Tag: south adelaide

2021 SANFLW team review: South Adelaide

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is South Adelaide.

Position: 4th
Wins: 5
Losses: 5
Draws: 1
Points For: 304 (6th)
Points Against: 309 (4th)

Season in a Sentence: “South Adelaide’s success in recent years caught up with the Panthers early in the season as the amount of exits to AFLW level saw them blood new talents, and whilst they stormed home to play finals, fell short in their semi-final against West Adelaide.”

TOP PERFORMERS:

Nicole Campbell

The ever-reliable midfielder had another sensational season to earn SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours in 2021. The ball-winning star averaged 15.9 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.6 tackles, 2.9 clearances and 3.4 inside 50s across all 12 games to lead from the front in an ever-consistent effort. Able to cover the ground with ease and be used in transition going forward, Campbell rarely put in a bad effort, with seven games featuring 15 or more disposals to be a dominant player through the middle of the ground.

Gypsy Schirmer

The AFL Women’s Academy member played a variety of roles in 2021 after being a forward last year. Starting forward and then playing midfield, especially on the wing, Schirmer eventually transitioned into a defender, making her an all-round standout performer. Her athleticism – particularly her acceleration off the mark – and game sense was impressive, and the State Academy member earned a place in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year on the wing, but it was her versatility that really shone this season.

Jaslynne Smith

Notching up her 50th SANFL Women’s game in season 2021, Smith was another consistent player, managing all 12 games and showed maturity beyond her years. Smith averaged the 12.2 disposals, running at an elite 83 per cent, as well as 3.3 marks, 3.9 tackles and 2.4 rebound 50s. She was named in the back pocket of the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, and was one of the standout, consistent defenders all season.

Montana McKinnon

The Adelaide Crows ruck earned a place on the bench in the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, after managing 10 games for the Panthers. Whilst clearly having the talent to play at the top level, the strength of the Crows enabled the Panthers to benefit from her at state league level, and the ruck went about her business week-in, week-out. McKinnon averaged the 13.4 disposals, 3.6 marks, 2.7 tackles, 2.1 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s and 1.6 rebound 50s, and had 15 or more hitouts in all bar one game for the season.

OTHERS:

South Adelaide had a real even group of contributors, with State Academy member Tahlita Buethke having a breakout season at the level through the midfield, whilst Lisa Whiteley, Brianna Wedding and Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg were consistent all year. Jordann Hickey, Teah Charlton, Tahlia Meyer and Hannah Munyard returned from AFLW level late in the season to make an impact, as Jorja Hooper showed great signs for the future up forward, working well in tandem with Jess Kirk.

Picture credit: SANFL

The race to be number one: What separates Daicos and Horne?

IT’S the great debate surrounding this year’s AFL Draft. Nick Daicos and Jason Horne, the race to be number one. On June 1, Draft Central released its first monthly Power Rankings edition for 2021 and there were plenty of questions raised about the pointy end of the list. Daicos has arrived on the scene with plenty of fanfare and has since dominated both the media landscape, and on-field arena. But one prospect remains in the way him being the outright frontrunner this year – Horne.

We take a look at some of the key arguments to spawn on either side of this debate, essentially answer the question of why Horne topped our Power Rankings list and if Daicos stands a chance of snatching the crown come July’s edition.

Nick Daicos
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

DOB: 3/01/2003
Height/Weight: 183cm/72kg
Position: Midfielder

Season Averages:
2021 NAB League

4 games | 35.5 disposals | 22.3 kicks | 13.3 handballs | 6.5 marks | 3.8 tackles | 6.0 inside 50s | 2.5 rebound 50s | 2.3 goals (9 total)

Jason Horne
South Adelaide/South Australia

DOB: 21/06/2003
Height/Weight: 184cm/78kg
Position: Midfielder

Season Averages:
SANFL League

8 games | 15.0 disposals | 10.6 kicks | 4.4 handballs | 4.4 marks | 3.9 tackles | 3.4 inside 50s | 0.5 rebound 50s | 0.6 goals (5 total)

MEN AGAINST BOYS

The first place distant draft watchers often look when comparing players is the stats sheet. While it’s a fairly useful performance indicator, in this case it needs much more context than is afforded through pure numbers. Daicos is miles ahead of Horne on that basis alone, averaging 20 more disposals and managing just under double Horne’s goal tally in half the amount of games. He leads the NAB League for total disposals, kicks, and goals, while also topping Oakleigh’s charts in a number of other categories. His numbers are ridiculous, there is no denying it, and Horne’s don’t make for bad viewing either.

The difference is the level they’re playing at. Victoria’s elite talent pathway proudly boasts about providing over half of the total draft pool each year, and while that is fact, the standard of the competition has been a touch sub-par in 2021. That is not to discredit Daicos, talent pathway staff, or any of the footballers who have stuck true to their dream throughout a difficult period, but the game of catch-up remains evident after a year away from competitive action and incredibly rushed preseasons.

On the other hand, Horne’s 2020 campaign was merely disrupted, as opposed to cancelled. He got a taste of senior football as a bottom-ager and is better for it now, performing consistently in what is arguably the nation’s strongest state league at the moment. The 17-year-old has fallen below 10 touches just once in eight games and has impacted with more permanent midfield time. He also performed brilliantly in the SANFL Under 18s competition for two seasons as an under-ager.

Through no real fault of his own, Daicos is yet to get an extended run at senior level. He was due to slot into Collingwood’s VFL set-up during the NAB League’s month-long break, but a lingering corked thigh and overall management of his workload meant that did not come to fruition. The saying goes you can only beat who’s in front of you, and Daicos is doing that, but the different levels these two are competing at is a big factor in what their numbers look like.

THE ACADEMY GAME

So these two compete at different levels currently, but what happened when they ran out on the same field this year? The pair was chosen to represent the AFL Academy in a showcase game against Geelong VFL in April, often seen as a good sighter for the year’s talent. The Under 19 Academy was trounced by 130 points, with few prospects truly able to enhance their credentials on what was a tough day at the office.

Daicos was the AFL Academy captain and carried the role with aplomb having also experienced leadership with Oakleigh in the NAB League. Horne has too, at representative level no less, but Daicos got the nod here. The second big tick for Collingwood’s father-son hopeful was that he ended the game as the Academy’s clear highest ball winner. Not only that, but his 26 disposals were double that of Horne.

Now the context of competition is out of the equation, surely it’s conclusive that Daicos is the better-performed prospect – on pure numbers. It’s not quite that simple, as you’ll find below.

>> Scouting Notes: AFL Academy vs. Geelong VFL

IMPACT PER POSSESSION

It’s all well and good winning bucketloads of the ball, but what are these two doing with it?

Horne’s lower disposal rates in comparison do not necessarily indicate lesser impact. 15 of his disposals are arguably more damaging than if Daicos had the same number, but the latter’s sway on the game comes through sheer accumulation and an uncanny knack for knowing when and where his next possession will come. Horne’s penetrative kick and bullet-like passing can be a real weapon, matched with the positive intent to put the ball in ominous areas. His knack for taking eye-catching overhead marks and laying crunching tackles also point towards his undeniable status as a high-impact player.

Daicos is usually a wonderfully clean and clever user of the ball, with the added trait of bringing his teammates into the play. He constantly looks to give and go; kicking short and running hard to get the handball back, or chaining by hand up the field to help bring some fluency to his side’s play. It means he is a productive and creative type in midfield, just in a different way to Horne. He is better able to find the ball in all areas of the ground with his work-rate and smarts, but is that kind of accumulation always as impactful as possible? The verdict is out, but he can certainly have an overwhelming effect on the game with his rate of accumulation, popping up everywhere.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Judging such high-level AFL Draft prospects to the most minute details is often a fickle exercise which does little to actually highlight what they do so well. In this case, it works to better understand some of the key parameters and contexts required to make such judgements. At the end of the year when both likely attract top two selections, and throughout their careers the discussion will rear its head – again and again. Walsh/Rozee, McCluggage/Taranto/McGrath, Hodge/Judd/Ball – all examples of exactly that. It never goes away, but hopefully now there is a better understanding of which factors weight in the favour of both Daicos and Horne, for fans, pundits and recruiters alike to make their own judgement calls. It’s all subjective.

SANFL League Player Focus: Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide midfielder Matthew Roberts broke through for his maiden SANFL League outing on Saturday, joining fellow top 10 AFL Draft candidate Jason Horne in the Panthers’ seven-point win over Woodville-West Torrens (WWT). The hard-working youngster earned his call-up though sheer domination in the Under 18s, where he averaged 32 disposals, 6.3 clearances, and almost two goals a game across his three outings this season. Roberts also turned out for the AFL Academy last month, playing exclusively up forward in the side’s heavy loss to Geelong VFL.

The 18-year-old has long been one of South Australia’s most promising prospects, having represented his state twice at Under 16s level and dominated the SANFL Under 18s competition as a bottom-ager. He also captains the St Peter’s College First XVIII and looms as a key figure in SA’s Under 19 carnival side this year. Roberts’ running capacity, decision making, and ability to hit the scoreboard while resting forward are just some of the desirable traits which have him pegged towards the pointy end of this year’s draft crop.

He is the prospect under our SANFL Player Focus microscope this week; we run you through his game quarter-by-quarter, and bring you the key stats out of his Round 6 showing.

Matthew Roberts
South Adelaide/South Australia

DOB: July 31, 2003
Height/Weight: 183cm/81kg
Position: Midfielder/Forward

2021 averages*: 32.0 disposals | 23.0 kicks | 9.0 handballs | 8.3 marks | 7.7 tackles | 6.3 clearances | 7.7 inside 50s | 4.0 rebound 50s | 1.7 goals (5)

* – from three Under 18 games.

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

2021 SANFL League, Round 6

Woodville West Torrens 13.13 (91) def. by South Adelaide 15.9 (99)

Stats: 14 disposals | 5 kicks | 9 handballs | 2 tackles | 3 inside 50s | 1 goal

Quarter-by-quarter:

Q1:

Roberts started and stayed at half-forward in the greasy conditions, but set the tone for himself early as the wet ball did not affect his cleanliness. An early gather around a pack with a slick handball under pressure was a sign of things to come as all his work was done below his knees for the day. Although he was a little passive at some stoppages around forward 50, he was still trying to work into his first League game and understand where to position best. Despite this, he did manage to get first hands off a ruck tap but was unable to find a teammate before the ball was knocked from him. Roberts pushed in at centre bounces when starting high and managed to wrangle in a hacked kick to space and find a teammate with a beautifully weighted kick inside 50. Pushing up the ground when the ball was stuck in his defensive 50, he did a good job of positioning himself to be able to hit the contest from a clearing kick at pace, and when presented the chance to crumb, he did so very well on one occasion, opting to find a teammate with a sweeping handball which opened up the attacking fore.

Q2:

The second quarter was one of Roberts’ quieter ones although it did highlight his good acceleration to apply defensive pressure, which he did all day. Two tackles are not earth-shattering but in his first League game, he adjusted to the pace well and would have registered plenty more pressure acts without a tackle. Once he settles in, you can expect that tackle count to rise. A hack kick off the ground also assisted with the surge forward as he applied a defensive effort to follow up after an Eagles defender swept up at ground level.

Q3:

His output picked up again this quarter as he continued his good timing to rove around packs and do it with one grab, brilliantly composed. He showed good strength to bump off a tackler on one occasion, showing he is physically up to the League level, accentuated by his stability over the ball in congestion having rarely hit the deck. Pushing down from his high positioning after a deep forward entry from the centre bounce saw him gather cleanly after the ball spilled out, before snapping around on his trusty left boot to put through his first League goal – a tidy and clean finish in-tight. Although a pair of fumbles came later in the quarter off some hot, tumbling balls, he showed he was getting to good positions to win his own ball. Roberts then made up for them with a perfect pass to Jake Tarca inside 50 for a goal. He had a couple of missed handballs on the far wing, but also showed solid positioning after contests and packs to either fill gaps, get dangerous, or prevent exits for the opposition.

Q4:

Although it was not a busy quarter like the previous for Roberts, he did some important things as the tight contest intensified. More clean pickups and quick hands from below the knees allowed the Panthers to maintain possession on several occasions. He also started to find his feet with his positioning in forward half stoppages, often leaving the contest to ready his run into forward 50 should his side clear it forward.

Final thoughts…

Coming off a dominant Under 18 performance, Roberts repaid the faith from head coach Jarrad Wright for bypassing a typical Reserves induction game. A serviceable outing playing a role should warrant another selection as he seemed comfortable in the contest to gather cleanly so often. 14 disposals with no marks indicates his ground ball nous and barring a few missed handballs, his disposal was reliable all game. The half-forward role is a difficult one to make a massive impact on the game, but Roberts did well to maintain his space and get to the front of contests to keep driving the ball forward. He was able to do this by not always flying for contests and positioning himself well, while working hard to get dangerous when the opportunity presented itself. Overall, a solid first League game with a goal for Roberts.

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

Prowse excels from being thrown into key role

ZOE Prowse was certainly thrown in the deep end when she first pulled on the Double Blues’ jumper in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition a few years back. The then 15-year-old had come from a local football club and successfully earned a spot on Sturt’s Under 15s list, but soon found herself rucking against opponents twice her age.

“I started playing school footy so two of my teachers actually played SANFL and from there they just said ‘come try out at school’ and then from there one of my friends played at a local football club, went to that club and then Sturt invited me out just to do the Under 15s and then from that started playing in the women’s league,” Prowse said.

It’s been a lot, so I started when I was 15 and I was thrown into the ruck pretty much straight away so I was pretty young, but it was exciting and I learnt a lot very quickly.”

Prowse held her own then, and it has held her in good stead for her junior football career, rising up through the South Australian development programs to begin training with the State Academy, something she has enjoyed. Playing and training alongside the best young talent in the state, Prowse said she noticed the difference in speed at trainings and Academy games.

“It’s been really good, been training once a week, really good to get around a different group of people, so used to training with our normal SANFL clubs, playing against each other and then coming together,” she said. “It’s a lot faster than SANFL so that’s good as well.”

Having been noticed from a young age as a prestigious talent, Prowse was the sole bottom-age AFL Women’s Academy member last year, and was joined in the Academy by South Adelaide’s Gypsy Schirmer this year. While the Sturt ruck said there was not much that had been done to-date (at the time of the interview mid-champs), Prowse was looking forward to future camps alongside the other members of the Academy.

“It’s been really good,” Prowse said. “I haven’t completed much yet, but after this trip we have camps so we can just stay here until Saturday and then we have another camp further later in the year, but hasn’t been a lot yet so far.”

Being an athletic ruck who has expanded her game into playing through the midfield or even up forward of late, Prowse noted her strengths as her timing of her jumps, and then contesting in marking situations. As for her improvements, Prowse was blunt about her most recent performance at the time during South Australia’s loss to Vic Country.

“Very simple but just my kicking,” she said. “In my last game my kicking was horrible, I really need to improve it.”

Now playing alongside plenty of youth at the Double Blues, Prowse said she was enjoying the youth influx at the club, as well as the experienced players who have aided in both her, and her teammates’ development.

“It’s been really good, so there’s a few other girls that are my age as well who are doing it, so having them around has been really good, but I’ve learnt so much off the older players and it’s just been really exciting,” she said.

As for an inspiration, the budding AFL Women’s talent – who said reaching the elite level was the dream goal – Prowse said she could not pinpoint a sole individual as inspiration, but rather a support network around her.

“There hasn’t been one specific person, there’s just people like my sister, as well as a few of my friends, as well as my parents, so little bits from a lot of people, not one person specifically,” she said.

Prowse and her Sturt side are hoping to continue their rise up the ladder and push for finals, currently sitting in sixth on the SANFL Women’s table with two rounds remaining in the regular season.

SANFL Under 18s Player Focus: Arlo Draper (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide’s Arlo Draper is a prospect who has garnered a fair bit of intrigue this year. The dynamic midfielder-forward is rated highly by most keen draft watchers, but proved a glaring omission from the AFL Academy squad which was recently dismantled by Geelong VFL. While 24 of the nation’s best and brightest talents looked to prove their worth in that game, Draper continued with his SANFL Under 18s commitments, helping the Panthers edge home against Central District by three points on Saturday morning.

In four games this season, the 18-year-old picked up where he left off in 2020 with some impactful performances for South. Draper has notched over 20 disposals and booted two goals in three of his outings thus far, showcasing the damage he can do when rotating forward from midfield. His versatility, and turn of speed to create space in tight areas are key pillars of his game, as well as a handy knack for taking overhead marks and hitting the scoreboard.

Draper is the prospect under our SANFL Player Focus microscope this week; we run you through his game quarter-by-quarter, and bring you the key stats out of his Round 4 showing.

PLAYER PAGE

Arlo Draper
South Adelaide/South Australia

DOB: January 20, 2003
Height: 185cm
Position: Midfielder/Forward

2021 averages*: 21.8 disposals | 12.8 kicks | 9.0 handballs | 4.3 marks | 4.3 tackles | 6.0 clearances | 3.5 inside 50s | 0.3 rebound 50s | 2.0 goals (8)

* – from first four games.

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

PLAYER FOCUS

2021 SANFL U18s, Round 4
South Adelaide 10.11 (71) def. Central District 10.8 (68)

Stats: 24 disposals | 14 kicks | 10 handballs | 4 marks | 3 tackles | 6 clearances | 5 inside 50s | 1 rebound 50 | 3 goals

Quarter-by-quarter:

Q1:

Stationed at the opening centre bounce, Draper started brightly as one of South’s midfield staples. He showcased his usual poise in traffic to flick out clean handballs and work his way into better positions with good agility. He also set up a kick behind the play when the Panthers were inside attacking 50, where he would be able to read the play and act as his side’s wall. At the centre bounces and stoppages, he set up unmanned in the anchor role and tracked the ball well, even when those movements went unrewarded in the way of possessions. Defensively, he seemed to conserve energy a touch and could be seen walking or jogging between contests, not spreading as hard as others. Given he mostly remained between the arcs when the ball was in either 50-metre zone, that may have been a product of instruction or positioning. Draper rotated into attack at around the 14-minute mark, where he popped up to clunk a terrific overhead mark and convert South’s second goal of the day. It proved a rare kick among his many effective handballs and clean gathers in term one.

Q2:

Starting once again as the unmanned anchor, Draper made another eye-catching start to the quarter – this time by running straight through the opening centre bounce to mop up the spillage and boot a clearance inside 50 to give Bailey Pilmore an immediate chance on goal. He again lacked a touch of intent going the other way at stoppages when Centrals prized first possession, while also allowing his direct opponent to take front position at the contest. But as he did during the opening period of play, Draper impacted once he swung forward with a nice grab deep inside 50. The kick was weighted to his advantage, he read it well to stretch and clunk the mark before converting once again. It proved an important goal, restoring South’s buffer to seven points. Having moved back into midfield, Draper showed his burst in patches and was able to get into positions to receive and deliver forward by foot.

Q3:

The third term was arguably Draper’s quietest on face value, despite taking up many of the same positions and roles. He was given the usual centre bounce and stoppage orders while in midfield, before rotating forward at the 14-minute mark but not adding a goal to his tally. Draper tended to sag off and wait to receive on the outer at stoppages, rather than being sucked in or extracting the ball himself, which worked out well for him in the second term. He did not see as much of the ball this time around, but followed the flow of the play and was able to deliver some more clean disposals around the ground.

Q4:

Having faded a touch, Draper ensured he would make an impact when it mattered with an improved final term. He now found himself manned at the stoppages in that position behind the ruck, still giving up front position but staying with the play to earn an early centre clearance. With a spark needed for South as Centrals closed, Draper looked to better utilise his turn of speed and burn opponents on the outer, while also providing a couple of tackling efforts. As he had done in the first half, Draper made his move into attack count with yet another overhead mark close to goal, using his athleticism and smarts to pluck the ball from the back and then put through his third goal. While he was uncharacteristically fumbly over the ball in the latter stages, that goal provided the Panthers with some breathing space at a clutch moment. He really proved a difference maker with those efforts up forward, ensuring the move was less of a rest and more of a weapon for South.

Final thoughts…

Having missed out on representative honours many had pegged him for, Draper served a reminder of his class and unique talent. His ability to rotate forward and consistently hit the scoreboard is a threat any team would love to have in its back pocket, and three goals in those four short forward stints proved crucial in Saturday’s result. While he exceeded his goal to notch a yo-yo test score of 21 during preseason testing, Draper could arguably utilise that running capacity better on the spread and in defensive aspects, ensuring his speed-endurance mix really comes to the fore. At stoppages, wrestling to front position could see him win more contested ball, though Draper’s tendency to sag off and receive second possession in this game allowed for his class and cleanliness to shine through. Going forward, Draper is also looking to sharpen his opposite foot kicking and put on size to play more permanently through midfield. He certainly has the tools to star in that position, with an innate ability to manufacture time and space, and the all-important versatility to also impact up forward.

>> WATCH: Arlo Draper’s Round 4 highlights

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

South claims Under 16 flag with super second half surge

SOUTH Adelaide is the 2021 SANFL Under 16 premier, after inflicting a second half assault on Glenelg in Sunday’s decider at Flinders University Stadium. The Panthers, who also took out this season’s minor premiership, booted 12 goals to the Bays’ two after half time to run away emphatic 53-point victors. Having lead at the main break, Glenelg looked on track to claim an unprecedented fifth-straight Under 16s flag, but that was not to be as South triumphed for the first time at any level since 1995.

Panthers ruck and vice-captain Tom Schirmer was awarded best afield honours, finishing with 15 disposals, five clearances, 26 hitouts, and a goal in his side’s salute. Competition leading goalkicker Jack Delean sprung to life and helped South break the game open in the third term, capping off a terrific season with 15 touches and three goals for the premiers.

Joining him among the goals were Phoenix Hargrave and Ryan Pearsons, who both snared two alongside Jake Agnew. South’s key ball winners were also at play during the big dance, with Jace Davis notching a team-high 20 touches and Tom Wheaton claiming 16, including seven marks and a goal.

While there has not been much good to shout about for Carlton fans of late, the Blues can look forward to seeing more of father-son prospect, Lucas Camporeale – the son of 1995 premiership player, Scott. The consistent ball winner racked up a game-high 22 disposals to average 27 across Glenelg’s two finals outings.

Bays skipper Ben Ridgway worked hard for his team to conclude with 19 disposals, eight tackles, five marks and two goals. Josh Altus was another to boot multiple majors, also finishing with a pair among his 15 touches. Bodie Ryan found it 16 times and among his 15 kicks, registered nine rebound 50s, while Ashton Moir soared for 10 marks (five contested) and Beau Symonds got his hands dirty for 11 tackles in yellow and black.

Players from both sides will now likely filter into the Under 18 competition and school football season, with the cream of the crop potentially even vying for state Under 17 selection.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.3 | 4.4 | 10.6 | 16.8 (104)
GLENELG 2.1 | 5.4 | 6.4 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

South: J. Delean 3, J. Agnew 2, P. Hargrave 2, R. Pearsons 2, B. Barrett, I. Churchill, J. Heinze, S. Hoeck, S. Oliver, T. Schirmer, T. Wheaton
Glenelg: J. Altus 2, B. Ridgway 2, J. Dutton, H. Francis, A. McShane

Best afield: Tom Schirmer (South Adelaide)

Image Credit: Morgan Sette/The Advertiser

2021 SANFL Under 16s Semi Finals wrap – South, Bays progress to decider

MINOR premier South Adelaide will meet Glenelg in the 2021 SANFL Under 16 Grand Final, after both sides won out in their preliminary bouts in a Sunday double-header at Hisense Stadium. Both sides finished the regular season with 5-2 records, before progressing through the first post-season week in style. We recap both results, highlighting some of the best players afield from all four finalists.

South Adelaide 16.11 (107) def. North Adelaide 12.3 (75)

South Adelaide became the first side to qualify for this year’s Under 16 decider, via a 32-point defeat of North Adelaide on Sunday morning. The Panthers led from the first goal and managed to break away after an even opening term. Having skipped to a three-goal buffer at half time, South made it five by the next change of ends, and maintained its scoreboard pressure to run out comfortable 16.11 (107) to 12.3 (75) victors.

Competition leading goalkicker Jack Delean had a blinder with 7.2 from 15 disposals, backing up a six-goal effort last week. Like Delean, Phoenix Hargrave also bagged his personal season-high in goals with four, as leading ball winners Tom Wheaton (24 disposals) and Sid Draper (23) also snared goals and had 17 clearances between them. Ryan Pearsons was another to have a say with nine marks, eight inside 50s and 19 disposals, while Jace Davis got his hands dirty with 10 tackles and Benny Barrett laid eight, also kicking 1.2.

Jed Dignan was North’s best form of reply with three goals, he also managed to clunk three contested grabs. Roosters’ leading goalkicker Dj Smith was one of two players to kick two goals, making for his fifth haul of multiple majors for 2021. Gun midfielder Kane McAuliffe capped a remarkable year with 36 disposals, nine marks and seven clearances, with Toby Turner (27 disposals, 14 rebound 50s) kept busy as the only other Rooster to tick over 25 touches. Mackenzie Boxall and Louie Montgomery were others to get amongst it, finishing with 15 disposals and one goal apiece.

Sturt 6.7 (43) def. by Glenelg 12.8 (80)

Glenelg earned passage to this year’s Under 16 Grand Final with a comprehensive performance against Sturt, defeating the Double Blues by 37 points on Sunday afternoon. The Bays led from the get-go and never looked back, opening up a handy buffer at the first break and applying too much scoreboard pressure for Sturt to surmount. The game was all but over at three quarter time with Glenelg 45 points clear, and the Tigers would end up doubling their opponents’ goal tally in the 12.8 (80) to 6.7 (43) drubbing.

Lucas Camporeale led all comers with 32 touches (25 kicks) and six inside 50s in the win, as Bodie Ryan managed 26 (20 kicks), nine marks and eight r50. Anders McShane booted a goal from his 23 touches, while skipper Ben Ridgway clunked seven marks and laid six tackles in a hard-working display. Eli Redman booted two goals from his 21 disposals, finishing only behind the haul of three from tall, Harry Francis. Ashton Moir was also strong in the air, clunking 11 marks (four contested).

Sturt finished with six single goalkickers, and leading ball winner Luca Slade was among them. He racked up 25 touches and five clearances, while Thomas McCourt was the only other Blues to tick over 20 disposals and kick a goal. George Pope had it 23 times, and Lachlan Murphy was another to keep busy with 21 as the second-ranked side fell short of reaching the season’s final week.

Image Credit: Cory Sutton/SANFL

State Leagues wrap: Contenders appear after two rounds

STATE League football continued across the country on the weekend, with plenty of teams recording back-to-back wins, while others look for improvement across the board following a disappointing first week. We take a look at the action in the QAFL, SANFL, TSL and WAFL across Round 2.

QUEENSLAND:

By: Peter Williams

A couple of massive wins to sides – including a triple-figure thumping – saw plenty of goals kicked in what was effectively a very one-side round in the QAFL. Aside from one 14-point differential, the other four games were between 32 and 100 points. The largest of them all was Maroochydore’s 25.18 (168) to 10.8 (68) shellacking of Wilston Grange. The Gorillas were coming off a first round one-point win over newcomers Noosa Tigers, but ran into an unstoppable force in the Roos.

Maroochydore piled on a whopping 12.12 to 3.1 by half-time, and booted six goals in each of the first three quarters, and seven in the final term for 43 scoring shots to 18. After narrowly missing out on the leading goalkicker award last year, Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard wasted no time getting some runs on the board with 11 majors, kicking more goals than the entire opposition side. Lochie Laing booted four snags, while Lachlan Robinson and Josh Govan were also impressive for the winners. Hugh Fidler managed three majors for Wilston Grange, while Harry Wilson and Mitchell Crawley were steadfast in defeat.

League newcomers Redland-Victoria Park also wasted no time asserting themselves on the competition with a high-scoring 58-point win over 2019 QAFL premiers Surfers Paradise. In the combined highest scoring match of Round 2, the Sharks won 24.10 (154) to 15.6 (96). Twenty two players hit the scoreboard in the match, with Josh Brown and Harrison Kerr snagging four goals apiece for the winners, while Thompson Smith‘s three majors were the most of any player on the losing side. Matthew Walters (Redland-Victoria Point) and Jack Prestegar (Surfers Paradise) were named the top players for their respective sides.

Reigning premiers Morningside also kicked off their season in style with a 43-point triumph over Palm Beach Currumbin. Rising star talent Nathan Colenso slotted five majors in the win, with Sam Godfrey (one) and Liam Dwyer (two) also among the best for the Panthers. Nick Crowley and Frazer Eaton both kicked a couple of goals for the Lions, as Corey Joyce was named best-on for the home side.

The result sets up a tantalising grand final rematch next week after Connor Nutting (five goals) and Jordan Moncrieff (four) put Labrador to the sword during Broadbeach’s 15.7 (97) to 9.11 (65) win. Trailing by 10 points at quarter time, the Cats piled on 13 goals to six in the final three quarters to get the win, with Tyrone Armitage and Ryan Gilmore both impressive. Shaydan Close and Blair Rubock both kicked three goals for the Tigers, while Andy Hollis was named the best in a losing side.

In the tightest game of the round, Mt Gravatt held on to run out the stronger side against Sherwood Districts, defeating the Magpies, 12.12 (84) to 9.16 (70). Trailing by a goal at half-time, and then leading by only four points at the final break, the Vultures booted 4.3 to 2.5 in the final term to secure the win. Jonah Licht nailed half a dozen goals in the victory, while Craig Malone and Gavin Grose were among the Vultures’ best. For Sherwood, Kobe Tozer made a successful return from injury the last couple of years to slot three goals for the Magpies, as Luca Winton and Riley Easton were also among the losing team’s top players.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

By: Liam Badkin

At Alberton Oval, Port Adelaide pulled off a miraculous comeback against the Bulldogs, kicking 4.6 to 0.0 in the last quarter to run out 17-point victors. Boyd Woodcock led his side with 23 disposals and a goal, while Jarrod Lienert had 23 touches of his own but missed both of his opportunities to put his name in the goalkickers column. Luke Surman kicked 3.2 and led the come from behind victory. Kyle Presbury was the best for the Bulldogs, racking up 36 disposals and nine marks, while Ethan East was dangerous around goal, kicking three.

At Prospect Oval, the North Adelaide Roosters fell to a second quarter surge courtesy of the South Adelaide Panthers, who kicked seven goals to one in the second term, to put the game out of reach. The Roosters battled hard in the second half, but the comeback couldn’t be completed as they were defeated by 11 points. South Adelaide’s Joseph Haines found plenty of the ball, accumulating 28 disposals, while midfielders Joel Cross and Bryce Gibbs combined for 11 clearances. Liam Fitt, Damon Frietag and Eamon Wilkinson kicked two goals each. For the Roosters, Harrison Wigg had 29 disposals, while Jarred Allmond impressed with 27 touches and a goal. William Combe kicked two goals while an inaccurate Aaron Young kicked 1.4 for the day.

Moving to Unley Oval, the Redlegs backed up last week’s win with another, beating Sturt by 21 points in a solid outing. Sturt trailed all game, and while the margin was only four points at half time, the Redlegs did enough to keep their opponents at bay and leave the ground 2-0 after two games. Matthew Nunn and Nikolaus Rokahr finished with 24 disposals each, while Michael Knoll was the main extractor from stoppages, finishing with nine clearances. Dom Barry and Tom Wagner slotted two goals apiece. For Sturt, James Battersby won a game high 25 disposals and was able to hit the scoreboard with a goal in a solid performance, while Ashley Johnson kicked two goals to try and bring his side back into the contest.

Across at ACH Group Stadium, the Glenelg Tigers proved too good for the Woodville West Torrens Eagles, winning by a comfortable 29 points. Inaccurate to start the game, the Eagles punished their opponents, who were left ruing their missed opportunities. A second half told a different tale as the Tigers kicked 11 goals to three and would be pleased with their turnaround. Tigers midfielder Matthew Snook was unstoppable in the midfield, finishing with 24 disposals, 12 tackles, 10 clearances and a goal, setting the tone for his teammates. Luke Partington (32 disposals) and Brett Turner (26 disposals and 10 clearances) both found themselves with the ball plenty of times, while Luke Reynolds and Lachie Hosie chimed in three goals each. For the Eagles, Daniel Menzel (three goals) and Dane McFarlane (25 disposals) fought hard.

Hisense Stadium was home to a classic on Saturday afternoon, as the Adelaide Crows scraped past the North Adelaide Bloods by six points in a thriller. With the game tied at three quarter time, both sides were inaccurate, kicking three behinds each, but a James Matthews goal in time on proved to be the match winner. For the Crows, skipper Matthew Wright found plenty of the ball, disposing of it 27 times and combined well with ruckman Kieran Strachan who displayed dominance in the air. Luke Pedlar kicked three goals, all of which proved to be handy. For the Bloods, former Hawthorn player Kieran Lovell dominated through the midfield with 39 disposals and six clearances, while Logan Hill continued to find the ball with 27 touches.

TASMANIA:

By: Liam Badkin

Saturday’s Tasmanian football action saw some big wins across the grounds. Clarence bounced back from last week’s loss to Lauderdale by defeating Glenorchy by 32 points at KGV oval. Coming off the bye last week, Glenorchy found themselves trailing by four goals at the main break. A third quarter fightback saw scores level heading into the final term, but Clarence kicked five goals to none in the last quarter to walk away with their first win of the year. There were a plethora of goal kickers for the victors. Former Brisbane Lions and Essendon player Josh Green and Oliver Preshaw kicked three goals each, while Jacques Barwick chimed in with two. Onballer Baxter Norton was judged best afield for his work through the midfield, while playing coach and former Richmond Tiger Jeromey Webberley was also amongst the best. For Glenorchy, Ben Karamic booted a game high five goals to be his side’s best performer and start his season off in style.

Moving to Kingston’s Twin Ovals, the Tigers took down Lauderdale by 29 points in a convincing win. The Tigers started the game in style, kicking 5.0 to Lauderdale’s 3.1, and the lead only continued to grow. Lauderdale struggled to contain the Tigers, particularly in the second term, and it didn’t help that the Tigers didn’t miss a shot on goal until the third term. For the Tigers, Tyler Carter kicked three goals, while Sam Duigan, Elijah Reardon, Marcus Gardner and Max Collidge all kicked two each, and midfielder Lachlan Clifford was judged best afield. For Lauderdale, Josh Mcguinness kicked four goals and was his side’s best, while Will Poland also impressed in his first game of the year.

In the north of the state, North Launceston bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat to crush North Hobart by 113 points at UTAS Stadium. Last year’s runners up dominated all day, not allowing their opponents from the south any room to score, while piling on the goals themselves. For the winners, there were 10 individual goal kickers, led by Thomas Bennett’s four goals and Brad Cox-Goodyer’s three. Daniel Withers kicked two of his own and was his side’s best performer. For the Demons, Jack Mcculloch was the lone goal scorer for his side, while Callum Kilpatrick tried all day.

Launceston had the bye.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

By: Peter Williams

Subiaco has set the bar high in the early stages of the WAFL season, with an impressive 33-point win over fellow Round 1 winners, East Fremantle. The teams were evenly matched to three quarter time with the Lions leading by just two points, before running away with it in the final term thanks to 5.8 to 1.1 in order to post a 12.14 (86) to 8.5 (53) victory over the Sharks. Leigh Kitchin had a day out with a match-high 28 touches, as well as 10 tackles and six inside 50s, working hard alongside Gregory Clark (21 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles, one goal). Ryan Borchet (three goals) and Harrison Marsh (two) were both prominent in the win. For the Sharks, ball magnet Josh Schoenfeld racked up 27 touches and 10 tackles to go with his 40-plus disposals from last week, while Luke Strnadica dominated the ruck with 48 hitouts and a goal to accompany 23 disposals, five marks and four tackles.

Claremont is hot on Subiaco’s tail after Round 2, accounting for another Round 1 winner in South Fremantle on Saturday. The Tigers won 17.6 (108) to 13.14 (92) in the game of the round. Lachlan Martinis and Jye Bolton combined for 63 disposals and nine tackles, while Jake Patmore (26 disposals, four marks) and Kane Mitchell (25 disposals, eight marks and three goals) were also prominent. Top draft-eligible tall Jacob Van Rooyen had a quieter day out compared to Round 1, managing the seven touches and three marks. Dylan Main (26 disposals, four marks and three tackles) and Haiden Schloithe (24 disposals, five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) were the most prominent players for the Bulldogs.

After suffering a Round 1 defeat, Peel Thunder completely dismantled East Perth with a 15 goals to three second half, to run away with the 24.10 (154) to 7.7 (49) victory. The Thunder were far too strong in posting the 105-point shellacking, as a combination of past and present AFL talents took control. Fremantle duo, Taylin Duman (30 disposals nine marks and three inside 50s) and Connor Blakely (26 disposals, seven marks and two inside 50s) were both impressive, while ex-Eagle Will Schofield (26 disposals, seven marks, 16 hitouts and a goal) and ex-Bomber Jackson Merrett (25 disposals, seven marks) all stood out. For the Royals, Angus Scott had a day out with 34 touches, four marks, three tackles and six inside 50s, while Jackson Ramsay did all he could in the loss with 28 disposals, 10 tackles and six inside 50s.

West Perth bounced back from a Round 1 loss to easily account for a disappointing West Coast side, piling on nine and 10 goals in the respective first and second halves, as the Eagles only managed the three apiece in those halves. The Falcons dominated possession with four players picking up 30-plus disposals, and only one player having single-digit disposals on their way to a team total of 457 disposals. Aaron Black had a lazy 43 disposals, nine marks and six inside 50s in his 200th WAFL game, joined in the 40-plus club by Trent Manzone (40 disposals, seven marks). Shane Nelson (31 disposals, five marks) and Connor West (30 disposals, six marks) were also massive ball winners, whilst up forward, Tyler Keitel was unstoppable thanks to six goals from 17 touches and nine marks, while Mitchell Antonio snagged four goals from 25 touches and a whopping 15 marks. The Eagles had a couple of players pushing for a recall with Brayden Ainsworth (36 disposals, 10 marks and three inside 50s) the clear best, while Alex Witherden managed the 26 touches, six marks, four tackles and two inside 50s.

In the only game of the round where a Round 1 loser defeated a Round 1 winner, Swan Districts got on the board with a 50-point victory over Perth. While the Bombers kicked 3.6 in the final term to reduce the deficit, the damage was already done in the first three quarters, when the Swans booted 11 goals to three. Ball magnet Sam Fisher had a lazy 41 touches with seven marks, six tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal, teaming up well with fellow ex-Carlton VFL midfielder Frank Anderson (31 disposals, five marks, six tackles and five inside 50s). Nelson Waite (29 disposals, five marks and four tackles) and Aidan Clarke (28 disposals, 14 marks and four inside 50s) were also strong, as Matt Riggio (20 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50s and four goals) was a dominant goalkicker alongside Jesse Palmer (11 disposals, three marks and four goals). For Perth, Chris Masten had the 29 disposals and six marks, while Brady Grey (28 disposals, six marks, seven tackles and eight inside 50s) and Brent Edmonds (25 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s and a goal) were also consistent despite the loss.

Picture credit: WAFL

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Round 4

IT was a tight round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action in Round 4, and we took a look at the State Academy players once again in what was their last preparation ahead of the first AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships match against Western Australia next Sunday. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

WWT EAGLES vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

By: Peter Willams

Eagles:

#8 Charlotte Dolan

Attacked the contest hard throughout the four quarters and is always heavily involved with the umpires both ways; receiving free kicks for getting to the ball first and being tackled high, then going overzealous with a tackle herself and giving one away. You know exactly where to find her – at the bottom of a pack, on top of an opponent or ready to receive the ball in close. Throughout the match she showed good strength to run the ball in transition and drove the ball inside 50 on a number of occasions, having a purple patch early in the fourth term, as well as showing clean hands at ground level.

#25 Jamie Parish

Winning the ball at both half-forward and half-back, showed off her versatility which will come in handy at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships. She had strong hands to clunk grabs around the ground and is quick to dispose of the ball, such as when she was close to the boundary line on the wing, five minutes into the third team.

Central:

#40 Madison Lane

Having a great season in 2021, the rebounding defender has found her niche in defence with clean hands, good footy IQ and clean kicking out of the back half. She did have a moment to forget when giving away a 50m penalty for not handing the ball back sooner in the second term resulting an opposition goal, but otherwise had a superb performance. Time and time again she would mop up for her side, show a clean pair of heels, pick up the ball at full speed and deliver to a free teammate at half-back or down the wing. She put up a four-quarter performance and was one of the Bulldogs’ best on the day.

#41 Laitiah Huynh

The small forward might not have had the impact she has in past weeks, but kept working hard throughout the four quarters. Huynh had a few almost-moments with an almost-grab at half-forward early in the match, then burst out of a pack inside 50 but was run down. Throw in a terribly unlucky bounce early in the fourth term, and the luck was not on her side. However in saying that, her defensive pressure all day was still red-hot and she had a good final term with quick hands and tracking an opponent at half-forward to force a turnover. Another highlight came late in the first term when an opponent attempted to fend her off but she denied that and locked up the ball in a tackle.

 

WEST ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG

By: Peter Williams

West Adelaide:

#8 Keeley Kustermann

Played an aggressive running game off half-back and along the wing with quick disposal and using her lovely long kicking to advantage. Possessing a penetrating kick and great balance on either side, Kustermann routinely beat her opponent to the ball and would either win, or nullify the contest. The bottom-age talent was utilised kicking out of defence, and then in the third term had a number of long kicks from the top of 50 deep to the danger zone to try and create scoring opportunities in the second half.

#9 Zoe Venning

Stringing together a really good 2021 season, Venning was once again very prominent for the Bloods throughout four quarters. A fierce inside midfielder who has the capacity to spread to the outside and get it forward, she packs a punch by throwing herself at the hard ball and shovelling it out to teammates. She won a free kick late in the first term, and with no one on the mark ran to 55m out and delivered perfectly to Lauren Young inside 50 for a goal. She read the ball well in flight 11 minutes into the second term and read it off hands well midway through the third to snap inside 50 off a stoppage, as some of her other highlights for the match.

#30 Lauren Young

After dominating in the air in defence in Round 1 – whilst still playing as a midfielder – and then racking up big numbers through the middle the last two weeks, it was only natural for the 179cm 15-year-old to go forward and slot three majors to desperately try and haul her side over the line. Still roaming through the middle and just finding the right spots in the forward 50, she kicked two goals in six minutes in the opening term with a strong mark and set shot 20m out, then a free kick 15m out to give her team a perfect start. Just as Glenelg was getting on top with momentum, Young bobbed up again with another contested mark four minutes into the final term to put the Bloods back in front by six points. She also had her fair share of touches around the ground and would pump it out of defensive 50 throughout the match too.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Has really developed into a consistent midfielder running on the outside and accumulating the ball with ease. While at times she can rush, when she knows she has the time and space, she can take the game on, break it open and gain some serious meterage. Her sidestepping and ability to get out of trouble is a treat, and despite being lightly-built compared to some opponents, just lays fierce tackles. As versatile as they come, able to play in all thirds of the ground.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Had another solid outing with her consistent foot skills and reading of the play on show. She worked hard on the last line, and provided defensive pressure such as a big tackle on Chelsea Biddell early in the match to force a stoppage, and then a potential match-winning effort on the goal-line to go back at speed, cleanly grab the ball before it bounced through and kicked clear.

 

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Peter Williams

Norwood:

#15 Alana Lishmund

Quickly got involved in the contest with a kick out of midfield 35 seconds into the game, and then dropped back to help out the defence with a nice kick to half-back. In the second term she did well in a one-on-one contested at half-forward to force the ball to ground, then laid a big dumping tackle early in the final term. She showed her strength midway through the fourth quarter by wrestling the ball out of an opponents’ grasp and got her boot to ball.

#22 Jade Halfpenny

The versatile forward found herself inside the centre square at the start of each quarter and spent substantial time up the ground around the stoppages. Despite being known for her forward leading and strength overhead, Halfpenny was just as influential around the ball and took to it with ease, having played in the midfield before, but this was an increased role. She was able to utilise her speed and athleticism in the first term, bursting out of the stoppages and kicking inside 50. Whilst she was still able to go forward and have an impact, there were a number of highlights to point out throughout the match. Her best was her goal in the fifth minute where she competed against two defenders, smothered an opponent, kept tracking it and ran into an open goal to seal the deal for the Redlegs. She also did well 10 minutes into the third term where she shrugged off a would-be tackler, spun out and was tackled again but got her hands free well to the outnumber. Usually a player whose impact is far greater than her stats, her Round 4 performance was no different.

North Adelaide:

#33 Julia Clark

Had a really impressive game, arguably her best of the season, and maybe SANFL Women’s career. She still brought the heat with her tackling pressure, but it was her work rate and ability to push up and down the ground and win more of the ball than previous matches, whilst showing composure under pressure which all stood out. Clark always puts her head over the ball and tries to run in space to create some movement in transition, and whilst she will always be tough to beat one-on-one, Clark showed her offensive traits to match her defensive ones.

#38 Kate Case

A quieter game for the smooth mover who still worked around the ground but could just not quite get into the action. Had a couple of important touches and in the 15th minute of the final term went up for a mark, could not quite bring it down but showed good recovery to handball to a teammate.

#47 Jorja Eldridge

Returning to the Roosters side for her first game in 2021, Eldridge played in close and helped chop out in the ruck. She was undersized at the ruck stoppages, but is able to use her strength to move her opponent, whilst her second efforts – which included a tackle at ground level after losing the tap – was what helped provide a “fourth midfielder” there. She showed good defensive pressure and laid some strong tackles, as well as quick hands at ground level.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. STURT

By: Liam Badkin

South Adelaide:

#1 Tahlita Buethke

Had a strong game and particularly strong last quarter. Took two intercept marks in the final term when Sturt was trying to create some run out of its backline. Put her head over the ball in multiple contests and was rewarded for doing so.

#5 Sarah Wright

Played her role well throughout all four quarters. She was reliable by foot whenever she had the ball and would be pleased with her three rebound 50’s as she created some run for her teammates.

#36 Gypsy Schimer

Did not have too much of the ball, but did not need to as she was damaging whenever she got it. Used her pace brilliantly out of the backline and seemed to be always creating for her team. Absolutely crunching an opponent during a bump in the last quarter proved a particular highlight.

#41 Lauren Clifton

A quiet day but had her moments. Found herself involved in play even when she did not have the ball in her hands.

Sturt:

#3 Georgia Swan

Had an absolute field day, racking up a season-best 20 disposals. She was electric around the stoppages and took excellent marks in the air. Used her explosiveness to hurt the opposition and create opportunities for her teammates. Did her work on the defensive end too, laying four tackles for the day.

#19 Alex Ballard

Was fantastic in the defensive half, using the ball well and taking a game-high seven marks to go with her 13 disposals. Constantly tried to create for Sturt in the last term, even though the ball was constantly being sent back in. Took on her opponent on the mark on multiple occasions in some exciting passages.

#20 Hannah Prenzler

Was crucial in driving the ball out of Sturt’s backline, finishing with an equal game-high five rebound 50’s from her ten disposals. Consistently found herself in space and worked well in tandem with her backline teammates to rebound the ball out of defence.

#30 Zoe Prowse

Faced a tough task against Montana McKinnon, and did not get her usual amount of hitouts, but was exceptional at ground level. Finished with 10 disposals and four clearances as she tormented her opponents with her follow up work after the ruck contest. Spent time as an on-baller and was explosive out of the stoppages.

 

Picture credit: SANFL / Peter Swan

Q&A: Jason Horne (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide prospect Jason Horne is the current consensus for top pick out of the 2021 draft crop, credit to an outstanding season last year which saw him crack the Panther’s League lineup. Now part of the AFL and South Australia Under 19 academies, Horne is looking to cement such status with another big season. The combative midfielder has very few weaknesses and can also hit the scoreboard, making him a threatening option in the engine room. Fittingly, he is a Fremantle supporter who moulds his game on Nat Fyfe.

Draft Central correspondent Tom Cheesman chatted to Horne at the recent South Australia preseason testing event for a question and answer (Q&A) special.

Q&A:

Q: How did you go at testing?

A: “Not too bad. The yo-yo was a bit disappointing, I think I got pulled out a bit early but I’m alright with that, I thought the day went pretty well.”

 

Can you tell us a bit about your footballing journey?

“I started playing footy in Under 7s for Salisbury North, I played there for a season then moved down here and played for (Christies Beach) since Under 8s I think. Then I played my whole junior career through there and came to South to play 13s, 14s, 15s and now 16s, 18s and seniors. So a pretty easy journey straight through all the development squads, it’s been good.”

 

How’d you find the experience of being promoted to League level in 2020?

“I thought it was a challenging step up but I really enjoyed it, took it onboard and thought it was a really good experience coming into this year.”

 

Did you enjoy competing against the bigger bodies?

“It was a bit difficult but I enjoyed the challenge and found ways to work around it I guess.”

 

What would you say your biggest strengths on the field are?

“I think my competitiveness and my contested footy, that’s the one big one that I think stands out a lot. My kicking and marking are two of my big (strengths) as well.”

 

What are you looking to improve on?

“I think I really need to improve on my leadership. Also, me and Boofa (Jarrad Wright) the League coach talked about my field kicking going inside 50, I just think that could improve a bit from last year. Then also my goalkicking, from my point of view I think it needs a bit of improvement.”

 

Do you anticipate some more midfield minutes this year having spent plenty of time up forward in 2020?

“Yeah, me and Boofa had a talk not long ago and we said we’ll have a bit more flexibility this year with our League team, getting ‘Gibba’ (Bryce Gibbs) and a couple of young fellas from the AFL clubs, so we think hopefully this year I’ll have a bit more midfield time as well as a bit up forward.”

 

Have any senior players in particular taken you under their wing at South Adelaide?

“I think Gibba’s the main one. He’s working with us young fellas and the 18s just to work on our development so he’s been a good mentor for us young boys and especially me, I’ve been spending a bit of time with him.”

 

How would you describe yourself off-field?

“I just think I’m a nice, respectful bloke. Good to have a laugh with and chat with.”

 

How do you go with balancing footy with other commitments?

“I’m working now five days a week so it’s a challenge but it’s helped me improve my time management.”

 

Is there anyone you mould you game on?

“Nat Fyfe. I like Nat Fyfe and I’ve been watching him for a long time so he’s the big one I model myself on.”

Image Credit: Deb Curtis/SANFL