Tag: Kai Pudney

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

2020 SANFL Round 1 preview: Football returns to South Australia

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

Central District V Sturt

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

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

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

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

 

Woodville-West Torrens V South Adelaide

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

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

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

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

 

North Adelaide V West Adelaide

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

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

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

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

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

 

Glenelg V Norwood

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

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

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

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

2020 SANFL season preview: Can the Bays go back-to-back?

LAST year saw a drought-breaking year in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) with Glenelg taking home its first League premiership since 1986. The Tigers were able to bounce back from a loss earlier in the finals series to take out Port Adelaide in the grand final last year. The result also meant seven of the eight non-AFL affiliated clubs have won SANFL titles this turn of the century with only South Adelaide (1964) holding a drought longer than a decade from those sides. We take a look at the eight sides in contention for the 2020 SANFL premiership in order of ladder position last year (minus Adelaide and Port Adelaide).

GLENELG

Finished: Premiers
Wins: 13
Draws: 2
Losses: 3
Best & Fairest: Jesse White
Leading Goalkicker: Liam McBean & Luke Reynolds (53)

The reigning premiers return to the competition as deserving favourites in the new year, as the likes of Margarey Medallist Luke Partington and reigning leading goalkickers, Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds back in the yellow and black.

Over the off-season, the Bays have been able to bring in some young talent including former Crow Jackson Edwards who returns to South Australia, ex-Sydney Academy talent Luke Parks, and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels forward, Mitch Martin. Unfortunately young star Kaine Baldwin will miss the season through another anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. However, the Tigers have every reason to be buoyant about the season ahead.

After all, their list of ex-AFL talent is quite impressive, with names such as Cory Gregson and Billy Stretch alongside Luke Edwards. Expect the Tigers to be the team to beat in 2020.

STURT

Finished: 4th
Wins: 11
Draws: 0
Losses: 7
Best & Fairest: Sam Colquhoun
Leading Goalkicker: Josh Hone (35)

The Double Blues will be confident of a rise up the ladder in 2020 with a couple of handy pickups including talented high-flyer Jordan Houlahan who returns from the AFL, as well as another ex-Cat and Crow, Dean Gore.

Tom Lewis will provide some extra youth and inside hardness alongside the likes of outside movers, Josh Shute and Mihail Lochowiak who have been impressive in past years. Sam Colquhoun has been a star of the competition of late, and with last year’s leading goalkicker Josh Hone also coming back for 2020, Sturt will be competitive once again.

They have a lost a fair chunk of talent over the off-season including ex-AFL talent Danyle Pearce who opted to retire alongside four others including Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans. The Double Blues will likely need to time to adjust in the season.

NORWOOD

Finished: 5th
Wins: 11
Draws: 7
Losses: 0
Best & Fairest: Brad McKenzie
Leading Goalkicker: Peter Bampton (31)

The experience of the Redlegs after a grand final appearance the year before did not end up helping them get past the first week of finals in 2019. They have some serious big names on their list from best and fairest winner Brad McKenzie, to the likes of form AFL-listed talents Dom Barry, Lewis Johnston and Mitch Grigg.

A 2020 recruit in Daniel Johnston will help add some extra height to the side, and provide some firepower alongside the likes of Matthew Panos and Peter Bampton up forward. The biggest inclusion is former Crow, Richard Douglas, who should immediately be in the top five players across the league, whilst another ex-AFL talent in Ryan Bastinac announced yesterday that he would be joining the Redlegs after initially pulling out of the league due to commitments.

If the inclusions are anything to go by, Norwood will be the biggest threat to Glenelg’s crown and could well go all the way if their players remain fit throughout the season.

SOUTH ADELAIDE

Finished: 6th
Wins: 9
Draws: 2
Losses: 7
Best & Fairest: Joel Cross
Leading Goalkicker: Joel Cross (26)

All eyes will be on the Panthers in season 2020 as they try and crack into the top four on the back of some savvy recruiting. Former AFL talent, Matthew Broadbent will help South Adelaide to try and mount a case to rise up the ladder.

Along with the experienced duo, Canberra’s Tom Highmore and Sydney Swans Academy’s Ky McGrath were both vying for draft selection last year, and will be among those looking to take over from a number of Double Blues stars who have left the club. With Brad Crabb and Nick Liddle both exiting, Mark Noble joining his brother in Victoria and Emmanuel Ira also on the out, the main role of the recruits will be to support Joel Cross with some extra depth through the team.

Cross won both the leading goalkicker and best and fairest award last season, and with a young side that has a number of South Australians coming through the state team, the Panthers would be keen to bring through their next crop of players.

WWT EAGLES

Finished: 7th
Wins: 8
Draws: 0
Losses: 10
Best & Fairest: Jordan Foote
Leading Goalkicker: James Rowe (35)

The Under 18s premiers have now lost their array of young talent to the AFL, with the likes of Kysaiah Pickett, Jackson Mead and Harry Schoenberg among those who landed on AFL lists last year. They have brought in Kai Pudney and Mitch Mead from Port Adelaide’s SANFL side, whilst the big recruit might be Liam Buxton from Casey Demons.

It will be an interesting season for the Eagles who have some genuine elite talents through the side, including best and fairest winner Jordan Foote – an ex-AFL talent himself – and small forward James Rowe who made the transition to senior footy seamlessly.

They should be among the mid-table log-jam of teams to battle for a top four place, and with the senior experience still on the list after a seventh placed finish last year, they could well get it done whilst other teams are still trying to gel.

CENTRAL DISTRICT

Finished: 8th
Wins: 5
Draws: 0
Losses: 13
Best & Fairest: Jarrod Schiller
Leading Goalkicker: Troy Menzel (33)

One of the potential bigger improvers in season 2020, Central District has acquired the services of a second Menzel brother with Dan joining Troy at the Bulldogs. Troy was huge last season winning the leading goalkicker award and now the double trouble of the goalsneaks will make life difficult for the opposition. The big question mark will be losing the Neagle trio in Jydon, Jaxon and Matthew back to Wodonga.

Through the midfield, the other brother combination in Jarrod and Travis Schiller will be tough to combat again, whilst former Tiger, Ben Nason has crossed from Woodville-West Torrens. The Bulldogs have also brought in some big ball winners from Victoria, with Murray Bushrangers’ Cam Wild and Dandenong Stingrays’ Jack Toner joining the club along with former Stingrays’ goalsneak Jai Nanscawen for the 2020 season.

Given the talent on the list and two less sides, it would be a near-certainty that the Bulldogs reach the finals.

NORTH ADELAIDE

Finished: 9th
Wins: 4
Draws: 1
Losses: 13
Best & Fairest: Aidan Tropiano
Leading Goalkicker: Lewis Hinder (28)

The ninth placed Roosters have added some extra firepower in 2020 with the recruitment of former Adelaide and Gold Coast ball-winner Harrison Wigg and ex-Hawk and Roo, Billy Hartung. Along with another ex-AFL player in Andrew Moore, and hopefully a full season out of former Port Adelaide goalsneak Jake Neade, and the Roosters will look to rise up the ladder again.

Last year’s reigning premiers were always going to have a tough season after starting on negative points due to the 19th man saga, and losing a number of players to AFL level. They have gained one back in Robbie Young returning to the club. Unlucky overagers not to be drafted last year, Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder are back again and provide some height in the defensive end.

The recruits will need to take over from Aidan Tropiano who has headed west this season. The Roosters will rise up and expect them to contend for finals again.

WEST ADELAIDE

Finished: 10th
Wins: 2
Draws: 0
Losses: 16
Best & Fairest: Logan Hill
Leading Goalkicker: Jono Beech (21)

The only way is up for the Bloods and with a number of solid recruits alongside the potential number one AFL Draft pick, West Adelaide has what it takes to get off the bottom of the ladder. Riley Thilthorpe will be a much talked about name this year and the talented tall will get plenty of time in the League side in 2020.

The Bloods have also recruited a couple of over-agers and former Sydney Swans Academy members Hamish Ellem and Kyle Martin to provide some strength in attack. With Bailey Chamberlain another talented top-age teenager in the line-up, it will take some of the pressure off the likes of 2019 best and fairest winner, Logan Hill, as well as ex-Hawk Dallas Willsmore.

No doubt it will still be a tough year for the senior side with so many huge recruits to a number of other sides, but the youth in the team will give the Bloods great depth and help out across the board. They will need to overcome the losses of Jono Beech and Chris Schmidt this season who were both huge contributors to the team.

Draft Central predictions:

Premiers: Norwood
Runners-Up: Glenelg
Big Improver: North Adelaide

2020 SANFL Club Preview: Woodville-West Torrens Eagles

ANOTHER side seeking redemption in 2020 will be Woodville-West Torrens (WWT), led by incoming coach Jade Sheedy and new standalone skipper Luke Thompson after an unexpected SANFL League finals miss in 2019. The Eagles boast plenty of depth and some youngsters ready to crack the senior grades, with their committed leaders also among the best in the competition. We take you through the ins, outs, and important players at WWT this season.

>> CHECK OUT OUR WWT EAGLES TEAM PAGE

LEAGUE/ RESERVES:

The Eagles’ Reserves and Under 18s may have both made their way to grand final berths in 2019, but the League side missed finals with a negative record (8-10) in its last campaign, and will be keen to jump straight back into the top five. With a coach set to make his senior debut in the role and a new-look leadership group to boot, supporters should be confident of seeing a rise in their sides’ stocks in 2020. WWT is often lauded for its strong depth and junior program, with a bunch of talent again set to emerge after six players moved on to AFL lists last year.

An original list of seven recruits has been adjusted to six on the eve of the season, with Victorian bigman Liam Buxton opting to remain in his home state amid the current climate. A powerful key forward and ruck option, the former Casey Demon was set to provide a crucial outlet for star goalkicker Jack Hayes, who may also rotate through the ruck this season.

Another player set to be challenged in terms of roles is 2019 leading goalkicker James Rowe, who seems poised to spend a touch more time through midfield after catching the eye of AFL recruiters and earning a state combine invite. Rowe was named in last year’s SANFL team of the year alongside former Sydney Swan Jordan Foote, who is also the Eagles’ reigning club champion. The duo is set to run through the engine room alongside the enforcing figure of Jesse Lonergan, who will be third in line as a leader behind Thompson and Joseph Sinor.

In terms of those already within the ranks who could act as new recruits are Jimmy Toumpas and 2019 Under 18 state representative Lachlan McNeil. Toumpas battled injury throughout his return season to WWT last year, running out six times at League level, while McNeil is a ball winning midfielder who notched 13 Reserves appearances in 2019. Jamie Coff could be another youngster to make the step-up to League football alongside McNeil as a key position option. Fan favourite Jared Petrenko could also feature late in the year, but in not fully committed to playing as of yet having discussed the possibility of returning in a mentor role.

Adding to the youthful depth of the squad are a range of fresh recruits, with the return of Eagles junior Kai Pudney also a welcome addition. Pudney spent just one year on Port Adelaide’s rookie list before making his way back to Woodville Oval. Rhyan Mansell, the cousin of North Melbourne youngster Tarryn Thomas makes his way over from Tasmania with plenty of hype, while Pierce Seymour is an incoming versatile defender who made his League debut for Adelaide last year. Damien Hill, Jake Johansen, and Mitch Mead round out the inclusions.

On the flip-side, no less than 15 players have left the Eagles with six of them moving up to AFL level. The good news is that WWT lost only two players to rival SANFL clubs, but the bad news is that one of them is James Boyd, who heads to Central District alongside Bulldogs junior Ben Nason. 200-gamer Scott Lewis‘ loss will be felt as one of two retirees, with bigman/reality TV star Seb Guilhaus also ending his time in the league. Brothers Jack and Cooper Gaffney will return to the local level, along with a trio of other fringe squad members.

With a solid and experienced core, strength through midfield, and a notable spine, WWT should be a side to jump straight back into the finals race. As will be touched on below, the beauty of the squad is that there will be a number of emerging talents hungry to make an impact in the senior grades, and juniors primed to flourish as they continue to develop. With strong results at Reserves and Under 18 level, the League team should prosper in 2020.

UNDER 18s:

After taking home both the minor and post-season premierships in 2019, expectations will be high on the Eagles’ typically strong Under 18 group. Another five prospects feature in the State Academy hub, led by the likes of Taj Schofield and Lachlan Jones, who are Port Adelaide father-son and Next Generation Academy hopefuls respectively. Schofield is a classy small midfielder who will look to transition into an inside role, while Jones is a well-built defender whose readymade frame may well see him feature early at League level. Jase Burgoyne is another who will hope to end up at Alberton as a 2021-eligible father-son candidate – the son of Peter and brother of Trent.

Twin talls Zac Phillips and Henry Smith are both promising and raw types, with Phillips more of a key position forward, while Smith thrives in the ruck. Caleb Poulter is the fifth hub member, a versatile type who is somewhat of a late bloomer having represented South Australia at Under 16 level in 2019 as an over-ager. It will be difficult for the Eagles to top last year’s effort, but the core of players is there and should shine if not snatched up by the senior sides.

>> GET TO KNOW: WWT Eagles Under 18s
>> DRAFT WATCH: Taj Schofield

>> 2020 South Australia Under 18 Squad Prediction

SANFL weekly wrap: Glenelg gets up in standalone game as five SANFL players are drafted mid-season

IT was a quiet week for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), with the sole game as part of a split round, and some top-end Under 16s, Under 17s, Under 18s talent and South Australian squad members away from their clubs with trial games as part of National Championships preparation. It was a significant week off-field for the SANFL competition with the mid-season AFL draft impacting the League with five South Australian players drafted. Jamie Morgan and Tom Wyman take a look at what made news in South Australia the past week.

Glenelg vs Port

League: Glenelg 15.17 (107) defeated Port Adelaide 8.10 (58)

Glenelg consolidated its grasp of top spot with a 49-point victory over Port Adelaide in wet conditions at the bay. Defying early inaccuracy, the high-flying Tigers controlled much of the game against their AFL-listed counterparts, before a stellar third-term put the game all but beyond the Magpies grasp. The slippery conditions meant contested ball was key, and Glenelg’s engine room was strong all day, led by young duo Luke Partington (34 disposals, six marks, six tackles, six clearances) and Jonty Scharenberg (23 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and two clearances). Fellow onballers Marlon Motlop and Matthew Snook helped overcome a Magpie onball brigade led by prolific 2016 draftees Joe Atley (31 disposals, four clearances) and Willem Drew (31 disposals, nine tackles, nine clearances), who battled hard through all four quarters. Glenelg defenders Chris Curran and Aaron Joseph controlled the play in the backline, whilst up forward, Liam McBean booted four and was supplemented well by Luke Reynolds‘ pair. Also chipping in with two was medium forward Lachlan Hosie, who was recently drafted by North Melbourne in the AFL’s Mid-Season Rookie Draft. Jack Trengrove was slightly down on his usual output, managing 21 disposals and seven tackles, however Sam Mayes, Kai Pudney and Riley Bonner all won their fair share of the ball.

South Australian Under-18 squad member Will Gould showed his defensive flexibility, manning the 198cm Todd Marshall and 195cm Dallas Hill, before rolling onto the medium-sized Aidyn Johnson, Mitchell Mead and Tobin Cox, at times. Gould spent the entire game on-field, testament to his strong endurance base, and was rarely beaten one-on-one. Additionally, he was able to zone off and take several intercept marks (seven marks in total), often playing as the last man back and filling ‘the hole’ in the defensive-50 to good effect. He was extremely clean by foot, granted most kicks were short, but provided rebound when necessary. Arguably his best moment of the day was a contested, overhead mark deep in defence to save a shot at goal in the first half. His third-man up spoil, which killed the contest and flew 20 metres out of bounds, into the neighbouring cricket nets, further demonstrating the rare talent he possesses. He finished with 17 disposals, seven marks and five rebounds.

AFL Mid Season Draft – SANFL Impact

SANFL clubs were impacted this week, with a drafting of some talent from the competition and putting some SANFL sides into a tough position.

Players drafted from SANFL were:

– Michael Knoll (South Adelaide) – drafted to Sydney
– Lachlan Hosie (Glenelg) – drafted to North Melbourne
– Will Snelling (West Adelaide)- drafted to Essendon
– Cam Sutcliffe (Port Magpies) – drafted to Port Adelaide
– John Noble (West Adelaide) – drafted to Collingwood

SANFL remained firm in its opposition to the mid-season draft despite the competition producing top end talent, the impact on the competition for the remainder of the year for these clubs affected will be detrimental according to SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson’s statement.

With Glenelg losing leading goalkicker Lachlan Hosie, the impact on their forward line will be a watch as they also lost other key forward Josh Scott to injury earlier in the year. West Adelaide lose their two key ball getters and prime midfielders which will make their season harder from here on in.

School/College Football:

Sacred Heart held off arch-rivals Rostrevor by ten points on home soil to remain undefeated, four games in to the Messenger Shield competition. Both sides were without arguably their best players, with state representatives Will Day (SHC) and Cameron Taheny (Rostrevor) both sitting out. For the Hearts, captain Beau Macrae was again excellent in the middle and at half-back, as were South Adelaide duo Zach Dumesny (SA squad) and Marcus Lippett. For Rostrevor, Anzac Lochowiak was solid without being at his damaging best. Sacred Heart now sit as the only undefeated side for the year and look to launch into the second half of the season

In other games, PAC narrowly escaped a scare against Westminster holding on by seven points, whilst PAC were missing some of their top talent in particular Kossie Pickett and Karl Finlay. St Peters accounted for Trinity by 74 points, while Immanuel defeated Scotch by 33 points.

SANFL weekly wrap: Footy returns with Adelaide winning SANFL Showdown

SOUTH Australia’s talented youngsters were back into full swing last week with a full round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and College games to get into. The addition of the mid-season draft as well has added more focus to those in SANFL League sides and looking for an opportunity at AFL level. Jamie Morgan, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo all took a look at what has been happening in the SANFL.

SANFL Results

League: Adelaide 18.13 (121) defeated Port Adelaide 16.9 (105)

Adelaide held off a late Magpie surge in a high scoring SANFL Showdown at Alberton Oval. Josh Jenkins was the headline act, booting six goals and taking seven marks, staking his claim for a return to the senior side. Young draftee Jordon Butts took an impressive 11 marks and gathered 22 touches as the interceptor across half-back, whilst wingman Paul Seedsman successfully returned to competitive football following a knee injury, gathering 23 disposals. Tyson Stengle bagged four majors, rising to third in the race for the Ken Farmer Medal. For Port Adelaide, prolific ball winner Jack Trengove was again dominant, collecting 38 touches and nine tackles. He was aided by inside midfielder Willem Drew (32 disposals), half-backman Riley Bonner (30 disposals and nine rebound-50’s) and hard-running draftee Kai Pudney (30 disposals). Small forward Tobin Cox booted five goals from his 12 touches.

Glenelg vs Centrals

League: Glenelg 17.7 (109) defeated Centrals 8.12 (60)
Reserves: Glenelg 11.12 (78) defeated Centrals 9.5 (59)
Under 18s: Glenelg 8.14 (62) defeated Centrals 9.4 (58)

Five goals from Luke Reynolds and three apiece for SANFL leading goalkicker Lachlan Hosie and tall forward Liam McBean ensured Glenelg left Elizabeth with the two points. Despite strong four goals from Justin Hosking, 35 disposals from Travis Schiller and 28 touches from former-Blue and Crow Troy Menzel, Central Districts was unable to match the high-flying Bays. Young midfield duo Luke Partington and Jonty Scharenberg were prolific again, collecting 35 and 29 disposals respectively for Glenelg. Highly-touted defender Will Gould again performed strongly at senior level, taking seven marks, amassing 20 disposals and sending the ball inside-50 on seven occasions.

Glenelg’s reserves side secured an unexpected first win of the season over top placed Centrals in a sold win. Experienced players helped the Tigers, along with U18 SA members Declan Carmody with 26 disposals and two goals, along with Brady Searle who finished with eight marks secure the win away from home. Centrals’ Oliver Shaw was good for the Bulldogs with 15 disposals in the losing side.

Under-18 Glenelg talent Reid Kuller was rewarded with an Under 18s Most Valuable Player (MVP) nomination after a huge game with 32 disposals, six tackles and 10 clearances to be best afield.

Sturt vs West Adelaide

League: Sturt 9.18 (72) defeated West 8.5 (53)
Reserves: Sturt 8.9 (57) defeated West 8.6 (54)
Under 18s: West 14.13 (97) defeated Sturt 10.6 (66)

Sturt has continued its resurgence and find themselves back in the top five after an impressive away against West Adelaide. They were led by captain Zane Kirkwood who had a best-on-ground performance with 35 disposals and six clearances. Sam Colquhoun – nominee for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft- was prolific once more recording 33 disposals and 10 marks across the half back line and wing. Midfield bulls and former Crows James Battersby and Aidan Riley were dominant throughout gathering 29 and 23 disposals respectively. Rookie Draft nominee Josh Hone kicked two goals and is starting to find his rhythm in the senior side after an early season layoff with fellow nominee and former SA U18 forward Hugo Munn struggling to make an impact with only three touches for the game. For West Adelaide, former Power-listed player Will Snelling is continuing his wonderful season so far with another 33 touches and 16 tackles. Former Crow Jono Beech kicked another four goals for the third week running, as Rookie Draft nominee John Noble was solid contributing with 16 disposals.

It was a tight win for the Blues, and again their young players Josh Shute with 28 disposals and 11 marks along with Jed McEntee 18 disposals and eight tackles led the way.

North vs South

League: South 12.12 (84) defeated North 8.14 (62)
Reserves:North 20.15 (135) defeated South 6.9 (45)
Under 18s: North 12.9-81 defeated South 11.9 (75)

An inspired display from co-captain Joel Cross and a four goal breakout game from Kyle Emery sealed a comfortable victory away to premiers North Adelaide. All eyes were on in-demand ruckman and Fos Williams medallist Michael Knoll, contributing 38 hit-outs and 10 disposals, backing up his best on ground performance in the State game. Mid-Season Rookie-Draft nominee and state representative Joe Haines had another superb outing with 28 disposals and 10 rebound 50s for the Panthers. South leaders Nick Liddle gathered 31 disposals and five clearances, as co-captain Matt Rose contributed 25 disposals and six inside 50s. Liam Fitt and former U18 South Australian championship winner Hayden Sampson were solid with 17 and 14 disposals respectively. North Adelaide continued their struggles so far this season, but were aided by Jarred Allmond who racked up 30 disposals with 11 marks. Midfield duo Tom Schwarz and Aidan Tropiano dug deep, with 25 and 24 disposals respectively for the Roosters. U18 talent Dyson Hilder featured with nine disposals and will be better for the opportunity at senior level.

North dominated the Reserves game in a massive win, with goal sneak Liam Verity finishing with another five goals for the Roosters, while Coby Helyar and Luke Bogle were best for South. South U18 forward Daniel Sladojevic finished with 0.4 on the day while fellow SA member Darnell Tucker had one goal in the big loss

Norwood vs Eagles

League: Eagles 10.21 (81) defeated Norwood 10.10 (70)
Reserves: Eagles 9.9 (63) defeated Norwood 6.8 (44)
Under 18s: Eagles 15.8 (98) defeated Norwood 6.5 (41)

It was a clean sweep for the Eagles over Norwood, and a consistent team effort for Sam Lonergan’s Eagles side in securing their win over the league-leaders. The Eagles midfielders in Jordan Foote and Jesse Lonergan stood up along with ruckman Jarrad Redden. Norwood youngster Cam Taheny was amongst Norwood’s best and was very good at the highest level finishing with three goals, seven marks and 13 disposals, while Dylan Stephens was solid as well with 17 disposals. It was an important win for the Eagles league side who have taken time to settle in season 2019.

In the Reserves win by the Eagles, Jake Comitogianni continued his good form for the season finishing with 27 disposals and a goal and U18 SA member Jackson Mead just backs up again with another solid reliable game of 26 disposals and five clearances.

SCHOOL/COLLEGE FOOTY

Sacred Heart 17.9-111 defeated Pembroke 3.4-22

Sacred Heart welcomed back state representative Will Day with open arms in a big win over Pembroke on Saturday afternoon. The talented utility showed glimpses of his potential playing across half-back. Fellow SA squad member Zac Dumesny was consistent throughout the four-quarters, whilst full-forward Lachie Stoddard again proved a handful. The side will look to make it four from four against arch-rivals Rostrevor next weekend.

Other Results:

Rostrevor 27.13-175 defeated Scotch 4.9-33
PAC 15.13-103 defeated Immanuel 6.5-41
Westminster 11.9-75 defeated Trinity 6.7-43

Standout performance from PAC draft talent and captain Karl Finlay along with future prospect James Borlase (son of Daryl) were highlights for PAC on the weekend. Rostrevor was without its big names in Taheny and Anzac Lochowiak.
Both Sacred Heart and Rostrevor meet as undefeated this week, but will be a close tussle with some of their stars missing due to SA state commitments.

SANFL weekly wrap: Norwood wins in thriller as Tigers tame Crows

FOLLOWING Round 2 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition, our writers Jamie Morgan, David Chapman, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo recap some of the impressive performances across the weekend.

Glenelg v Adelaide

League: Glenelg 18.7 (115) defeated Adelaide 9.8 (62)

Glenelg collected their first premiership points of the new season by defeating a young Adelaide side under Friday night lights at the bay. Former Richmond Tiger, Liam McBean was the hero for the home side, bagging nine majors from full-forward. He was well-supported by a half-backline comprising of skipper Chris Curran, who amassed 31 disposals and 17 marks, and former-Carlton player Aaron Joseph (24 disposals and six marks). Potential high draft pick Will Gould was solid in defence, collecting 19 touches and seven marks, whilst 2018 state-representative Finn Betterman managed eight disposals in just his second league appearance. For the Crows, Myles Poholke slotted three majors to stake his claim for a call-up and Cam Ellis-Yolmen continued to find the ball, racking up 36 disposals and 7 marks. Recent draftees, Lachlan Sholl (34 disposals, six marks and eight rebounds), Jordon Butts (19 disposals) and Ned McHenry (15 disposals, five marks and five tackles) were also impressive. Expect Hugh Greenwood (19 disposals and 10 clearances) and Jordan Gallucci (16 disposals) to return to the Crows senior onball rotation within weeks.

Central District vs. Norwood

League: Central District 12.14 (86) defeated by Norwood 13.11 (89)
Reserves: Central District 10.8 (68) defeated Norwood 10.7 (67)
Under 18s: Norwoood 13.14 (92) defeated Central District 5.5 (35)

Two of the three clashes between the Bulldogs and Redlegs were absolute thrillers, as the Redlegs claimed victory in the League clash by just three points, before Central District scored the points in a one-point victory over Norwood in the Reserves. All eyes were on potential first round pick, Dylan Stephens who cracked his way into a strong Norwood League side and looked the part, collecting 18 disposals, four marks, three tackles and booting a goal on debut. Lewis Johnston continued his ripping form with 38 disposals, four clearances and seven marks, while for the winners, Jarrod Schiller had 28 touches, eight marks, seven clearances and a goal. In the Reserves, Isaac Saywell had a team-high 29 touches as well as four marks and four clearances for Norwood, while Cameron Taheny was lively up forward, booting three goals from 14 disposals and nine marks (three contested). For Central District, Steve Burton recorded 34 disposals and 13 clearances in a midfield masterclass. At Under 18s level, Henry Nelligan was impressive for Norwood, racking up 28 disposals, 10 clearances, five marks, six tackles and booting two goals in the win, while Xavier Tranfa finished with 26 touches, three marks, four clearances and seven tackles. For the Bulldogs, Rhys Cannizzaro was the one to watch, racking up nine clearances and laying 10 tackles from 27 disposals and five marks.

North Adelaide vs West Adelaide

League: North Adelaide 14.11 (95) defeated West Adelaide 9.12 (66)
Reserves: North Adelaide 6.9 (45) defeated by West Adelaide 13.11 (89)
Under 18s: West Adelaide 7.6 (48) defeated by North Adelaide 14.7 (91)

In the Reserves match, North big man Dyson Hilder started off in a midfield role and after half-time switched to key defender on the dangerous Westies forward. In the Under 18s, North got the win against Westies, led by Harrison Magor with 33 disposals including six clearances, while Charlie Dowling kicked four goals from his 18 possessions and eight marks. For Westies, Bailey Chamberlain had 28 possession and 13 marks to be in his side’s best. In the League clash, North Adelaide ran out 29-point winners as Aidan Tropiano racked up 32 disposals, two marks, six tackles and nine clearances, while Max Thring booted three goals from 30 touches and four marks. For West Adelaide, Christopher Schmidt had a team-high 31 disposals and eight clearances, while John Noble booted three goals from 27 touches and Kaine Stevens finished with 30 disposals and a goal.

South Adelaide v Port Adelaide

League: Port Adelaide 8.10 (58) defeated by South Adelaide 14.10 (94)

South Adelaide continued its fine start to the season with a dominant 36 point win against Port at Alberton Oval. South were led by co-captain Joel Cross who contributed 24 disposals and two goals, while former Eagle Tom Whittlesea made a big impact with five goals for his side. For Port Adelaide, Jack Trengove backed up his 44-disposal game from the opening round with another 42 touches for his side and could be rewarded with a call-up to the AFL side. Matthew Broadbent had 28 touches as he continues to stake his claim for a recall, while Category B rookie Kai Pudney continues to find plenty of the ball with 30 disposals coming from the wing. New Mapgies captain Cam Sutcliffe, and Aidyn Johnson both missed majority of the game with hamstring and concussion problems respectively.

South Adelaide vs. Glenelg

Reserves: Glenelg 10.9 (69) defeated by South Adelaide 14.9 (93)
Under 18s: Glenelg 8.12 (60) defeated South Adelaide 8.7 (55)

South took on Glenelg in Under 18s and went down in a five-point game. Glenelg’s Clayton Symonds (son of Tony) finished with a game high three goals while Sam Liambis led possession count with 24 disposals and nine tackles. Big man Riley Holder backed up another solid game in the ruck. South’s talented Zac Dumesny showed he is in for a big year in a strong performance for the Panthers. In the Reserves, South Adelaide claimed a big win, but it was Glenelg’s Darcy Bailey dominating with 39 disposals, 10 marks, seven clearances, three tackles and a goal, while teammate Declan Carmody is a name to watch, racking up 24 disposals, six marks, four tackles and booting a goal. Key forward Daniel Sladojevic was strong for the Panthers, booting a goal from 15 disposals and five marks (one contested), while Cameron McGree had 28 hitouts from 17 disposals and booted two goals.

Woodville-West Torrens vs Sturt

League: Sturt 12.12 (84) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 11.11 (77)
Reserves: Sturt 7.9 (51) defeated by Woodville-West Torrens 8.9 (57)
Under 18s: Woodville-West Torrens 17.5 (107) defeated Sturt 10.7 (67)

The Under 18s talent at the Eagles disposed of Sturt easily by 40 points and that was with some players up into the Eagles Reserves side. Forward Josh Morris finished with six goals, and Harry Shoenberg played well again. The Eagles Reserves side hung on in a close tussle with young talent, Jackson Mead (son of Darren) again playing well finishing with two goals and 16 possessions, while young Ruckman Sam Michael showed he is up to the challenge against bigger bodies. Teammate Jamie Coff also impressed up forward snagging three goals. Sturt’s Jed McEntee found his feet along with Anzac Lochowiak who looked at ease against the strong Eagles side. Sturt were victorious despite a late charge from the Eagles in the league game. Kysaiah Pickett kicked a goal in his League debut for the Eagles and Jordan Foote was a beast again in the midfield. Ex-Docker Danyle Pearce was also good for the Double Blues.

SANFL weekly wrap: Eagles dominate Roosters

ALL games for League, Reserves and Under 18s kicked off last weekend in a fantastic round of footy, with plenty of young talent on display. The feature matches for the round were the clashes between Eagles and North – in rematch after 2018 19th man saga, the clashes in all grades were bound to be fierce with no love lost between these clubs. 

Feature Games:

Woodville-West Torrens v North Adelaide

Under 18 

North Adelaide 8.5 (53) defeated by Woodville-West Torrens 23.9 (147)

The Eagles U18 side secured a 94 point win over North. It was a dominant display from the start with the highly fancied young Eagles side setting the game up with a seven-goal first quarter. Eagles player Harry Schoenberg completed an all round game with a goal and 17 out of 28 contested possessions, along with Josh Morris finishing with a big five goal haul. Lachlan McNeil is a player to watch in the midfield for the Eagles, doing well around the contest with 12 clearances. North struggled all day, but the clear highlight for the Roosters was impressive talent Harrison Magor, who held firm with 28 disposals and 13 clearances. 

 

Reserves 

Woodville-West Torrens 16.10 (106) defeated North Adelaide 11.6 (72)

The Reserves match was simply the Kysiah ‘Kozzie’ Pickett show. This talented U18 player is on the rise (above packs, literally) but what he can do on the field is unique to few players. He had five goals by early in the 3rd quarter, finished with 6.2 and whenever the ball was near him something good happened for his side. He will no doubt feature heavily in draft calculations for this year. The other young gun, but different type of player was Jackson Mead, who is a tireless midfield worker and he finished with 26 disposals and one goal in high quality performance. Expect to see Pickett and Mead in League side very soon. The Eagles ended up winners by 34 points

 

League

Woodville-West Torrens 13.12 (90) defeated North Adelaide 8.17 (65)

In the tough hitout, Eagles took the victory by 25 points. The rematch had some heat and aggression from both sides, but the Eagles under new coach Sam Lonergan looked well drilled and an experienced side hard to beat at home. Ex-Sydney Swan Jordan Foote impressed in his League debut for the Eagles, and consistent performers James Boyd and Jack Hayes were among the best. North will no doubt bounce back, but having lost some young and also experience talent in 2018 draft will need to regroup. 

 

Around the Grounds:

West Adelaide vs. Port Adelaide Magpies

League: West Adelaide 8.6 (54) defeated by Port Adelaide 11.19 (85)

Port Adelaide kicked off its season with a comfortable 31-point victory over West Adelaide. Jack Trengove opened eyes with a whopping 44 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances, eight inside 50s, 11 tackles and one goal, while of the first year players, Boyd Woodcock found 20 disposals, four inside 50s and booted a goal, while Kai Pudney had five inside 50s and six marks from 24 disposals. For West Adelaide, Chris Schmidt and Murray Waite had team-high disposals of 24.

 

Norwood vs. Glenelg

League: Norwood 9.15 (69) defeated Glenelg 9.10 (64)
Reserves: Norwood 12.10 (82) defeated Glenelg 10.3 (63)
Under 18s: Norwood 6.7 (43) defeated by Glenelg 10.15 (75)

Norwood took the honours at senior level against Glenelg, albeit in a tight five-point win at League level, and 19-point win in the Reserves. Will Gould was the talk of the town, with the potential top 10 draft pick racking up 24 disposals, three marks and 11 rebounds out of defence for the Tigers in the loss. Finn Betterman had 13 disposals and four rebounds, while the senior talent of the Redlegs showed out in the end with Lewis johnston and Mitch Grigg combining for 70 disposals, 23 marks, 11 clearances, 11 inside 50s and nine rebounds. The Reserves saw potential first round prospect, Dylan Stephens tear up the game with 35 disposals, 11 clearances, three marks, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Isaac Saywell had 28 touches and six marks. The talented Cameron Taheny was solid with 15 disposals, nine marks, three inside 50s and one goal. At Under 18s level, Glenelg’s Callum Park racked up 32 disposals, 11 marks, five inside 50s, three clearances, three rebounds and three clearances, while Riley Hilder had a massive 12 clearances and 15 hitouts to go with 24 disposals, five marks and a goal. For the Redlegs, Henry Nelligan collected 34 disposals, eight marks, seven clearances, two inside 50s, four rebounds, 11 tackles and a goal.

 

South Adelaide vs. Central District

League: South Adelaide 16.6 (102) defeated Central District 6.7 (43)
Reserves: South Adelaide 8.9 (57) defeated by Central District 14.7 (91)
Under 18s: South Adelaide 22.6 (138) defeated Central District 4.7 (31)

South Adelaide claimed a massive 107-point win in the Under 18s competition courtesy of six majors to Beau McCreery. Along with his six-goal haul, McCreery laid 11 tackles, had 21 disposals, took six marks (four contested, as well as seven inside 50sfor a massive 159 Dream Team points. Connor Sampson and Samuel Hindes also booted four goals to create havoc up the forward end, while Marcus Lippett finished with 29 disposals, six marks, seven clearances, 11 inside 50s, and two rebounds. Nicholas Kraemer was also a standout with 26 touches, eight marks, seven tackles, eight clearances, seven inside 50s. For the Eagles, Tyrone Milera had 24 touches, eight clearances and seven reounds, while bottom-age talent and last year’s National Under 16 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) Corey Durdin had 16 disposals, eight clearances and six inside 50s. At senior level, South Adelaide claimed a 59-point win in the League, while Central District took home the points in a 34-point triumph at Reserves level. Overager, Hayden Sampson had 19 touches, three inside 50s and three tackles, while South Australian state represenative last year, Emmamuel Irra finished with a huge 27 disposals, four inside 50s and two rebounds.

 

Sturt vs. Adelaide

League: Sturt 8.13 (61) defeated by Adelaide 14.9 (93)

Adelaide proved too good for the Double Blues at League level, with Patrick Wilson and Andrew McPherson both impressing in the first game for 2019. Jordon Butts had 20 disposals and five rebounds playing out of defence, while Ned McHenry had 20 touches, three inside 50s, three rebounds and four tackles. Darcy Fogarty played in defence and had 10 rebounds to go with his 18 touches and six marks. For Sturt, Sam Colquhoun was the standout with 34 disposals, 11 marks and seven rebounds. 

 

West Adelaide vs. Sturt

Reserves: West Adelaide 9.5 (59) defeated by Sturt 10.6 (66)
Under 18s: West Adelaide 7.8 (50) defeated Sturt 7.7 (49)

West Adelaide claimed the points in the Under 18 match over Sturt, as Will Day had a game-high 35 touches, 11 marks, five tackles, six rebounds, three inside 50s and two clearances. Jason Westley was also impressive for the Bloods, collecting 25 disposals, nine marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and five rebounds and a goal. For the Double Blues, Mani Liddy had 28 disposals, six clearances, eight inside 50s, six tackles and five marks, while Harry Weeks had 27 disposals, 14 marks and seven rebounds. In the Reserves, Sturt grabbed the win, as Anzac Lochowiak was impressive with 24 disposals, two marks, five clearances, nine tackles and a goal ,whiel Jed McEntee had 21 disposals, three marks, five clearances and nine tackles. 

Season preview: SANFL 2019

AFTER a successful off-season that saw many South Australian National Football League (SANFL) players reach the highest level, the 10 clubs again begin the journey towards the 2019 premiership. Our South Australian writers take a look at how each side is shaping up in the pre-season.

Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

The Adelaide Crows SANFL team will be headlined this season by former AFL-listed forward Matthew Wright who will captain the team into the 2019 season. Wright will also take on a role as a part-time development coach with the club after announcing his retirement from the AFL after three years at Carlton. The club did not draft any players from South Australia and picked up Allies star midfielder Chayce Jones, who played Round 1 in the AFL. Will Hamill and Lachlan Sholl will be intriguing prospects for the Crows, as Ned McHenry should be on the fringes for an AFL debut sometime throughout the season. The Crows also gained Shane McAdam from Carlton through trade after he was selected in the mature-aged pre-draft after a stellar season for Sturt. Out of the Crows SANFL contracted players, Jordon Boyle from Salisbury North impressed the most last season, but Michael McMahon and 2018 Dean Bailey award winner Corey Davey should be their best contributors. With Tom Doedee suffering a season ending ACL injury in Round 1 against Hawthorn, the Crows may potentially consider taking a player at the first AFL mid-season draft to bolster their defensive stocks.

Centrals:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

Central District will be hoping for a swift return to finals football after a rare finals absence in 2018. Former Crow Troy Menzel headlines the new recruits returning after five years in the AFL with Carlton, Adelaide and a dominant premiership stint in the SAAFL with Tea Tree Gully in 2018. The Dogs have also recruited a trio of Neagle’s- Jydon, Matthew, and Jaxon– from Wodonga and will be looking to make the most of the opportunity at the Ponderosa. Tim Auckland– 2018 Adelaide Crows SANFL contracted player- impressed enough to earn himself a contract at the Dogs and will be the one envisaged to replace the outgoing Darcy Fort. Central were one of the club’s to be hit most by AFL Draft, with Jackson Hately (GWS), Jez McLennan (Gold Coast), Aaron Nietschke (Melbourne) and Fort (Geelong) all recruited. 2018 leading goal kicker John Butcher and former Docker Jack Hannath have also both moved onto new opportunities outside of the game.

Glenelg

By: Jamie Morgan

Things have been very busy in the offseason at Brighton Road with some big names to the club. Ex-West Coast midfielder Luke Partington will look to have an immediate impact on the side slotting straight into the middle. Added as well is Ex-Geelong forward and local Glenelg boy, Cory Gregson. Despite his injury troubles whilst in the AFL system, the best of Gregson will compliment a strong Glenelg side. With key experienced players Liam McBean and Brad Agnew back to the Bay, this looks like the strongest Glenelg squad for some years. Despite losing Tobin Cox to Port Power, and some other players moving, the talent coming is excellent. Coach Mark Stone has young talent to work with, with 2019 Top 10 draft hopeful Will Gould showing he is ready for league footy in the pre-season and has been rewarded with a Round 1 berth. Gould is a versatile player with a strong body who will be looking to thrive in his draft year. 2018 SA U18 team member Finn Betterman has impressed also over the pre-season and will be making his debut in Round 1 as well. The Glenelg leaders of Max Proud and Chris Curran will be looking to guide this team to finals and break a long drought for the Tigers. At Reserves and Under 18 level there is plenty of talent keen to impress with SA U18 members Cooper Hornsell and Brady Searle developing nicely.

North Adelaide:

By: David Chapman

The reigning premiers have an uphill start, being docked two wins prior to the start of the season for the 19th man incident in the 2018 Preliminary finals. They have also lost five premiership players to the AFL in the form of Best and Fairest Callum Wilkie, wing/forward Robbie Young, ruckman Jordon Sweet, utility Connor Rozee and small forward Boyd Woodcock. Coming into the mix to replace those will be; back from the AFL, small forward Jake Neade (Power), and mid/forward Ben Jarman (Crows). Also out of country footy and returning to the Roosters with three Mail Medals is former SA U18 captain and midfielder Campbell Coombe and key defender from Keith, Bill Laurie. Rugby convert Jack Blair from NSW also takes up the ruck space. In the trial games, we have also seen some exciting play from small forwards Keanu Miller and Frankie Szekely and winger Mason Neagle. Some of the key youngsters in the mix for the Roosters this year include tall Dyson Hilder, at around 196cm he has played in the SANFL league trials in the midfield, up forward and down back and will be a key cog in the SA U18 champs this year. Also one to watch is key position player, Karl Findlay, picked in the U18 Academy as well, this smooth and calm defender will have a his mix of school, state and SANFL commitments this year. With the Reserves also winning the flag last year there is some depth, but a number of those experienced players have left the club to play some local and country footy. This year North cannot really afford to go on a 1-6 late season run like they did last year. The nucleus of the North success has been their core of hard midfielders, and while the key positions remain unchanged, the impact of losing Wilkie could be the key. However, North will still be a real threat in 2019.

Norwood:

By: Jamie Morgan

Norwood look to again be in the mix for finals after another solid offseason adding ex Port (and Glenelg) Dom Barry and former South Adelaide player Cody Szust to an already strong list. Magarey medalist Mitch Grigg again looks like he will be able to control games from the middle alongside Matthew Panos. Norwood had four of their talented youngsters drafted at the end of 2018 in Luke Valente, Jacob Kennerley, Ben Jarvis, and Kade Chandler, but their core group is experienced and tough and Coach Jarrod Cotton will be looking to go further than 2018. Ex PAC student Cole Gerloff is an emerging talent and should be a consistent member of the league side this year. The Under 18 talent at the Redlegs is again top notch and SA squad members Cameron Taheny and Dylan Stephens are real standouts who will no doubt get a taste at the next level. Both will be keys for SA’s Under 18 title defence and will be watched closely for the Redlegs.

Port Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

For the first time since Port Magpies re-assignment in the SANFL they will not be led by club stalwart Steven Summerton. Taking over the captaincy and marquee spot is former Fremantle utility Cameron Sutcliffe who surprisingly knocked back his original SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens. Sutcliffe has also taken on a role as a development mentor which will aid the draftees’ development and integration into the Magpies setup. Bar Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, Port drafted exclusively from South Australia and already have Boyd Woodcock and Connor Rozee who played in a North Adelaide premiership in the previous season. Kai Pudney dominated in U18’s level last season and will look to take the next step in the seniors, as will Martin Frederick – who impressed at the U18 South Australia championship win – and will be looking to further his development with senior football. Out of the Magpies SANFL contracted players, ex-Central District forward Dallas Hill will be one to watch, as is Matt Appleton, who played 15 league matches for North Adelaide in 2018 will be an interesting prospect. With the Magpies’ Reserves side disbanded for 2019, all SANFL contracted players that don’t feature in the league side will play for their community clubs when not required. Second year Western Australian player Jake Patmore suffered an ACL injury in a SANFL trail match against South Adelaide and will miss the season, much like ruckman Sam Hayes who suffered the same injury last season but will be looking return to the SANFL side in the near future.

South Adelaide:

By: Jamie Morgan

It has been an interesting off season for the Panthers with some great talent snapped up with losing players Nathan Krueger to Geelong, Keegan Brooksby back into the AFL system at West coast as well as youngsters Tom Sparrow to Melbourne and Jake Tarca to Geelong. Bringing in Malcom Karpany from West Coast will be a handy addition as well as South favourite Emmanuel Irra returning from Port Adelaide, but it is the class of ball magnet Nick Liddle and Joel Cross which always makes South hard to beat. Players ready to break out include Liam Fitt who impressed with every game and Jaiden Kappler is another talent on the rise. South has some quality young talent emerging with big men Damon Freitag and Daniel Sladojevic likely to get an opportunity at the highest level.

Sturt:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

After losing dual premiership coach Marty Mattner as an assistant coach to the Adelaide Crows, the new Sturt era will be under the tutelage of former North Melbourne and Central District premiership player Nathan Grima. Grima was recruited from Essendon Football League side Strathmore and has brought Victorian pair Tom Condon from his former side and 6ft 5in giant Josh Patullo from Footscray’s VFL team from across the border. But their season will be headlined by the return of Sturt product Danyle Pearce, returning after 258 AFL games for Fremantle and Port Adelaide and a 2006 Rising Star award to his name. The Double Blues lost star player Shane McAdam to the AFL as a Mature-age draft pick and Riley Grundy to Port Adelaide late in last year’s draft. Sturt will also miss promising midfielder Tom Lewis – a key asset in South Australia’s successful U18 carnival- to an ACL injury suffered in an early season trial match and will miss the entire 2019 season.

West Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

West Adelaide will hope 2019 can be the season the Bloods can rise back up into finals contention, with coach Gavin Colville into his second term. West welcome back Jack Oatey medallist and the captain of their 2015 premiership Chris Schmidt, partnering the return of Will Snelling back from three seasons with Port Adelaide. Snelling- a hard luck story to be delisted by Port- will be keen to build on his 2018 best-and-fairest SANFL Port season and make a big impact back at his original club. The Bloods have also recruited Dallas Willsmore from Hawthorn after he was delisted at the end of the 2018 season after two AFL games in four seasons with the Hawks. Willsmore will provide more depth in West’s engine room, as West rounded out their acquisitions with Werribee swingman Jade Cleeland and ex-Norwood defender Pat Levicki. The recruits should replenish the loss of star players Chris Burgess and Izak Rankine, who were picked by the Gold Coast Suns, and veterans Aaron Fielke, Daniel Webb, and Shannon Green.

Woodville-West Torrens:

By: Jamie Morgan

There has been some strong ex-AFL talent added to the Eagles side this year, with Jimmy Toumpas (Port), Jesse Lonergan (Gold Coast) and Jordan Foote (Sydney Swans) providing even more class to a finals hardened outfit. With long-time coach Michael Godden departing to take up an Assistant role at Adelaide Crows, the Eagles secured Sam Lonergan as head coach in the off-season. Lonergan brings AFL and SANFL playing and Tasmanian coaching experience to the group and will be looking to have a clean slate after the difficult end to 2018 and the 19th man saga. This side looks ready for finals, and with exciting youngsters in their draft year Kysiah Pickett and Jackson Mead, the mix of experience and youth is spread well. No doubt the Round 1 clash vs 2018 Premiers North Adelaide will have an extra bite to it, with Lonergan’s team wanting to make its mark on the competition early. Midfielder accumulator James Boyd will be important, as will the class of Luke Thompson in defence.

AFL Draft review: Port Adelaide

PORT Adelaide certainly finished the AFL Draft with a South Australian feel even if they took just the one local with their first three picks. With the exception of Western Jets’ Zak Butters and Gippsland Power’s Xavier Duursma, Port Adelaide took six South Australians and re-rookied Cameron Hewett in what was a needs-based draft for the Power.

National Draft:

 

Connor Rozee – Medium Utility

The Power snapped up local product, Rozee with their first selection in the first round, adding skill and class to the Power’s blue collar midfield. With the loss of outside runners during the trade period, Rozee adds that run back into the team. Having played seniors for North Adelaide, eventually culminating in a premiership, Rozee can play against senior bodies despite being very light. He joins premiership teammate, Boyd Woodcock who was selected later in the National Draft. Rozee is also able to play back or forward, with strong hands given him an ability to clunk grabs in the air, or win ground balls.

Zak Butters – Outside Midfielder/Forward

The classy outside midfielder is similar to Rozee in many ways, but is a touch smaller and is more effective at ground level. He moves incredibly well and has a terrific kick that he uses to penetrate laterally through opposition defences. He knows how to weight kicks and hold off handballs until a teammate is prepared, and is always on the move. He needs to continue to build his endurance, and did miss the second half of the season after shoulder surgery, but is an exciting prospect with high scope that the Power can develop over the next few years.

Xavier Duursma – Medium Utility

One of the most consistent players available, Duursma offers great value later in the first round. He can play anywhere on the ground and win the ball in contested situations, or be on the receiving end as well. He hits the scoreboard and covers the field with ease, and is just one of those smooth movers that has a touch of grace with ball-in-hand. In 2018, Duursma captained the Gippsland Power and adds leadership to the side, but like the two selections before him, is still very light. All three are players who will need to add strength to their frames, but can play across multiple positions.

Riley Grundy – Key Position Defender

The brother of Collingwood’s Brodie, Riley Grundy is a key position defender who is still developing his game. Very raw, Grundy is a player who will likely spend substantial time in the SANFL, continuing to work on the areas to make him more consistent across the board. He has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months, and Port Adelaide is going to give him time to continue that upward trajectory. Given the way his brother has shot up into the league’s elite, Port will hope Riley can do the same in time, but for now he is still developing.

Boyd Woodcock – Small Forward/Midfielder

One of the best accumulators of the football, Woodcock is small in stature but just keeps powering on. He played a pivotal role in North Adelaide’s premiership, earning his spot in the SANFL League side, then holding it for the remainder of the season following the National Under 18 Championships. He has transformed into a small forward who can still find the football, and apply scoreboard pressure. Despite his size, he is more readymade than some of the others drafted, and once he works on some of the areas required of him, could fill a role inside 50.

 

Rookie Draft:

 

Tobin Cox – Small Forward/Midfielder

Overager, Tobin Cox had a lot of bad luck with injury in his top-age year, but to his credit he fought back and produced a good season which included 22 goals in 14 games for Glenelg. He seemed best suited as a forward, but loves the contested brand of football in the middle, with a knack for accumulating the footy and winning a truckload of clearances. While he might be a touch short to play inside at AFL level, he has developed that role inside 50 which could be suited for him.

Cameron Hewett – Tall Utility

Yet to play a game for Port Adelaide, Hewett earned a reprieve with Port Adelaide redrafting the versatile midfielder in the Rookie Draft. He can play forward or back as well as through the middle, but is yet to taste senior football which is something he would hope to do in 2019.

 

Cat B Rookies:

 

Martin Frederick – Small Defender

A value selection as a free hit with a pre-selection to the Rookie Draft, Frederick showed a willingness to back himself and take the game on from half-back. While he did not star at the State Draft Combine testing, his results do not indicate what he is capable of on the field. He has an explosiveness from the back half and loves to tuck the ball under his arm and take off. While he is still raw, needs to find more of the football and is still light, he has some nice traits to develop which make him a value selection as a Category B Rookie.

Kai Pudney – General Defender

Pudney plays a similar role to Frederick, but is a bit taller with better endurance. His kicking is the big question mark, making some errors by foot, but with an elite tank and an ability to find the ball, the Category B Rookie also has some foundational traits that Port Adelaide can work with. More built for senior football, just tidying up some areas of his game will be required at AFL level.

 

Summary:

Port Adelaide addressed the need for speed during the AFL Draft period, picking up three classy ball users with their first three picks, then selecting a developing tall in Grundy, and four players who can provide run and pressure at both ends. With the picks outside the first round being later in the draft, the Power have opted for homegrown talent with a potential to improve.