Tag: Shae Gundlach

Weekend preview: SANFL Women’s – Round 1

THE opening round of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Statewide Super Women’s League is completed tomorrow with four games across two double headers. Two new sides – Central District and Woodville-West Torrens are making their league debuts, while reigning premiers South Adelaide begin its campaign to go back-to-back.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. GLENELG
Friday, February 15, 5.20pm
Flinders University Stadium

The opening game of Round 1 for the 2019 season sees last year’s wooden spooners taking on one of the new sides of the competition. Woodville-West Torrens will hope to kick off their SANFL Women’s League campaign with a win against Glenelg, who have won four games from their 16 matches played. With plenty of changes at the Tigers, and a number of experienced players departing the club, Glenelg will hope the likes of Morphettville Park duo, Chelsea Packer and Ellen Fauser can step up and help new coach, Jason Fairall gain an early win for season 2019. The Tigers won three of their first four games in 2017, but have won just one game since March, 2017 which was a five-point victory over West Adelaide. With the two new teams up first, the Tigers hope to start their 2019 campaign like they did in 2017. Tigers’ captain, Cass Hartley, vice-captain Elle Hellock, Sheridan Howell and Bonnie Wells are the only four players on the list who played all 10 games last season. Last year’s leading goal kicker, Lexia Edwards retired and the visitors will hope to find a new target in attack this season. The Eagles are harder to gauge given they are a brand new team to the competition, but coach Tess Baxter has brought in some seriously talented youth, which means one can expect they will have plenty of run in their legs. Jaimi Tabb – who booted five goals for West Adelaide last season – and Rachel Dunstan have both headed to the Eagles, while former GWS GIANT, Stephanie Walker looms as the key player in the side. Add in Kiana Lee and the young Eagles will challenge plenty of teams.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Friday, February 15, 6.00pm
City Mazda Stadium

Two of the original SANFL Women’s League sides, Norwood and North Adelaide clash for the seventh time in the clubs’ histories, with Norwood holding a 4-2 win-loss record against the Roosters. The Redlegs have a premiership in the bank having defeated their Round 1 opponents in the inaugural grand final, before going down to South Adelaide last year. Norwood have bade farewell to a number of players who have left to play AFL Women’s or VFL Women’s competitions. They need to find a way to replace GWS GIANT, Ebony O’Dea who was drafted last season, however Monique Hollick and Rhiannon Busch – who combined for 293 possessions in season 2018 – will be looking to start off strongly this season. The Redlegs’ lowest score in their history came against North Adelaide last year when Norwood failed to score, but two other wins – including the preliminary final victory – meant they ended the year with a positive win-loss ratio. For North Adelaide, the loss of former captain, Jess Edwards, young ball winner, Esther Boles and Adelaide AFL Women’s players, Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chloe Scheer who were both rezoned, means like the Redlegs, the Roosters will have a vastly different line-up. With GWS GIANT, Britt Perry also out for most of the season, the Roosters will look to assistant coach Emma Sampson who has returned to the playing field, as well as a host of players stepping up to the league. Paige Allan, Kelly Baltrop, Lauren Daniel, Sarah Ellis, Nadia Von Bertouch and Amber Ward all played every game last season and provide some consistency across the field.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT
Friday, February 15, 7.00pm
Flinders University Stadium

The Round 1 clash between South Adelaide and Sturt is the third time the two teams have clashed, with the Panthers emerging victorious on both previous occasions. Both new teams to last year’s competition, South Adelaide triumphed in Round 2 by 46 points and Round 8 by a thumping 86 points, en-route to the 2018 premiership. Sturt used the third last game of its season to turn the form around, upsetting eventual grand finalists, Norwood by six points, then backing it up with a win over wooden spooners, Glenelg by 16. The Panthers have a number of talented young players who have the potential to cause damage to their opposition, including top-age Under-18 South Australian ruck, Montana McKinnon, and Under 18 representatives from last season, bottom-ager Teah Charlton, now top-ager Hannah Munyard, and Madison Bennett and Jaslynne Smith. Elysse Haussen was one of the more prominent ball winners for the Panthers last season, averaging 15.3 possessions per game, third behind the departed Nikki Gore (19.5) and Czenya Cauvorous (17.3). For Sturt, they have regained Georgia Bevan for the full season after the Crows’ AFL Women’s player averaged 16.8 disposals last season from four games. Once the AFL Women’s season is over, the return of Jess Foley will be handy having averaged 18 touches from her nine games for the Double Blues. Sturt’s test will be finding targets up forward, with Becchara Palmer heading interstate leaving Shae Gundlach as the sole leading goal kicker from last season, having booted four majors. South Adelaide will head into this game as strong favourites, but it will be interesting to see how they shape up.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, February 15, 7.45pm
City Mazda Stadium

In the final game of the round, West Adelaide hosts Central District in the Bulldogs’ first ever SANFL Women’s League game. Last season the Bloods finished just outside the top three, and will be keen to get an early win over the newcomers to the competition. They have some seriously talented young players at the Westies, with Rachelle Martin impressing for South Australia at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, and proving herself to be a ball magnet in this competition, averaging 18 disposals from her 10 games. With older sister Hannah drafted by the Crows, Rachelle will be keen to put in another great season and follow in her footsteps down the track. Abbie Ballard is another player to watch out for as the bottom-ager has shown plenty of talent in her career at the level, and could take her game to the next step ahead of the 2019 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Add in top-ager, Maddi Newman and a couple of basketball recruits in Leah Swain and Alice Gee, and the Westies have some potentially untapped talent. Looking at the Bulldogs’ list, no doubt the club will be carefully monitoring Adelaide’s AFL Women’s team selection since securing Chloe Scheer and Katelyn Rosenzweig from North Adelaide. While Scheer is now seemingly a lock inside Adelaide’s best 22, Rosenzweig is yet to be selected, although many expect a debut not too far away. Last year’s leading goal kicker in the competition would be a huge target inside 50 for the Bulldogs. Former netballer, Nicola Biagi has been named as captain and is a testament to her impact off the field over the pre-season for her to lead the club in 2019. While how Central District performs is a bit of an unknown, they did win a couple of practice games over the summer giving them hope they can match it with the sites this season.

SANFL Women’s: 2019 season preview

IN 2019, the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Statewide Super Women’s League will feel fully complete for the South Australian fans with the introduction of the final two non AFL-aligned clubs in Central District and Woodville-West Torrens. The Bulldogs and Eagles kick-off their 2019 campaigns with the other six clubs on Friday night with double-headers at Flinders University Stadium and City Mazda Stadium. We take a look at how each of the eight teams went last year and who might influence their campaigns in 2019.

CENTRAL DISTRICT

Last year: DNP
Coach: Shaun Ribbons

The first of the new clubs entering the SANFL Women’s League in 2019 has had no trouble bringing in some young AFL Women’s talent, with Crows’ pair, Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chloe Scheer both joining the club from North Adelaide. While Scheer was recovering from injury last year, she is no stranger to league best and fairest awards and when the AFL Women’s season is over, expect her to have a big impact. Rosenzweig won the league goal kicking last season, and is yet to be named in Adelaide’s best 21, although there is little doubt she will squeeze her way in there soon. They also picked up Jayme-Lee Sonnerman from West Adelaide who will join the pair in the forward line after three goals in two matches last year, while fellow former Bloods player, Shannen Solly managed six matches, named in the best twice. Sonnerman will play alongside sister, Demi who also lands at the Bulldogs. Three cross-coders in netballers, Nicola Biagi – who has been named inaugural captain – Taryn Wills, and cricketer, Sarah-Jane Jameson join the side in what will be a largely unknown team outside the top couple of Crows’ stars.

GLENELG

Last year: 6th – Wooden spooners
Coach: Jason Fairall

The bottom-placed side last season will be keen to build on their performance, but will need to find a way to cover for the injured Angela Moritz. The assistant coach has undergone a knee reconstruction and will miss the season, which will hurt the Tigers considering her impressive performances last season. Moritz joins Sam Allan in recovering from a knee injury, while Brianna Walling has headed to the sunshine state. The trio combined for a total of 19 times in the club’s bests last season, and with leading goal kicker, Lexi Edwards retiring the Tigers will have to fill the holes left by the departing experience. They do have renewed enthusiasm with Jason Fairall taking the reigns at the club for the 2019 season. Given the loss in experience, the Tigers will hope the likes of Morphettville Park duo, Chelsea Packer and Ellen Fauser will help spur the side back up the ladder.

NORTH ADELAIDE

Last year: 3rd – Lost in Preliminary Final
Coach: Matt Slade

While last year’s season ultimately ended in heartbreak with an eight-point loss to Norwood in the preliminary final after finishing second on the home and away season ladder, the Roosters would be thrilled with the amount of talent that reached AFL Women’s level. Former leader, Jess Edwards went to Carlton, Ashleigh Woodland landed at Melbourne, Brittany Perry became a GIANT, and talented forward duo, Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chloe Scheer were recruited by the Crows. With the latter two rezoned to Central District, all of those players will be unable to pull on a North Adelaide jumper in 2019, much like state under 18s captain, Esther Boles who is taking a chance with Richmond’s VFL Women’s side in a bid to be picked up by the Tigers ahead of the 2020 AFL Women’s season. The ins do not match the outs in terms of SANFL Women’s experience, with the exception of Emma Sampson, the assistant coach who has opted to pull on the boots again. Among the inclusions are Andie Zbierski and Amy Reid, while netballer, Elysha Willis is taking a chance on football.

NORWOOD

Last year: 2nd – Lost in Grand Final
Coach: Steve Symonds

In 2019, the Redlegs made a huge run to push South Adelaide all the way in the decider, falling five points short of a premiership. Ebony O’Dea heads the departures after she was recruited to the GIANTS’ AFL Women’s side, and four players – Tess Baxter, Adele Gibson (playing eight games in 2019), Aajiah Jerico and Georgia Taylor – all headed to new club, Woodville-West Torrens. Key players Nicole Campbell and Alana Browne have crossed to reigning premiers, South Adelaide while Nicola Burns has headed to Victoria to try her luck with Carlton’s VFL Women’s side. It means the likes of Monique Hollick and Rhiannon Busch will be among plenty of fresh faces when they kick-off this Friday. Adelaide’s Sophie Armitstead has joined the club and will be available when not selected, while former GIANTS, Hannah Dunn and Najwah Allen will fill the voids left by some of the departing players. Morphettville Park trio, Erika Sporn, Thalia Meyer and Hannah Priest will also be keen to impress in the step up in competition.

SOUTH ADELAIDE

Last year: 1st – Premiers
Coach: Rick Watts

New Panthers’ coach Rick Watts will lead a vastly different team to the one that Krissie Steen lead to a premiership last season, with a number of players recruited into the AFL Women’s and testing themselves in the VFL Women’s. Young gun, Nikki Gore was recruited by the Crows after another sensational season last year, while Lisa Whiteley joined the GIANTS. Versatile tall, Kristi Harvey opted to stay in Victoria with Carlton’s VFL Women’s side, joined by Jorja Rowe and Louella McCarthy. The Panthers should not be taken lightly however, with Norwood duo, Nicole Campbell and Alana Browne joining the club, as did promising bottom-age junior, Teah Charlton. Cross-coders, Jess Kirk (soccer) and Emma Gryczewski (netball) add an element of the unknown, while the expected inclusion of Courtney Gum late in the season could be huge in the Panthers’ hopes for back-to-back flags. Anne Hatchard, Cheyenne Hammond and Elyse Haussen remain at the club and will be as hungry as ever to repeat the success of 2018.

STURT

Last year: 5th
Coach: Danijel Herbert

The big inclusion for last year’s fifth placed side is Georgia Bevan, with the Adelaide AFL Women’s player signing on for the Double Blues and named co-captain with Caitlyn Swanson. Bevan replaces fellow young talent, Rachel Dunstan who has headed to her home club, Woodville-West Torrens now the Eagles have a side in the competition. Jess Foley has been a crucial player for Adelaide already in the ruck this AFL Women’s season and will be sorely missed by Sturt supporters, while Becchara Palmer has headed to New South Wales. Sturt is relatively untouched in terms of departures, with a number of inclusions from across the state, including Zoe Prowse, Isobel Kuiper and Hannah Dreckow. Bottom-ager Alex Ballard – sister of Gold Coast’s Charlie – will be one to watch over the next couple of years.

WEST ADELAIDE

Last year: 4th
Coach: Shane Moon

West Adelaide is a side that has been relatively quiet over the off-season, picking up a few players, while a number departed to various clubs. Hannah Martin‘s recruitment to AFL Women’s is a big loss for the Bloods, while sister, Rachelle Martin will be keen to drive the team forward to improve on its 5-5 win-loss record from 2018. Fellow youngster, Jaimi Tabb has headed to new club, Woodville-West Torrens, while Taylah Gordon has joined St Kilda’s VFL Women’s side in the hope she can move through the ranks to AFL Women’s when the Saints join the league in 2020. Sophie Armitstead (Norwood) and Shannen Solly (Central District) are others who have departed the club, while South Adelaide’s Helen Maidment and basketballers, Leah Swain and Alice Gee also head to the Westies. Teenager, Abbie Ballard is expected to have a big impact in season 2019 as she develops, while Chelsea Biddell and Allison Evans will be keen to recreate the form they showed in 2018.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS

Last year: DNP
Coach: Tess Baxter

The other new side in the 2019 SANFL Women’s League is Woodville-West Torrens, a side which targeted youth for its upcoming campaign. South Australian Under 18s vice-captain, Rachel Dunstan joined the Eagles, as did fellow Central Allies’ representative, Jaimi Tabb, and up-and-coming talent, Kiana Lee. Adele Gibson leads a list of four players who have crossed to the Eagles from grand finalists, Norwood, while former GWS GIANT, Stephanie Walker headlines the club’s recruits. The Eagles recruitment staff have gone outside the box in forming the side, also looking to ice hockey player, Tash Farrier and Mount Lofty’s Maddie Dufek. Both Gibson and Farrier have been named to lead the club in season 2019, with inaugural coach Tess Baxter knowing what it takes to reach the final game of the season having done so as an assistant at Norwood.

SAWFL weekly wrap: Round 13

A DRAW, a thriller and a belting made sure the South Australian Women’s Football League (SAWFL) had plenty of varied results on the weekend in just three games.

SAWFL Round 13 Results:

ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)
CHRISTIES BEACH 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS:
Adelaide University: S. Walker 2, M. Zander, R. King.
Christies Beach: T. Eastwood, T. Power , C. Cavouras.

BEST:
Adelaide University: C. Tsoumbris, N. Collie, E. Boles, R. King, G. Dadds, E. Davison
Christies Beach: C. Cavouras, A. Browne, S. Pratt, R. Searle, H. Crump

Adelaide University have drawn level with Christies Beach after a sensational nail-biting six-point win over the second placed side. Christies Beach booted two goals to one in the first term, and lead by five points at the main break. After half-time however, Adelaide University booted the only two goals of the half, taking control and restricting their opponents to just one behind. Stephanie Walker booted two goals, while Matilda Zander and Rachel King both kicked a goal for the winners. For Christies Beach, Czenya Cavouras was named the team’s best and booted a goal, along with Tallara Power and Taylah Eastwood. Teenager and South Australian Under 18s captain, Esther Boles was named among Adelaide University’s best, with Cassandra Tsoumbris and Nicole Collie.

 

MORPHETTVILLE PARK 1.0 | 3.2 | 3.2 | 6.3 (39)
SALISBURY 2.5 | 2.5 | 5.7 | 5.9 (39)

GOALS:
Morphettville: L. Buchanan 3, T. Meyer, L. Whiteley, A. Moritz.
Salisbury: K. Rosenzweig 3, A. Woodland 2.

BEST:
Morphettville: L. Buchanan, E. Kellock, L. Whiteley, A. Moritz, A. Magi, T. Meyer
Salisbury: S. Gundlach, A. Woodland, K. Rosenzweig, A. Zbierski, M. Freeman, S. Murphy

Morphettville Park have come from behind with a fantastic three goals to zero final term to steal two points from Salisbury in a thrilling finish to their Round 13 match. While Morphettville Park have locked up top spot, it cost Salisbury third position, after Adelaide University recorded a win in its match. Lauren Buchanan booted three goals for the winners and was the difference on the day for Morphettville Park, while Angela MoritzTahlia Meyer and Lisa Whiteley also found their way onto the scoreboard and were named in the best, as was Ellie Kellock. For Salisbury, Katelyn Rosenzweig continued her strong form upon returning from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, booting three goals, while Ashleigh Woodland nailed two majors. Both players, along with Shae Gundlach were named in the best.

 

PORT ADELAIDE 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)
FITZROY 5.3 | 7.7 | 13.9 | 18.13 (121)

GOALS:
Port Adelaide: A. Gould.
Fitzroy: C. Biddell 4, M. Rich 3, R. Martin 3, H. Martin 3, M. Elsegood 2, I. Parkin 2, M. Newman.

BEST:
Port Adelaide: J. Greet, L. Beck, J. Macolino, A. Gould, K. Howell
Fitzroy: C. Biddell, M. Rich, I. Parkin, A. Lowery, R. Martin

Fitzroy had a percentage-boosting win over Port Adelaide, piling on 11 goals in the second half to run away with a 112-point victory. The Lions restricted the Magpies to just the one goal for the game, while having 31 scoring shots in an impressive display. Fitzroy had five multiple goal kickers in the win, with Chelsea Biddell‘s four-goal best on ground performance the clear standout. Megan Rich (three goals), Isabelle Parkin (two) and teenager Rachelle Martin (three) were also busy on the scoreboard, while fellow Central Allies representative Madison Newman booted a goal in the win. For Port Adelaide, Ashlee Gould was the sole goal kicker, while Jessica GreetLauren Beck and Jessica Macolino were the Magpies’ best in the loss.

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

LAST weekend’s action threw up highlights we are rarely treated to; with bags of goals, junior talent rising to the top, a pesky pigeon, and a classic after-the-siren win all headlining what was a memorable round of footy.

Noah Gown’s high-five

Noah Gown claimed the goalkicking honours in Round 12b of the TAC Cup, with his bag of five helping second-place Gippsland to back to back wins against top four opposition. His five straight majors came from an impressive 18 disposals and seven marks, with four goal assists coming to-boot. Having played all 12 games for the Power this season, Gown has built nicely into the year with 15 goals, and a rich vein of form lately seeing him named in the best for his fourth consecutive outing. Others to contribute on the day were Austin Hodge (25 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and bottom-ager Harold Hood, who continues to impress as he had 21 touches, eight tackles and five marks.

Melbourne Uni’s Prespakis teaches a lesson

Fresh off her Most Valuable Player (MVP) performance at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, long-touted possible number one pick Maddy Prespakis turned on the heat at VFLW level. Against more mature bodies and experienced players, Prespakis put on another phenomenal display and stood as the only player across the competition in Round 11 to notch over 30 possessions. The next best for the battling Melbourne Uni side was Danielle Hardiman who had 15 disposals, while Alison Drennan managed 28 for the opposition. Prespakis’ 33 touches included 25 kicks and a goal, highlighting the Calder star’s damaging style from midfield. The performance came in only Melbourne University Womens’ third win for the season, with their three-point triumph bringing them within four points of seventh-placed opponents Southern Saints.

Morphettville Park steals draw with final quarter blitz

Morphettville Park have come from behind with a fantastic three goals to zero final term to steal two points from Salisbury in a thrilling finish to their Round 13 match. While Morphettville Park have locked up top spot, it cost Salisbury third position, after Adelaide University recorded a win in its match. Lauren Buchanan booted three goals for the winners and was the difference on the day for Morphettville Park, while Angela MoritzTahlia Meyer and Lisa Whiteley also found their way onto the scoreboard and were named in the best, as was Ellie Kellock. For Salisbury, Katelyn Rosenzweig continued her strong form upon returning from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, booting three goals, while Ashleigh Woodland nailed two majors. Both players, along with Shae Gundlach were named in the best.

Irishman Tuohy lives the Aussie dream

Zach Tuohy lived out the dream of every budding footballer with his goal after the siren pinching an improbable two-point for the Cats over Melbourne at their Kardinia Park fortress. With the home side trailing at every break, and finding themselves 29 points down during the final term, it was always going to take something special for the tide to turn. Up stepped the likes of birthday boy Tom Hawkins, who booted four final quarter goals, Gary Ablett, who looked hungry as ever in the closing stages, and eventual hero Tuohy, who capped off a 24 disposal, eight mark and two-goal display with the winner. The Irishman’s moment came off the back of coaches Matthew Scarlett and Chris Scott agreeing to swing him forward, and what a decision that proved to be. Despite the result, Geelong still find themselves outside of the top eight on percentage, with the Dees sitting pretty in seventh

Pendles’ pesky pigeon run-in

Scott Pendlebury has shown over time that there’s not much he can’t do on a football field, but he added another feat to his list of exploits on Saturday. The Collingwood skipper paced into space with ball in hand, opting to take a bounce – but an MCG visitor had other ideas. With the ball thrown down in what seemed like slow motion, it collected a rather unlucky pigeon, yet managed to bounce obediently back up to ‘Pendles’ as if nothing had ever happened. Thankfully, the pigeon flew away without harm, probably starstruck by the Collingwood champion. The moment of madness came in the Pies’ comprehensive 66-point win over North Melbourne, which helped them to nestle inside the top four as the race for spots heats up.

South Australia weekly wrap: Prospects stand up in absence of Academy members

DESPITE some of South Australia’s top talent missing this week for the AFL Academy game in Melbourne, there were several standout performances across all competitions on the weekend.

SANFL League:

There was a real spread of highlights across the league, one of which being a huge goal haul from Glenelg’s Terry Milera, who booted seven goals in their narrow loss to Port Adelaide Magpies. Last year’s Under 18 state representative players Brad McCarthy and Alex Martini impressed also for Glenelg. For North Adelaide, former Crow Keenan Ramsey dominated their match kicking six goals in a massive win for the Roosters, and former Prince Alfred College student Mackenzie Slee made his League debut for the Roosters as well.

Reserves:

Glenelg dominated Port Magpies and Lachie Hosie booted eight goals for the Bays, with last year’s South Australian state member Sam Davis was also amongst the best collecting 16 disposals and two goals. North recorded another win, and once again Frankie Szekely found the scoreboard. Norwood’s Cole Gerloff has impressed over the first two rounds along with South Adelaide’s Nathan Kreuger, who was again prominent in the Panthers’ narrow loss. Central dominated the Eagles in their match, and youngster Jez McLennan was not out of place. Ball magnet and 2017 South Australian state member James Rowe collected 29 possessions and two goals in a losing side.

Under 18s:

Glenelg kicked away against Sturt, and country lad Seb Schreiber was a standout through the whole game with 26 possession and seven rebounds. Finn Betterman was also strong throughout the match in a range of positions.  Mihail Lochowiak was solid again with two goals from 24 possessions, but Sturt ruckman James Braidwood caught the eye with 14 contested possessions and 26 hitouts. Father-son Casey Voss was again in the best with six rebounds over the game.

North accounted for West Adelaide by 23 points with James Langley’s three goals and seven marks making him an easy best afield candidate. Boyd Woodcock’s game high seven tackles and five clearances were impressive. The Bloods’ Beau Nunan hit the scoreboard with four goals, while Ethan Moore and underager Jye Sinderberry were both contributors.

South Adelaide had a 15-point win over Norwood, and Tom Sparrow’s 14-possession, seven-tackle game was exciting alongside father-son prospect Hayden Sampson who collected 25 disposals. Dylan Stephens and Cameron Taheny were both best for the Redlegs and both are underage 2019 prospects.

It was the Centrals and Eagles game that produced the standout performance with Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett booting se seven goals, earning him the Round 2 Under 18 Most Valuable Player award. Aaron Nietschke also collected a game high 26 possessions in their side’s 22-point win. Kysaiah Pickett was named in the best for Eagles as an underager along with 2018 South Australian Academy member Jarrod Miller who collected eight marks and five clearances.

SANFL Womens:

The last minor round of SANFL Womens competition was completed at the weekend with dominant side South Adelaide finishing as minor premiers. South will be hard to stop for the Premiership but North Adelaide will be reeling after losing their last minor round game. Some standout performers over the second half of the year have come from North Adelaide’s Britt Perry, West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin in all games, Panthers’ Kristi Harvey has been impressive all season and Norwood’s Bek McMahon shows real leadership. Sturt’s Shae Gundlach has shown her class all year, and Glenelg’s youngster Ellie Kellock has had an impressive finish to the year.

It is on a sad note that we end this weeks wrap with the tragic passing of Sturt Women’s footballer Ellen Maple. Ellen tragically passed away on Sunday evening. Ellen was a standout performer in the SANFLW League all season for Sturt, having previously played for Norwood.

South Australia weekly wrap: Lukosius and Rankine to be unleashed in League trials

THIS week has seen preparation for the 2018 season ramp up at both the AFL and SANFL levels, with a bunch of South Australian talent on show. 2018 draft hopefuls will be looking to make an early statement on their season in trial games, while the AFL boys will be playing for bragging rights in the upcoming preseason Showdown. Meanwhile, the SANFLW competition hits the halfway mark.

SANFL News – Draft hopefuls set to light up trial games

THIS weekend, SANFL clubs will be put through their paces with all levels participating in trial games. In last week’s shortened SANFL trial games (15 min quarters) between North Adelaide and reigning premiers Sturt, some of this year’s draft potential were on show.

In the reserves, North got up by eight points, Boyd Woodcock was lively around the ball whilst James Langley presented well as a tall forward with limited opportunities, while also pinch-hitting in the ruck. It’s also worth noting that 2017 under 16 state ruckman Dyson Hilder, who is a 2019 prospect, also played at full-back for the first time in his career and had some rebounding plays. For Sturt, powerhouse midfielder Tom Lewis was amongst the possessions with many clearance handballs and was strong in and on the tackle. In the league game Sturt comfortably beat North, with AFL Academy prospect Hugo Munn playing up forward and crashing the contest a number of times. Coming off a BOG for the State U18 trial game, Mihail Lochwiak looked extremely comfortable at this level and showed poise and dash off half back.

From this weekend’s round of trial games there’s no doubt that most eyes will be on Eagles youngster Jack Lukosius, who has been selected in the Eagles’ League squad to take on Port Adelaide Magpies. The potential top 10 draft pick will draw attention in a strong Eagles side, as will West Adelaide’s Izak Rankine in the Bloods clash with the Crows. The full schedule of trial games can be found here

SANFL Womens – Halfway mark of the season The SANFLW season is now at the half way point, with South Adelaide and North Adelaide’s womens teams setting the pace. North Adelaide look to be the favourite at this stage and have some stand out performers in Katelyn Rozenweig – leading all comers with 10 goals for the season – and Jess Edwards and Becchera Palmer having impressive seasons. South Adelaide will be looking to hold onto top spot with Nikki Gore and Jaslynne Smith both showing their class to date.  For Norwood, Ebony O’Dea and Leah Cutting have impressed in all games. West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin has been in a class of her own for the Bloods, and Abbey Holmes continues to push for Crows selection. Sturt have a very young side full of local talent, and Shae Gundlach has clearly been their best so far. Glenelg have recently removed their SANFLW coach and hope for improved results with a young squad, and youngster Ellie Kellock looks a future AFLW talent.

AFL News – JLT Community Series

The recent round of JLT games continued to showcase a batch of South Australian talent looking to stake their claims for round one selection for their respective AFL teams. Ex-Glenelg youngster Bailey Williams looks ready for a berth in the the Western Bulldogs’ 22 after impressing in their win over Hawthorn, and Ryan Burton from Hawthorn no doubt will be one of their keys this year.  Former Centrals player Nick Holman was amongst the best for Gold Coast and has slotted back into the AFL environment well. It was fantastic to see Gold Coast Sun Sam Day and Geelong Cat Cory Gregson, both getting through their first games unscathed after hideous runs with injury in the past year. Both SA lads are prodigious talents and it will be exciting to see what they bring this season.

For the Adelaide based teams, the clash between Power and Crows at Alberton will no doubt be a fierce contest and it will be interesting to see team selections, especially whether youngster Darcy Fogarty can force his way into the Crows line-up, while Power recruit Tom Rockliff will have to wait for round one due to injury.