Tag: Robert Irra

South Australia weekly wrap: School footy heats up with Under 18s bye

WITH a split round in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and no Under 18s, there were still some good performances from South Australia’s draftable talent across the grades. School footy takes the focus this week and next as the season culminates. 


Centrals lost by 44 points at home to top side Norwood. However, Aaron Nietschke on debut for the Dogs was in the best with 23 possessions showing a lot of class to also slot one goal. Starting up forward, Jackson Hately was also in the bests with his 22 possessions, nine marks and two goals. Defender Jez McLennan had the nine disposals and four tackles and mature age ruckman Darcy Fort had 13 possessions, including 18 hitouts. For Norwood, Matt Nunn (mature ager invited to South Australian draft combine) had 31 possessions including 14 marks and one goal to be in the best for the winners.

Sturt defeated South by 13 points, with Hugo Munn kicking a crucial goal in the close game. Shane McAdam (mature ager invited to the National Combine) on return from injury had 10 possessions and also kicked a goal. For South, Nathan Kreuger had nine disposals and kicked two goals, while Hayden Sampson was quieter with the seven disposals.


North Adelaide demolished Port by over 100 points, with Oscar Chapman in the best with his 21 possessions, 12 marks and 3.4.

In Sturt’s loss to South, midfielder Tom Lewis was in the best with 18 disposals (14 contested), 12 tackles and also kicked 1.1. Casey Voss had 12 disposals including five tackles and defender Riley Grundy had five disposals and four tackles. For South, Robert Irra was in the best with his 19 disposals and run off half-back.

In Glenelg’s 38 point loss to Westies, Finn Betterman had 14 disposals. Oscar Lovelock was best for the losing Tigers who only managed one goal in appalling conditions, while the Blood’s Elliot Dunkin was best afield.

School and College Footy:

College and School football is now getting to the pointy end of the season with some key games and finals now approaching.

In College games this week, Prince Alfred College (PAC) won the Premier League Championship when they defeated Rostrevor 66-28 to go through undefeated. For PAC, captain Tom Sparrow was best on ground with his explosiveness from the packs and hardness at the football. Will Gould was also outstanding at half-back, with intercept marking and powerful spoiling. Kossie Pickett was dangerous as always up forward and on-baller Harry Schoneberg was also key with his run and drive through the middle. For Rostrevor, Cam Taheny was in the best along with Jacob Kennerley rebounding from the back half and wing. 

In other College games, Sacred Heart (SHC) accounted for Westminster easily by 16 goals and St Peters secured a win over Scotch College by 41 points.

With the first year of the new Premier League format completed, it has breathed some new life into the College competition. The familiar schools continue to dominate at the top of the table but opportunities for other Colleges to improve has been exciting.


State Knockout School/College Championships

During the week, Henley High (resting Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine) won the Open competition to go into the preliminary final versus Rostrevor with the winner set to play PAC for the State Championship.

In a match that sees the winner face off against PAC in the final, both teams had key players out – Lukosius for Henley and Jacob Kennerley for Rostrevor.

Henley started off well kicking three goals with the breeze at Woodville Oval. Threatening to take the game away after some early goals, Rostrevor steadied, led by captain Luke Valente, and slowed Henley’s attack and scored into the breeze to be only 2 goals down at quarter time.  For Henley, Izak Rankine was collecting the ball at will and almost in danger of overdoing it, tried to show off all his magical talent in the first quarter, but the Rostrevor team did well to keep the pressure on him.

The second quarter became the crucial period with both teams kicking two goals, and so by Rostrevor taking advantage of the breeze, meant Henley had the ascendency. And Henley’s poise and precision out of defence was a real highlight – especially the work of Luke Edwards and Zane Williams.

In the third quarter Henley took the game away with four goals to one, including a high flying mark from Jackson Mead. Hard running and quick ball movement opened up the Rossie defence, and a number of skill and discipline errors cost Rostrevor numerous opportunities to attack.  At three-quarter time Henley led by 29 points. 

In the last quarter Rostrevor needed their own magic and Cam Taheny positioned in his own 50m paddock scored within 30 seconds. Another goal from Taheny came shortly after and Rostrevor were up and about. In these 20 minute quarters there is no time to spare and chasing five goals was always going to be a challenge.  Taheny continued to present up forward, but Henley managed to get players back into the space to choke things up and slow down the ball. Rostrevor had a number of missed shots on goal and then slotted a third for the quarter. Keeping Henley goalless in the last quarter was a good effort, but Henley’s poise lead by captain Beau Nunan meant they were the victors by eight points – 9.4 58 to 7.8 50.

The final is to be played at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 August at Norwood Oval, and will be a re-match of last year’s thrilling final in which PAC came from behind to claim victory.  The Henley team is packed full of talent with State representatives, and takes on a PAC team, with a number of changes from last year’s squad but itself has some elite talent.  Another classic awaits.

South Australia weekly wrap: Woodcock and Coleman among top performers

WITH the South Australian Under 18s winning the National Championships on Wednesday night, the players involved were all rested for this round of fixtures. We highlight the performances of other draftable talent over the weekend’s matches.


In Glenelg’s two-point loss to Centrals, SA Under 18 Squad member and overager Tobin Cox kicked one goal to go with his seven disposals playing up forward.


North Adelaide had a one point win over Sturt and the Roosters midfielder Boyd Woodcock had 18 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances, while small forward Frankie Szekely kicked two goals and had five tackles. West defeated South by 31 points and South had four SA U18s squad members playing. Tate Coleman, was named amongst the best, finishing with 27 disposals, credit to his hard work between the arcs, with three inside 50s and five rebounds. Robert Irra had 21 disposals rebounding off half-back, while small forward Jake Tarca had the 10 disposals kicking 0.2 and Job Colwell had nine disposals . For West, ruckman Gus Rana also impressed with his 13 disposals, five tackles and 14 hitouts.


With College Footy on holidays a number of players returned to their SANFL Clubs and made an impact. Glenelg defeated Centrals by 32 points at home. For the Tigers, midfielder Liam Wisdom (Sacred Heart) was best afield with his 30 disposals including seven tackles and five inside 50s. Will McMurray (PAC) was also named in the bests with his 21 disposals and nine tackles, while Louis Bonutto kicked four goals. For the Dogs, Ethan East was probably best on ground in a comprehensive performance with his 27 disposals – 18 of which were contested – five tackles, seven clearances and three goals. Brayden Eime was also good with 15 disposals including six tackles, five clearances and seven inside 50s.

In the Eagles’ comprehensive 75-19 win over Norwood, underager Harry Schoenberg (PAC) was amongst the best with his 29 disposals, including seven inside 50s and a goal. He also released a number of teammates with his 18 handballs. Midfielder, Jarrod Miller was also in the bests with his 31 disposals, with six tackles and seven clearances. SA U18 squad member Kai Pudney also had plenty of the footy, racking up 31 disposals and eight tackles. His work within the arcs was impressive amassing six inside 50s and four rebound 50s. For Norwood, tall defender Jack Heard (PAC) shone with his 26 disposals, five marks and nine rebound 50s.

West had a win over South in a low scoring affair. For Westies, Cooper Patterson was best with 23 disposals and five tackles. Ethan Moore (Sacred Heart) also had plenty of touches with 26 disposals, (16 contested), nine tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s. For South, ball magnet Luke Bogle was best afield with his 31 disposals (16 contested) 12 tackles, six clearances and one goal. Livewire small forward Darnell Tucker had 13 disposals and 11 tackles to be amongst the best.

Sturt had a comfortable 37-point win over North. Underage midfield bull Jed McEntee was best on ground with 29 disposals (18 contested), eight clearances and eight combined inside and rebound 50s to be everywhere. Tall underage forward Olly Grivell was also in the bests with 19 disposals, nine marks and three goals. For the Roosters, Bailey Coleman-Oakes was again in the bests with the midfield ball machine obtaining 38 disposals (19 contested), 11 clearances and nine combined inside and rebound 50s.


Casey Voss, son of Brisbane Lion Michael, was given permission from Sturt to play for the Brisbane Lions NEAFL side and participated in their two point loss to Southport. Voss had 12 disposals including five marks.

This coming round sees the return of 23 of the SA U18s squad members to their respective SANFL clubs.

South Australia weekly wrap: U18s ready themselves for final two clashes

WITH the Under 18s in the midst of their National Championships campaign, the top-end squad talents were relieved of their South Australian National Football League (SANFL) duties for the week as they ready for their final two games. The show went on for many youngsters from Reserves and Under 18 level, to those playing college football as the path to the draft hots up.

SA Under 18s:

South Australia’s (SA) Under 18 squad had a week off this week, and the final squad for the next two games was announced. SA’s final two games will be played in Victoria against the Allies, and then Vic Metro in the tie that will likely decide the overall winner.

The final 25 man squad making the trip over for these two games is:

Jez McLennan, Tyler Martin, Martin Frederick, Finn Betterman, Riley Grundy, Will Gould, Jacob Kennerley, Tom Lewis, Connor Rozee, Jackson Hately, Hugo Munn, Hayden Sampson, Boyd Woodcock, Jack Lukosius, Oscar Chapman, James Sivior, Izak Rankine, Luke Valente, Kai Pudney, Ben Jarvic, Tom Sparrow, Aaron Neitschke, Kade Chandler, Jacob Collins, Mihail Lochowiak

The side is settled and ready to finish of their campaign with an overall victory for SA.


SANFL League wrap:

West Adelaide youngster Isaac Johnston made his league debut for the Bloods and was certainly in the best with a great first up game for the rookie. 2018 SA Under 18 product Nathan Krueger was again amongst the best for South in his return game, slotting three goals. For Glenelg, Tobin Cox made his league debut after not making the final SA U18 squad, and the overager and handled himself well in the match.


In South’s victory, Under 18 squad member Robert Irra finished with 21 disposals and fellow member Job Colwell looked dangerous forward, finishing with a goal. Tate Coleman found plenty of the ball as well. Central’s classy forward Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett finished with two goals.

North dominated West Adelaide with the Roosters Max Lower leading all players in an all-round 30 possession game.

Glenelg smashed the Eagles, with forward Lachie Hosie booting six goals, while Josh Koster (son of Kym) and Seb Kerrish were best for the Bays, and Luke Viska (son of Mark) made his reserves debut.


South got over the Bulldogs by two points, and Luke Bogle for the Panthers was good with six clearances and 27 possessions while Tyrone Milera again hit the scoreboard for Centrals with three goals.

The Eagles destroyed Glenelg by 73 points and Eagles midfielder Lachlan Mcneil continued his good form with a seven tackle, 28 disposal performance.

For Sturt in their convincing win over Norwood by 49 points, SA U18 member Mihail Lochowiak played for the Blues and found plenty of the ball finishing with 22 possessions. Tom Fuss laid 14 tackles for the Double Blues alongside James Braidwood, who finished with 18 hitouts after SA U18 duty. Norwood’s Jed Spence continues to be their key mid, finishing with 10 clearances and 18 contested possessions from his 25 disposals.

The Roosters took care of bottom placed West Adelaide by 78 points with a host of contributors. Ball magnet Bailey Coleman-Oakes again dominated possession for the Roosters with 30 disposals, while Jak Goudman-Glasson collected six goals and nine marks in an impressive display up forward.


College Footy

Sacred Heart College (SHC) again are finding their form with another easy victory of 108 points over Scotch College. Key forward Darcy LeCornu is leading all comers on the scoreboard after slotting another seven goals to add to his tally. The Hearts seem to be gelling well now in the second half of the year.

Rostrevor dominated recently promoted Westminster by 99 points, and continue their winning form, while Prince Alfred College (PAC) were too strong for arch rival St Peters College, finishing 62 point victors.

Colleges break now for a few weeks for holidays, and await the return of their top end talent away on SA U18 duties in what is shaping to be an exciting finish to the season.

Scouting notes: South Australia vs. Western Australia

THE National Championships kicked off yesterday, with South Australia having an imposing 89-point win over Western Australia. Here are the scouting notes by Tom Wyman and David Chapman from that game.

South Australia:

#14 – Izak Rankine

As usual Rankine was creative and dangerous, and with his five inside 50s helping to setup his teammates. In the first quarter he showed some real class by “duking” two opposition players to get a shot on goal. But the highlight was a brilliant cross the body kick from the pocket to hit Lukosius 30m directly in front. He ended the game with one goal and two behinds along with a heap of possessions.

#15 – Robert Irra

The rebounding small defender was lively coming out of defensive 50 and assisted in repelling numerous WA forward thrusts. He had four rebound 50s and 13 of his 14 disposals were kicks to underline his metres gained impact.

#22 – Jacob Kennerley

The winger was everywhere in the first half and his nine marks and 22 disposals really allowed the rebound from the defensive 50 to link to the forward line. Kennerley was busy around the ground and worked hard to get into the space.

#25 – Tom Sparrow

Another midfield clearance machine. Sparrow had eight clearances and also six tackles and was aggressive around the contest, bullying the opposition on a number of occasions. His gut running at pace was also on show in another solid performance.

#30 – Ben Jarvis

In the team as an undersized backup ruckman and athletic tall forward, Jarvis countered his height deficiency in the ruck by getting plenty of followup ball around the contest. When up forward he was impressive in finding the space and kicked three goals and two behinds for the game.

#32 – Luke Valente

The inside midfielder started off well with the opening goal. Valente worked well, racking up seven clearances around the contest and his 26 disposals were highly effective. He also seemed suited to quarterbacking the play from the defensive 50 when he was needed.

#34 – Jackson Hately

The on-baller led the stats with 28 possessions but really starred amassing 10 clearances, especially given SA ruckmen were conceding a lot of height. Hately read the ball well off either ruckman’s hands and drove many a SA forward entry. He also ended up with a goal but it was his poise and composure through traffic that stood out.

#42 – Jack Lukosius

By kicking 4.2 Lukosius got off to his expected great Championship start. He also impressed with his strong hands taking 14 marks both inside and outside 50. After a good contest early with his opponent, he really dominated after quarter time showcasing his accuracy in front of goal.

#43 – Will Gould

Playing as the key defender, Gould was impassable. With three rebound 50s, Gould was rarely beaten in the air or on the ground and looked to run from the back. He had an imposing play in the second half where he ran with the ball, gave off a handball and the oncoming tackler was the one who bounced off Gould as he tried to jam him.

#47 – Hugo Munn

The key forward was deadly in front kicking four goals straight. Not needing much of it and like most of the SA forwards were given plenty of opportunities he clunked five marks – all in dangerous positions.


Western Australia:

#1 – Ian Hill

Regarded by many as Western Australia’s most talented player, Ian Hill showed flashes of his silky skills and lightning speed. “Bobby” started the game up forward and was isolated against over-ager Robert Irra in the goal square at various times early on. Moved onto the ball in the second half and took a classy one-handed mark right in-front of many club recruiters. Kicked a nice snap goal from close range but life was tough for the AFL Academy member who was given little opportunity. Still looked ominous when in the vicinity of the ball. Hill finished with eight kicks, five handballs, five marks and three tackles to go with the goal.

#8 – Luke Moore

Moore was the only multiple goalscorer for Western Australia. The strongly built small forward looked dangerous in-tight and continued his goal kicking form from the WAFL colts with South Fremantle, despite managing a team-low five disposals. Moore will look to get his hands on the ball more often in future games, as he looked a threat against SA, especially with the ball close to goal.

#10 – Rylie Morgan

Morgan battled hard on the ball despite his side getting severly beaten in the midfield. The Claremont junior spent time as an inside and outside midfielder, showcasing the balance he has in his game. Morgan finished with 15 disposals (nine kicks, six handballs) but seemed to always be around the ball. Sent it inside-50 seven times, but I would suggest Morgan would’ve had even more of an impact had the other WA mids been able to feed out the ball more often from stoppages.

#11 – Luke English

English, Caleb Daniel-like in his helmet, was Western Australia’s best performer across the midfield in a side that had few contributors. Spending the entire game on-ball in tandem with teammate Rylie Morgan, English’s courage and work rate was exceptional. He tackled strongly and burrowed in hard during congested situations, ripping the ball out of the stoppage and hacking forward a clearance on a couple of occasions. What was also impressive was the Perth products intent to receive a couple of handballs from his teammates out the back, showing he is prepared to back his foot skills in. He will still need to keep working on his kicking, particularly when exiting stoppages. Going head-to-head with Jackson Hately for parts of the day, English finished the game with 16 kicks, nine handballs, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances, seven inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal in what was a very well-rounded performance.

#13 – Jason Carter

Carter spent the day in defence, assigned to the dangerous Izak Rankine early on. He showed glimpses here and there of his talent, the highlight being a big intercept mark in the defensive 50. However he unfortunately butched the inboard kick straight to Ben Jarvis who goaled. The Fremantle next generation academy member was reasonably strong in one-on-one contests but was unable to provide much of his usual run and carry from half-back with the SA mids repeatedly bombarding it inside-50. Carter had 13 disposals and six marks.

#17 – James Sturrock

Playing as an inside midfielder, James Sturrock concluded the outing with 18 disposals but had little influence on the game with many of his touches ineffective. His work in close was solid and his defensive pressure stood out, laying six tackles. Sturrock also managed three clearances in a midfield unit that was simply outclassed from the get-go.

#22 – Damon Greaves

Greaves was very productive all game, finishing with 15 kicks, eight handballs, five marks and a tackle. After lining up across the half-back line for the first part of the game, where he managed three rebounds, Greaves then switched to an outside midfield role when the game was getting out of hand for the Black Swans. His run and carry was strong all game as one of few WA players who really stood out. Having racked up plenty of the ball on a consistent basis for East Perth in the WAFL tiers, Greaves will be one to keep an eye on for the remainder of the carnival.

#24 – Regan Spooner

Spooner took the kickouts for WA in the first half before he switched into a role on the ball. The South Fremantle 18-year-old had more of an impact in the middle, showing some class with his silky foot skills, cleanness and speed. Spooner was one of Western Australia’s best, finishing with 17 touches (nine kicks and eight handballs), three marks, four tackles and two rebounds. Given his nice size and skill set, the WA utility will look to rise up the rankings with a strong remainder of the carnival.

#29 – Dillon O’Reilly

In what was a very difficult day for WA’s lead-up forwards, Dillon O’Reilly showed some nice signs. He looked to have sticky hands, clunking numerous strong marks on the lead along the western side of Alberton Oval. O’Reilly showed persistence, continuing to make himself an option by repeatedly presenting himself up the ground, irrespective of the scoreboard. O’Reilly finished the day with eight kicks, one handball and six marks.

#30 – Luke Jackson

The ruckman tried hard and competed well all game in the ruck and around the ground, winning the head-to-head battle with James Braidwood. The East Fremantle product was not afraid to get involved in the hard stuff, attempting to use his strength and size to barge through tackles in tight on a few occasions. He took a nice contested mark in the second quarter over his opposite number and delivered a nice touch kick inside 50 to the leading Xavier Peacock. Jackson finished the day with three kicks, twelve handballs, two marks, two tackles and 29 hitouts.

South Australian talent shines with West Australian smashing

SOUTH Australia has kicked off its 2018 National AFL Under 18 Championships in superb style with a comprehensive 89-point victory against Western Australia. Lead by star-bound talent Jack Lukosius, the Croweaters were dominant across all areas, as South Australia’s top-end talent was formidable throughout the match.

South Australian captain Luke Valente heavily justified his selection as state captain with an extremely tidy performance. As he lead from the front in the midfield by kicking the first goal of the match from just outside the 50 metre arc. The result was almost sewn up by quarter time as South Australia kicked away to a five goals to one lead at quarter time, as Lukosius kicked two goals and Izak Rankine saw plenty of it across the midfield and half-forward.

South Australia easily brushed aside Western Australia’s best run of play from the start of the second quarter, as midfielders Jackson Hately and Tom Lewis continued to dominate in the centre square as Western Australia struggled to get many significant clearances all game.

Western Australia rallied somewhat in the third quarter as they aimed to make the incoming loss as respectable as possible on the scoreboard. Distinguished by his light blue helmet, Luke English was relentless for his side as his effort throughout the game may impress recruiters with his team high 25 disposals and seven inside 50s underlining his influence.

Despite Western Australia pulling the margin back to 32 points late in the third quarter. South Australia displayed its ruthless nature by booting five more majors in the final quarter to Western Australia’s solitary point and extend the margin out to 89 points.

For South Australia there was no shortage of star performers, as the most impressive aspect of their crushing win was the even contributions across the board as all the top end talent performed exceptionally. This was also conveyed through the raft of goal kickers as South Australia boasted 10 individual goal scorers.

If there was one player to pick out for best on ground honours for South Australia Lukosius would be the pick of the bunch. Booting four goals and taking a game high 14 marks, the key forward moved across the ground effortlessly as Western Australia didn’t have an answer for the star forward all game. On multiple occasions South Australia’s forward line pressure resulted in many Western Australia turnovers inside the Croweaters forward line, as on more than one occasion Jason Carter miskicked straight to an intercepting Lukosius.

Lukosius was not the only dominant forward for South Australia as his key forward partner Hugo Munn was also impressive bagging four goals. The twin towers combination of Lukosius and Munn will be destructive throughout the championships. Athletic tall forward and pinch-hit ruckmen Ben Jarvis was also damaging up forward by kicking three goals for the match as he primarily was used as back up ruckman for James Braidwood. Rankine may have only accumulated 14 disposals but with every touch he impacted the game, his highlight of the day was evading two defenders and kicking across his body to find Lukosius alone in the forward line.

Midfielders Hately (28 disposals), Valente (26 disposals) and Lewis (18 disposals) controlled the centre square clearances with ease, despite the South Australian ruckmen giving away a lot of height to Luke Jackson. Hately superbly read the play of both ruckmen as he lead with 10 clearances. Hately also finished with a team-high 28 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50’s and a goal in the final term. Wingman Jacob Kennerley was also prolific with 22 disposals and nine marks culminating in five inside 50s as he provided the link from defence to attack.

South Australia’s defenders were crucial in their slingshot attack from poor Western Australia forward entries. Central Districts rebounding defender Jez McLennan was integral with his run from half-back, as Robert Irra also had four rebound 50’s to join Martin Frederick and Mihail Lochowiak on taking the game on from half-back. Glenelg’s Will Gould was also was fundamental to stopping a potent Western Australia forward line.

For the disappointing Black Swans, ruckman Jackson was best for his side as his follow up work was admirable outlined by five clearances. Unfortunately most of his good work in ruck was profited by the South Australian onballers as Jackson finished with 29 hit-outs and 15 disposals.

English (25 disposals) and Damon Greaves (23 disposals) were the busiest for their side as English continually found the ball across most contests all game. Regan Spooner was lively for his side across half-back, as Ian Hill had glimpses of brilliance that included an unbelievable one handed mark in the second quarter.

In the next championship match ups South Australia prepare to host Victoria Country at Adelaide Oval on Sunday June 17, as Western Australia will host Victoria Metro at Optus Stadium on Sunday June 10.

South Australia 19.10 (124) defeated Western Australia 5.5 (35)


South Australia: Lukosius 4, Munn 4, Jarvis 3, Chapman 2, Tarca, Hately, Valente, Nietschke, Rankine, Sampson.
Western Australia: Moore 2, English, Clark, Hill.


South Australia: Lukosius, Valente, Jarvis, Hately, Rankine
Western Australia: English, Jackson, Greaves, Spooner

South Australia announces final 42-man squad for National Championships

SOUTH Australia has confirmed its 42-man squad for the upcoming National Under 18 Championships today.After an internal trial game at Thebarton Oval on Sunday, the initial squad of 52 was cut to 42 ahead of the championships, with many bottom-agers making way in the side.

Among the names to look out for are Woodville-West Torrens’ key forward Jack Lukosius and small forward/midfielder Izaac Rankine from West Adelaide, with the pair expected to be high selections in the National Draft, while North Adelaide’s Connor Rozee and Central Districts’ Jackson Hately are also likely to force an AFL club to use a first rounder on them. Some famous names also included in the squad are Riley Grundy (brother of Collingwood’s Brodie) and Hayden Sampson (son of former Crow Clay). The squad also includes six overagers (missed out last year) and five bottom-agers (not eligible to be drafted until 2019).

Norwood has dominated the South Australian team this year, with a massive nine players in the final squad, three more than Glenelg, South Adelaide and Sturt. Woodville-West Torrens has five, just ahead of Central Districts and North Adelaide (four apiece). while West Adelaide has just two.

Central Districts [4]: Aaron Nietschke, Jackson Hately, Jez McLennan, Ryan Falkenberg
Glenelg [6]: Declan Carmody, Finn Betterman, Seb Schrieber, Tobin Cox, Tom Jones, Will Gould
North Adelaide [4]: Boyd Woodcock, Connor Rozee, Josh Hart, Oscar Chapman
Norwood [9]: Ben Jarvis, Cameron Taheny, Dylan Stephens, Jacob Collins, Jacob Kennerley, James Siviour, Kade Chandler, Luke Valente, Tyler Martin
South Adelaide [6]: Hayden Sampson, Job Colwell, Robert Irra, Tate Coleman, Tom Sparrow, Jake Tarca
Sturt [6]: Dougal Grieve, Hugo Munn, James Braidwood, Mihail Lochowiak, Riley Grundy, Tom Lewis
West Adelaide [2]: Angus Rana, Izak Rankine
Woodville-West Torrens [5]: Jack Lukosius, Jackson Mead, Kai Pudney, Kysaiah Pickett, Martin Frederick

States can add more players if form or fitness allows closer to the championships.

South Australian National Under 18 Championships squad announced

NORWOOD’S strong youth prospects made up more than one fifth of the initial 52-man South Australian Under 18 side named today. Norwood had 11 players named in the side, three more than South Adelaide, while Glenelg and Eagles had seven apiece.  West Adelaide had the least number of nominees, but provide one of the strongest South Australian prospects in Izak Rankine. Other talented Croweaters to watch for include Eagles’ star Jack Lukoisus, as well as North Adelaide duo Boyd Woodcock and Connor Rozee, Central Districts’ Jackson Hately and Norwood’s Luke Valente.

According to the SANFL website, the Under 18 coach Tony Bamford said the squad would be reduced to between 30 to 35 following an internal trial match at Thebarton Oval on May 13. Bamford also said there were a number of players unavailable for the upcoming National Under 18 Championships due to injury. These included Sam Whitbread, Luke Bogle and Eamon Wilkinson, while noting that three players – Reece Milsom, James Braidwood and Seb Schreiber were included in the squad despite missing the initial call-up to the South Australian Under 18 Academy.

South Australia opens its National Under 18 Championships campaign against Western Australia at home on June 3, before matches against Vic Country (June 17), Allies (June 29) and Vic Metro (July 4), with the latter two to be played in Geelong and at Etihad Stadium respectively.

Central Districts [6]: Aaron Nietschke, Jackson Hately, Jez McLennan, Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett, Rhett Montgomerie, Ryan Falkenberg

Glenelg [7]: Brad Potter, Declan Carmody, Finn Betterman, Seb Schrieber, Tobin Cox, Tom Jones, Will Gould

North Adelaide [4]: Boyd Woodcock, Connor Rozee, Josh Hart, Oscar Chapman

Norwood [11]: Ben Jarvis, Cameron Ball, Cameron Taheny, Dylan Stephens, Isaac Saywell, Jacob Collins, Jacob Kennerley, James Siviour, Kade Chandler, Luke Valente, Tyler Martin

South Adelaide [8]: Daniel Sladojevic, Darnell Tucker, Hayden Sampson, Job Colwell, Reece Milsom, Robert Irra, Tate Coleman, Tom Sparrow

Sturt [6]: Dougal Grieve, Hugo Munn, James Braidwood, Mihail Lochowiak, Riley Grundy, Tom Lewis

West Adelaide [3]: Angus Rana, Izak Rankine, William Gutsche

Woodville West Torrens [7]: Jack Lukosius, Jackson Mead, Jarrod Miller, Kai Pudney, Kysaiah Pickett, Martin Frederick, Trent Burgoyne

South Australia weekly wrap: Rankine, Valente, Rozee among top prospects in SANFL trials

SOUTH Australian National Football League (SANFL) clubs continued their preparation towards the start of the season, while state legends threw support behind continual links with South Australian AFL clubs, squashing AFL Reserves rumours in the process were the big news stories this week.

SANFL Trial games

All SANFL clubs continued in their preparation towards the start of the season with another batch of trial games to test out new players and help clubs to finalise their squads ready for Round 1.

League, Reserve and Under 18 sides tested themselves, while the Under 16s officially kicked off their season. West Adelaide bounced back with a win in their League trial over the Redlegs. Potential 2018 top five draft pick Izak Rankine took the field for the Bloods. It is hard to gauge where both these clubs will sit this year, but based on form both will be pressing for finals. Norwood youngster and AFL Academy member Luke Valente was part of the Reserves squad and he will be one to watch. North Adelaide took on Glenelg this week.

North Adelaide and AFL academy member, Connor Rozee was effective in the midfield with his handball skills releasing teammates on several in his sides win against Glenelg in the Reserves. His season will also be an exciting one, as he has now fully recovered from injury and could set the SANFL alight this year.  Overager medium tall forward Oscar Chapman, part of last year’s State Combine, kicked three goals including one long bomb from close to 80 metres.

Glenelg continue to show their recruiting and depth looks strong this year with impressive performances all over the park. In the Centrals v Sturt league trial game won by the Dogs, AFL academy member Jackson Hately playing head to head in the midfield with Sturt’s Magarey medallist Zane Kirkwood, accumulated just under 20 possessions as well as one goal.

Hately has the makings of another youngster set for a big year with all the attributes that put him on the AFL Draft radar for 2018. South Adelaide defeated the Eagles in 2 close hitouts, and former AFL player Keegan Brooksby for South was involved in the play, as too was overager Robert Irra (brother or Port Power Emmanuel Irra) also showed he is up to the level.

Under 18 teams continued their trials as well, and we will be looking to preview all clubs next week in the lead up to the start of the season. There is plenty of young talent to watch, with some of the top end talent getting opportunity at League and Reserves levels already. No doubt the crop looks deep for South Australia for 2018 with eyes firmly set on players earning their spot for the National Championships. Final trials are on again this weekend, but not all clubs are participating as clubs prepare for Round 1.

The schedule of games can be found here.

SANFL U16 – Round 1 Results

West Adelaide 9.3 (57) defeated Sturt 2.12 (24)
Centrals 10.7 (67) defeated South Adelaide 8.7 (55)
Norwood 22.12 (144) defeated Eagles 0.4 (4)
Glenelg 19.15 (129) def North Adelaide 4.2 (26)

AFL Reserves Rumours and SANFL Impact

The recent rumours and rumblings about an AFL Reserves competition has certainly hit a nerve with local clubs and also SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson. Any potential AFL Reserves competition could have a significant impact on the SANFL League and any rumours were quickly squashed during the week.

Jake Parkinson told The Advertiser “I’m 100 per cent confident it won’t be happening next season,” Parkinson said. “It was reported in Victoria it would be happening, but we have categoric communication from the AFL that is not the case.”

The SANFL has agreements in place with the two local AFL clubs until 2028, and with commercial contracts in place, any changes would no doubt be a legal minefield.

Meanwhile, Port Power Chairman David Koch recently told The Advertiser that “it has absolutely no impact on Port Adelaide keeping an SANFL team. We are a founder of the SANFL competition”.

“I don’t know how many times I have to say, we will never leave the SANFL,” Koch said.

There is certainly passion still left for the SANFL and SANFL clubs, with long-time Central Districts coach Roy Laird penning a letter to his clubs’ Board who forwarded to the SANFL Commission. As quoted in the letter Laird is determined to see the SANFL front of mind.

“At this critical junction in our SANFL landscape, those in positions of power must set agendas to one side and be uncompromised in their decision making,” Laird wrote. “Our clubs must think outside the square in promoting and building new revenue streams, and our supporters must do as they always have, and follow their club in our ‘Tribal Wars’ and protect our glorious history and revitalise a great competition.”

Strong words, but they certainly resonate with local supporters of SANFL and local leagues in South Australia.

SANFL Finals – Week 2 Draft Prospects Update

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects in South Australia. With SANFL Finals commencing, a number of draft propsects have now finished their footy season. We look at the second round of finals and we look at the top performances across the weekend.


There were two games this week, with West Adelaide defeating North Adelaide in an elimination final by 23 points. For North, Mackenzie Slee was one of the best players with a strong rebounding game in defence, finishing the day with 16 disposals, seven marks and five rebound 50s. Up forward, Oscar Chapman booted two goals – working hard up and down the ground. Bottom-ager Boyd Woodcock was again strong on the wing with 15 disposals.

In the other game, Sturt defeated Port Adelaide in the second semi final, advancing straight to the Grand Final. Charlie Ballard (18 disposals and a goal) found plenty of space on the wing and was named in the bests. Jordan Houlahan had 10 disposals, seven tackles and a goal playing up forward.

Next week Port Adelaide play West Adelaide.


Sturt defeated South Adelaide by 23 points and will now face Woodville-West Torrens in the Grand Final. For Sturt, Troy Parker-Boers was best-on-ground, with 15 disposals, 14 hitouts and four goals. Ed Allan again found a stack of the ball, finishing in the best players after collecting 29 disposals, nine clearances, eight marks and six inside 50s. Bottom-ager Tom Lewis was strong in the midfield with 24 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances. For South, it was a tough day after failing to put a goal on the board until after half time. Panthers bottom-ager Heath Sampson (25 disposals and six inside 50s) was their best. Luke Bogle also impressed with 15 disposals, 10 tackles and eight inside 50s – while Robert Irra’s defensive work was impressive laying nine tackles.

U18 Awards:

2017 McCallum Tomkins Medal for the Under-18 Torrens Uni Cup Competition is an award voted on by the umpires, with North Adelaide bottom-ager Boyd Woodcock winning the medal after receiving 19 votes. West Adelaide’s Josh Smithson finished as the runner-up, three votes behind Woodcock.

2017 U18 Torrens Uni Cup MVP Award is presented to the best performing player in the Under-18 Torrens Uni Cup Competition where one player is nominated for the Award each round, with the end of season winner chosen by a panel of judges chaired by SANFL Talent Manager Brenton Phillips. West Adelaide midfielder/forward Josh Smithson was the winner.

Under 18 Championships Preview: South Australia

SOUTH AUSTRALIA enters the National Under 18s Championships lacking the star power that both the Victorian sides have. In saying that – they do appear to be a well balanced unit with a large number of prospects who look likely to feature throughout the middle stages of the draft.
SA have a number of excellent ball users, particularly off half-back, grunt in the midfield and some tall timber who are capable of fulfilling key position spots at either end of the ground. This squad is versatile and we can expect to see a number of players being used in a variety of roles. Sturt big man Callum Coleman-Jones will lead the side with Darcy Fogarty and Andrew McPherson named as joint deputies. However. McPherson will miss the opening two games of the Under 18 Championships with a quad injury.
With five level two AFL Academy players in the squad, along with seven level one prospects, perhaps next year will be more fruitful in terms of star talent, but don’t go ruling them out in 2017. Although Vic Metro looked primed to go back-to-back, I think South Australia can realistically mount a push. The battle with Vic Country on July 5th could prove particularly instrumental.
Players to watch:
Darcy Fogarty – Undoubtedly South Australia’s best draft prospect and he is well in truly in the mix for the number one selection. Despite not starring, Fogarty has been a regular fixture in Glenelg’s senior side and posses the unique ability to be able to cover any position on the field apart from the ruck. He slotted in at half-back in an SA trial match earlier in the season but has also shown serious promise up forward and as an inside midfielder. At 192cm, he could become a third tall forward at AFL level, but I expect him to feature in the guts in the Champs.
Alex Martini – Fogarty’s teammate at Glenelg has also proven himself in the SANFL  League side, having played predominately off half-back. Martini captained Sacred Heart College last year and his on-field leadership will be crucial – He may spend more time in the midfield with the half-back line looking impressive for SA.
Jackson Edwards – The son of Tyson Edwards is a father-son prospect for the Crows and although he is yet to break into the Glenelg league side, he has been solid so far in the Reserves. He has a touch of class about him, much like his father, and will be a vital cog in the on-ball brigade.
Nathan Kreuger – Kreuger has potential to burn and at 194cm – he is one who can hold down a key position at either end and at times has even been deployed as a big-bodied midfielder. Athletic with neat foot skills, I can see Kreuger pushing higher up rankings with a strong National Championships. However he has been left out in Round one and will have to fight to break into their team for their remaining fixtures.
Callum Coleman-Jones – The Key Forward/Ruckman will be eager to assert his authority on the champs. Despite requiring some work on his endurance, Coleman-Jones is a great contested-mark and an imposing figure both in the ruck and when sent forward. Looking forward to his duel with top five candidate Sam Hayes when SA clash with Vic Metro at Etihad Stadium but would prefer to see him at full-forward.
2018 names to keep an eye on:
Jack Lukosius – Lukosius could well be the number one draft pick in 2018. The Woodville-West Torrens star is already lighting it up in the SANFL ranks. Yet another South Australian with the ability to play at either end, Lukosius has excellent mobility for a guy of 193cm and the foot skills of a midfielder.
Izak Rankine –  Rankine has as much talent as any 17 year-old in the country and will strut his stuff up forward and on the wing for South Australia. Possesses good agility and has X-Factor.
Connor Rozee – Won the Kevin Sheehan medal as the best player in the Under 16 carnival and is a classy midfielder on both the inside and outside. Vision is very good in traffic and is a clean user by both hand and foot.


Round 1: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 10th 12.30pm Domain Stadium
Round 2: v ALLIES – June 17th 10.10am Adelaide Oval (FOX FOOTY)
Round 3: BYE
Round 4: v VIC METRO – June 30th 4.40pm Etihad Stadium (FOX FOOTY)
Round 5: v VIC COUNTRY – July 5th 4.40pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Round One team:

B: Lachlan Pascoe, Harrison Petty, Brad McCarthy
HB: Isaac Hewson, Thomas Schmusch, Mitchell Coles
C: Izak Rankine, Darcy Fogarty, Charlie Ballard
HF: Jordan Houlahan, Jack Lukosius, Jackson Edwards
F: James Rowe, Callum Coleman-Jones, Sam Davis

FOLL: Ruben Flinn, Alex Martini, Mitch Crowden
INT: Jakob Heitmann, Stefan Giro, Jackson Hately, Connor Rozee, Jake Weidemann, Brodie Carroll, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Two to be omitted)


Finishing prediction: 2nd – I doubt South Australia will have the star power to overcome Vic Metro, but wins over Western Australia and the Allies are expected, and if they can account for Vic Country they will be in good shape for a crack at their first title since 2014.

MVP prediction: Darcy Fogarty – There are a number of ‘ready made’ talents in the South Australia squad who have already experienced SANFL Macca’s League football, but Fogarty is at this stage the only out-and-out star in my eyes. He is a real talent with that modern day frame and provides a presence wherever deployed. No doubt he will have learnt from playing against men for the ‘bays’ and will surly be up there on draft night come November. Can push forward and hit the scoreboard.


No. Name
HT (cm)
WT (kg)
1 Alex Stidiford 05-Apr-99 169 70 West Adelaide / Immanuel College
2 Izak Rankine 23-Apr-00 178 74 West Adelaide / Henley High
3 James Rowe 19-Sep-99 172 70 Woodville West Torrens / Sacred Heart College
4 Cooper Gaffney 07-Jan-99 179 74 Woodville West Torrens
5 Stefan Giro 10-Mar-99 175 72 Norwood
6 Connor Rozee 22-Jan-00 184 72 North Adelaide / Cedar College
7 Robert Irra 20-Oct-99 175 73 South Adelaide
8 Jacob Coles 14-Jul-99 179 70 Norwood / Banksia Park High
10 Luke Valente 08-May-00 186 79 Norwood / Rostrevor College
11 Tobin Cox 15-Jul-99 179 82 Glenelg / Henley High
12 Alex Martini 30-Mar-99 181 78 Glenelg
13 Jackson Edwards 11-Oct-99 185 77 Glenelg / Henley High
14 Isaac Hewson 02-Apr-99 182 79 Norwood
15 Jordan Houlahan 19-Feb-99 185 78 Sturt
16 Mitch Crowden 28-Apr-99 175 88 Sturt
17 Brad McCarthy 27-Feb-99 177 83 Glenelg
18 Brodie Carroll 26-Nov-99 186 71 Norwood / St Pauls College
19 Cole Gerloff 02-Aug-99 184 83 Norwood / Prince Alfred College
20 Jackson Hately 21-Oct-00 189 79 Central District / Trinity College
21 Andrew McPherson 20-Jun-99 186 78 Woodville West Torrens
22 Jake Weidemann 16-Mar-99 190 80 Woodville West Torrens / Henley High
23 Jordy Aitchison 25-Feb-99 185 85 Sturt
24 Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 25-Aug-98 195 77 Sturt
25 Lochie Charlton 19-Oct-99 192 84 Norwood / Prince Alfred
26 Josh Smithson 04-May-99 185 84 West Adelaide
27 Liam Denton 22-Jan-99 185 78 Glenelg
28 Jakob Heitmann 31-Oct-99 188 86 West Adelaide / Cabra
29 Isaac Moller 02-Mar-99 190 77 Woodville West Torrens
30 Cameron Buchanan 20-Sep-99 188 82 Glenelg / Henley High
31 Mitchell Coles 15-Jan-98 191 79 Norwood
32 Thomas Schmusch 05-Mar-99 192 81 Woodville West Torrens
33 Hugo Barry 28-Jun-99 191 83 North Adelaide / Prince Alfred College
34 Sam Davis 05-Sep-99 193 88 Glenelg / Immanuel College
35 Ryan Falkenberg 29-Apr-99 196 79 Central District
36 Jack Lukosius 09-Aug-00 194 82 Woodville West Torrens / Henley High
37 Charlie Ballard 23-Jul-99 195 81 Sturt / Sacred Heart College
38 Harrison Petty 12-Nov-99 194 81 Norwood / Rostrevor College
39 Cameron Ball 27-Jul-99 194 82 Norwood / Rostrevor College
40 Darcy Fogarty 25-Sep-99 192 92 Glenelg / Rostrevor College
41 Nathan Kreuger 25-Jun-99 196 86 South Adelaide
42 Hugo Munn 03-Apr-00 196 92 Sturt / Mercedes College
43 James Siviour 09-Mar-99 195 89 Norwood
44 Lachlan Pascoe 02-Jun-99 190 97 Norwood / Tyndale Christian School
45 Bryce Denham 17-Jan-99 194 89 North Adelaide
46 Ruben Flinn 09-May-00 200 103 Glenelg / Brighton
47 Simon Furnell 03-Jun-99 197 97 Central District / Nuriootpa High
48 Ben Oborn 30-Oct-99 199 93 North Adelaide / Endeavour College
49 Callum Coleman-Jones 13-Jun-99 201 98 Sturt / Scotch