him once, his opponent almost got free, but Borlase went again and brought him down in a 360-degree tackle. To finish with 14 touches, six marks, three tackles and five rebounds on debut, that was a big tick and Adelaide would have been pleased with his development.

Others:

Aside from the top two Sturt stars, Liam Swiderski racked up 28 touches and 12 marks rebounding off out of defence and mopping up from West’s poor inside 50 entries. He was one of a number of Double Blues who also used the time late in the game to practice closing out close games by chipping it around, with Jordan Hein (24 touches, five marks and seven rebounds) also busy in defence. Ethan Field was strong up forward with 23 touches, five marks and two goals, while Ned Grieve and Jamie Taylor both racked up 22 touches by game’s end. For West, Eduard Van den berg tried hard in the back 50 alongside Sinderberry, notching up nine rebounds to go with his 23 touches and eight marks.

>> MORE STURT CONTENT

West Adelaide:

#3 Hugh Desira

The bottom-ager looked lively throughout the game and showed a number of impressive traits in what was ultimately a tough day at the office for West. Desira laid a good tackle on Mani Liddy in the opening term to win a free, and then would work back to save his side a number of times deep in defence. He had great vision to hit up a target on the opposite side of the ground and get the ball moving, then did it in the forward half through congestion to spot a free player at the top of the attacking 50. He was a part of the midfield rotation for the Westies, but it was his spread and run out of defence that stood out, doing well with the ball under pressure.

#4 Cade Kennedy

Won a fair bit of the ball through the middle, rotating between inside and outside roles, and working hard as a free man to get clear on a wing and create space. His work rate was exemplified by being involved with at least three handballs down the wing before being knocked over through a heavy bump. Midway through the second term he was collected high and won a free kick, and was able to keep the ball moving quickly. He handed off an unselfish goal assist to Izach Zinndorf whose snap to the line was called a goal despite Sturt appealing it was marked. He has a dual-sided ability, because when caught on his left side he kicked off his left, and when caught on his right he kicked off his right. Later in the game he dug deep to help out the defence, and then had a shot on goal from 40 metres following a free kick 10 minutes into the final term, but his set shot went way left.

#24 Jye Sinderberry

Really stood out for mine in terms of West players and produced the performance he is capable of at half-back. Not only did he do his job one-on-one, but he provided drive, held a high line and even went into the ruck for a few stoppages. His pressure and one-percenters would have been high, even if he did not officially lay a tackle. He worked hard on a number of occasions to get to the front position and read the ball in flight well. He took a number of intercept grabs, including one at speed late in the second term, and after an earlier miss by foot, was able to generally use it solidly. In one instance he went into the ruck and used his leap to win it out of the ruck, charge forward and kick inside 50, but was intercepted by a Sturt defender. The third term saw Sinderberry cover so much ground up and down, and he even had a set shot from just inside 50 after a double penalty for late contact and then infringing the mark, but his set shot missed to the left. Overall a really strong game as that rebounding, yet accountable defender.

#49 Lachlan Squire (League)

In his second League game, Squire acquitted himself around the stoppages well, using his big frame to match it with more experienced opponents. Often opposed to Abe Davis at the stoppages, he was not afraid to throw his weight around and then go in hard to win the contested ball and shovel it out to teammates. His positioning around the stoppages was good and he had clean hands under pressure, but sometimes did a little too much, like when he tried to fend off a player nine minutes into the second term and got done for incorrect disposal. He had a crack throughout four quarters and had a quick shot on goal in the 17th minute of the third term but was brought down in the tackle. Had more of an influence than nine disposals might suggest, and his three clearances attest to that, always being in tough situations.

#59 Hamish Ellem (League)

The former Sydney Swans Academy member seems to have improved his mobility a touch over the off-season after missing out on being drafted last year. Playing out of full-forward, he has always been able to be quick at ground level and snap around his body, but with less time in the SANFL compared to Under 18s, Ellem showed he could stand up and show off the same party tricks there. After a quiet first term where he contributed just the one kick, he slotted his first goal 42 seconds into the second term. The first clearing kick out of the middle went straight down his throat and he went back to kick from 50 metres and sail it home. He kicked his second early in the third as well, just two minutes in kicking a quick snap around his body from 40 metres. In the fourth term he spent some time in the ruck and had a remarkable pickup snap off the deck that only just missed in the last few minutes, and that would have put West within two points.

>> MORE WEST ADELAIDE CONTENT

Featured image: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Young gun focus: SANFL Round 10 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our second altered edition, with an Adelaide Crows Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful making his League debut, while three teams are now tied for top spot in the Under 18s.

>> SCROLL for full results 

West Adelaide vs. Sturt

League: West Adelaide 8.6 (54) def. by Sturt 10.1 (61)
Reserves: West Adelaide 7.6 (48) def. by Sturt 12.8 (80)
Under 18s: Sturt 10.14 (74) def. West Adelaide 5.9 (39)

A late rally ensured Sturt got over the line against West Adelaide in their League clash under Friday night lights, with just seven points separating either side come the final siren. The game would have attracted the eyes of many an Adelaide Crows fan, as NGA prospect James Borlase made his top flight debut for the Double Blues. The strongly-built swingman was solid down back, working a handy intercept game and using the ball well across his 14 disposals and five rebound 50s.

Tom Lewis and Casey Voss racked up 21 disposals each, aided by 53 hitouts from Daniel Fahey-Sparks, though coach Nathan Grima may face a selection dilemma as Tom Powell continues to bang the door down at Under 18s level. The prolific midfielder added another 47 disposals and 10 clearances to his formidable season tallies, while also contributing two goals. His partner in crime, Mani Liddy was also terrific with 33 touches and a goal of his own as Sturt sealed a hat-trick of wins over the Bloods.

Leading SA draft prospect Riley Thilthorpe was rested from his League duties with Westies this week, seeing former Sydney Swans Academy member Hamish Ellem slot in to bag two majors. Reed Stevens, the brother of leading ball winner, Kaine had 17 touches and six clearances on his League debut, while Lachlan Squire was unable to match his own debut numbers, kept to nine disposals.

In the Reserves grade, 19-year-old Josh Shute was named among Sturt’s best, while Under 18 midfielders Bailey Chamberlain and Nicholas Couroupis were among the best half-dozen for Westies in a losing effort. Jye Sinderberry (12 disposals, five marks) was again outstanding in the junior grade upon his second game back from injury.

Norwood vs. WWT Eagles

League: Norwood 12.12 (84) def. WWT Eagles 6.8 (44)
Reserves: Norwood 9.6 (60) def. by WWT Eagles 13.8 (86)
Under 18s: WWT Eagles 11.14 (80) def. Norwood 7.8 (50)

18-year-old Daniel Fairbrother had a League debut to remember, as Norwood trumped ladder leader, Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) by 40 points to remain in the finals hunt. The 182cm prospect gathered 12 disposals in his maiden outing, while Victorian recruit Nik Rokahr had a game-high 34 disposals. Isaac Saywell was another solid young performer for the Redlegs, registering 10 marks among his 19 touches overall.

Lachlan McNeil (21 disposals) continued his consistent run of form for the Eagles despite a rare loss, while the likes of Lachlan Jones and Rhyan Mansell had few answers for Norwood in defence. Up the other end, livewire small forward James Rowe was kept to just one goal as WWT struggled for firepower. It was just the second time all season Rowe managed less than three goals in a game.

Finn Heard narrowly missed League selection this week for Norwood, but managed to instead run out for the Reserves alongside fellow Under 18s Michael Cavallaro, Jack Saunders, Jackson Murphy, and Ben Ianniello. Caleb Poulter and star VFL recruit Sam Lowson both lined up for WWT in the same game, as the Eagles soared home 26-point winners.

Poulter’s absence at Under 18s level was made up for by the likes of Jase Burgoyne, Max Litster, and Harrison Dawkins, who all contributed over 25 touches. AFL Academy members Taj Schofield and Henry Smith both hit the scoreboard in the Eagles’ 30-point win. The result saw Norwood pipped for top spot, though the performances of Henry Nelligan and Cooper Murley (both 24 disposals and one goal) were promising. Mobile bigman Sam Duke was arguably the Redlegs’ best, notching 26 disposals and eight marks.

South Adelaide vs. Central District

League: South Adelaide 14.19 (103) def. Central District 10.6 (66)
Reserves: South Adelaide 9.4 (58) def. by Central District 13.16 (94)
Under 18s: Central District 7.7 (49) def. by South Adelaide 11.14 (80)

Daly Andrews built strongly on his opening SANFL League outing, adding two goals to another tally of 18 disposals as South Adelaide comfortably accounted for Central District. The Victorian’s kicking game and ability to penetrate in transition came to the fore as the Panthers kept their top four spot safe.

Bottom-age gun Jason Horne showcased his eye-catching hops and a good deal of confidence in another League appearance, finishing with 15 disposals as he continues to lead the class of 2021. Exciting 19-year-old forward Beau McCreery popped up in glimpses, contributing a single goal to his team’s win. For the Bulldogs, Dandenong Stingrays graduate Jack Toner was a touch quieter than his last few games, gathering 10 disposals. Meanwhile, Jackson Kelly, the son of Sydney champion, Paul booted two goals in a promising display.

There was some notable talent running around in the Reserves grade, headlined by the return of South star Daniel Sladojevic. The 19-year-old booted a goal, but his Panthers were ultimately outclassed by the Bulldogs to the tune of 36 points. Under 18 prospects Phoenix Spicer and Lachlan Grubb also took the field for either side.

The Panthers managed to get one back at Under 18s level, with an even team performance leading them to a 31-point win. Draft bolter Brayden Cook was again productive aerially with eight marks, though struggled with his radar in front of goal to register three behinds. Max Clifton, Liam Hamilton, Jayden Little, and Jack Flett were among the best top-agers afield, while Hugo Hoeck booted four goals and Arlo Draper notched six clearances. The midfield combination of Austin McDonald and Brodie Lake again worked well for the Bulldogs, as the pair combined for 51 disposals and 13 clearances. Bigman Wyatt Ryan was also influential.

North Adelaide vs. Glenelg

League: North Adelaide 10.9 (69) def. by Glenelg 10.11 (71)
Reserves: North Adelaide 14.11 (95) def. Glenelg 4.10 (34)
Under 18s: Glenelg 8.10 (58) def. by North Adelaide 21.10 (136)

Glenelg may have snuck home by two points in a crucial League clash against North Adelaide, but the Roosters were well on song across the other two grades in Round 10. Potential mature-age AFL recruit Luke Partington again impressed for the Bays with 27 disposals, bested only by Harrison Wigg of the Roosters (29 disposals). A pair of 19-year-old Tigers in Callum Park (18 disposals, seven rebound 50s) and Luke Parks (15 disposals, six marks) were instrumental in the back half for Glenelg, combining slick rebounding skills and aerial marking prowess collectively.

A bunch of Roosters stole the show at Under 18s level, with the likes of Jayden Davison, Blayne O’Loughlin, Matthew Borg, and Kyle Brazell all finding both plenty of the ball and the big sticks. Harvey Harrison booted a game-high four majors, followed closely by Adelaide NGA hopeful Tariek Newchurch with three. Kye Dean played his part as usual for the Tigers, finishing with 24 disposals and two goals, while midfield partner Hagan Wright managed 21 touches.

Featured Image: Deb Curtis/SANFL

Out to impress: SANFL Round 10 preview

HEADING into South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Round 10, Draft Central brings to you a new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In our first edition, we zone in on the talented youngsters taking the field across all three major divisions.

Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect Lachlan Jones will once again suit-up for the Eagles league side when they travel to Cooper Stadium to face Norwood under Friday night lights. The talented 18-year-old is yet to miss a game this season and has played an integral role down back for the first placed Eagles. He is joined in defence by Tasmanian Rhyan Mansell, with 19-year-old Lachlan McNeil named on the wing.

Intercept-marking machine Daniel Fairbrother has been named on the extended bench for the Redlegs league side, after impressing in the under-18s and reserves throughout the year. Midfielder Jack Saunders and small defender Michael Cavallaro both retained their spots in the reserves side for the round ten clash, alongside the athletic Benjamin Ianniello. Potential first round draftee Caleb Poulter will make the step up to Woodville-West Torrens’ reserves side, after displaying plenty of skill, athleticism and versatility with the under-18s.

The in-form Woodville-West Torrens take on the ladder-leading Norwood in the first of an under-18s double-header on Saturday afternoon at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. Prolific inside midfielder Max Lister has combined well with the outside class of Taj Schofield and bottom-ager Jase Burgoyne through the Eagles engine-room. Tall forward Henry Smith will again be the focal point in attack, with fellow AFL Academy member Zac Phillips set to resume his lead ruck role. His duel with Norwood ruckman Nathan Hearing is set to be closely fought, with the likes of bottom-ager Cooper Murley and ball magnet Henry Nelligan hoping to feed off his tap-work.

In the other Friday night game, West Adelaide’s senior side will be desperate to bounce back against Sturt, following last round’s lacklustre loss to previously winless Central Districts. Riley Thilthorpe has earned a week off, after playing all nine matches for the Bloods league side so far in 2020. Meanwhile, Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect James Borlase is set to make his league debut for Sturt after plying his trade at reserves level for the first half of the year. The defender has been named at half-back for the Hisense Stadium clash.

Bloods ball magnet Bailey Chamberlain will play reserves again this week, after proving a touch-above under-18s level earlier in the season. He is one of several South Australian draft prospects who will be eager to make their league debuts before the SANFL season draws to a close.

The Double Blues under-18s will welcome back prolific midfielder Tom Powell with open arms after he missed the club’s round nine match. An on-baller in the Lachie Neale mould, Powell has been the in-form player of the under-18 competition and leads the league in disposals and clearances. He has been named in his customary on-ball role and will be supported by fellow AFL Academy member Mani Liddy and promising bottom-ager Will Spain. Tom Emmett will return to the side to provide a target in attack.

The Bloods under-18s have had a difficult season, but Jye Sinderberry has shown why he is a chance to be drafted. Edward Van den Berg will join him down back after showing some encouraging signs throughout the season to-date.

The Bulldogs will be full of confidence when they head down south to do battle with the Panthers, after breaking their winless-streak last round. Pocket-rocket Corey Durdin will miss at least another week after he sustained a hamstring injury in Round 8. Talented Panthers utility Zac Dumesny will also be missing in action as he recovers from an ankle injury. However bottom-aged sensation Jason Horne is set to play his fourth league game in a row for South Adelaide, after being named on the interchange bench. The ‘Dogs also boast a number of promising talents, including Jordan O’Brien, who will be looking to continue his promising form at senior level up forward. The league clash will also feature a couple of Victorians in Bulldog Jack Toner and Panther Daly Andrews. Both have made encouraging starts to their senior careers across the border.

Lachlan Grubb will have his sights set on a return to the league side when he fronts-up for Central Districts reserves. South Adelaide have handed reserves berths to a couple of their brightest stars in bottom-aged key defender Harry Spacie and flashy wingman Phoenix Spicer. Although polar opposites in their playing styles, expect both player to have an immediate impact in the second-tier competition.

In the under-18s, South Adelaide draft bolter Brayden Cook will likely attract plenty of attention from the Bulldogs defenders, who will be well-aware of his match-winning capabilities up forward and on the wing. Bottom-ager Arlo Draper has been named in the forward pocket, alongside Liam Hamilton and young tall Will Verrall. NT native Brodie Lake will play his fourth under-18s game in the red, white and blue, while fellow Territorian Jonty Patrick will be looking to provide a spark up forward. 16-year-old Austin McDonald will again carry much of the midfield responsibilities for Centrals.

The Roosters senior side will be looking to continue their winning ways when they host Glenelg at Prospect Oval. North Adelaide’s 19-year-old key defender Karl Finlay was terrific in his return from injury last round, blanketing Norwood big-man Tommy Pinyon. His partner in crime Dyson Hilder will line up in the reserves side, along with fellow 19-year-old Harrison Magor. Both will be eager to stake their claims for a return to senior level. Luke Edwards will miss another week after he suffered a concussion in his league debut against Central Districts.

Glenelg’s under-18s will be led by skilful half-back Hagan Wright and the strongly built on-baller Kye Dean. Meanwhile, the Roosters will once again be bolstered by the presence of three Adelaide Next Generation prospects in exciting forward Tariek Newchurch, classy bottom-aged defender Blayne O’Loughlin and athletic backman Lam SimonLeo Coates, who won the SANFL Under-18 MVP award for his performance last round, has been named at centre-half-forward, with James Willis, Kyle Brazell and Matthew Borg set to anchor the red and white midfield unit.

FIXTURES

League:

West Adelaide vs. Sturt | Friday August 28, 7:20pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday August 28, 7:40pm @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Saturday August 29, 2:10pm @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Glenelg | Sunday August 30, 2:10pm @ Prospect Oval

Reserves:

West Adelaide vs. Sturt | Friday August 28, 4:50pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday August 28, 5pm @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Glenelg | Sunday August 30, 11:30am @ Prospect Oval

Under-18s:

Woodville-West Torrens vs. Norwood | Saturday August 29, 11am @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval
Glenelg vs. North Adelaide | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ ACH Group Stadium
Central Districts vs. South Adelaide | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. West Adelaide | Sunday August 29, 1:25pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval