Tag: will snelling

VFL weekly wrap: Bombers move into second with big percentage boost

ESSENDON defeated Port Melbourne by 69 points to move into second place on the Victorian Football League (VFL) ladder, closing the gap on Richmond, while reigning premiers Box Hill returned to the winners list with a big win over Sandringham.

Geelong 19.13 (127) defeated Frankston 5.8 (38)

The Cats brought Frankston back down to earth after their first win of the season last week with a thumping 89-point win. Geelong set the tone early, kicking eight goals to two in the opening term and never allowing the Dolphins free use of the footy. Wylie Buzza, Jamaine Jones and Aaron Black kicked 3 goals each for the home side while Alex Harnett slotted 2 for Frankston. Charlie Constable and Nathan Freeman split most disposals with 33 each as Scott Selwood collected 32. Geelong take on the Northern Blues at Ikon Park this week while Frankston host Coburg.

Box Hill 12.11 (83) defeated Sandringham 6.10 (46)

Box Hill are back in the top eight following a 37-point win over Sandringham. The Zebras held the lead early in the first term before the former Mustangs kicked in the second quarter and eased to victory. James Cousins had 30 disposals for the Hawks and Darragh Joyce with 21 for Sandy, while Oliver Hanrahan kicked four goals. Box Hill travel to Casey Fields to take on the Demons as Sandringham host top-of-the-table Richmond this Saturday.

Footscray 8.10 (58) defeated by Collingwood 12.9 (81)

Collingwood recorded just their third win of the season with a come-from-behind 23-point victory at the Whitten Oval. The momentum swings in the match were obvious, with the Bulldogs holding a one-point lead at the final break. The Magpies then kicked away with a five goals to one final term ensuring they picked up the four points. Andrew Gallucci slotted three goals for the away side as Alex Woodward collected 38 disposals. Former number 6 draft pick Matthew Scharenberg pushed his case for an AFL call-up with 33 touches. Collingwood host North Melbourne at Victoria Park on Saturday while Footscray face Port Melbourne away.

Coburg 8.2 (50) defeated by Casey 9.11 (65)

A week of upheaval at Casey has ended positively, with a 15-point win over Coburg. New coach Sam Radford engineered a victory, although the Demons might feel they should’ve won by a lot more. Coburg had a two-point lead at quarter-time before Casey took charge, holding the home side scoreless while kicking 4 goals of their own. From then on the two sides traded goals, with the margin remaining between 20-30 points right up until the trend was broken and Coburg kicked the final goal of the match. Jordan Lewis dominated with 39 disposals while Marcus Lentini continued his good form with 37. Steven Stroobants and Peter McEvoy kicked three goals each while Casey had all individual goalkickers. The Demons host Box Hill on Saturday while Coburg travel to Frankston on Sunday.

Werribee 14.11 (95) defeated by Williamstown 16.7 (103)

The Tigers almost came from behind to steal victory from the Seagulls at Avalon Airport Oval. Williamstown dominated the game from the first bounce with a lead as large as 37 points midway through the third term, but allowed Werribee to creep back into the contest in the final term, only for the Tigers to fall short by eight points after coming within two points. Matthew Munro booted five goals for the Tigers while Michael Barlow had another 37 disposals and one-goal game. Mitchell Hibberd was best for the away side with 29 touches. Werribee take on Essendon at home on Sunday while Williamstown have the bye.

Port Melbourne 9.5 (59) defeated by Essendon 18.20 (128)

A huge third-quarter cemented the Bombers as one of the teams to beat in the VFL this season as they easily overcame a highly-fancied Port Melbourne at North Port Oval. Essendon booted eight goals to three in that third term and eventually ran away 69-point victors. Will Snelling was best afield for the Dons with three goals and 28 disposals while Port’s Shannen Lange kicked two and had 34 touches. Aaron Francis booted four goals for the Bombers. Essendon face Werribee this Sunday while Port take on Footscray on Saturday.

Bye – North Melbourne, Northern Blues, Richmond

Picture: VFL.com.au

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

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

Glenelg vs Port

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

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

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

AFL Mid Season Draft – SANFL Impact

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

Players drafted from SANFL were:

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

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

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

School/College Football:

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

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

Thirteen players offered AFL chance in Mid-Season Draft

LAST night saw the first AFL Mid-Season Draft in 25 years, with 13 players previously overlooked in last year’s AFL Draft – and many more for some – finding homes, including four former AFL-listed players. We review each pick and take a look at who your club picked up.

PICK 1 | Carlton | Josh Deluca (Subiaco)

The former Fremantle player received a second chance when the Blues called out his name first in the draft. Since returning to the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Deluca has become a premier midfielder, winning the Simpson Medal for Best on Ground in the WAFL’s clash with the SANFL earlier in the month. Deluca adds a stronger body to Carlton’s midfield and is one player that could slot in almost immediately to the side, also having speed in his repertoire which will provide nice highlights for Carlton fans, and also great support for Patrick Cripps.

PICK 2 | Gold Coast | Mitch Riordan (Dandenong Stingrays)

The Dandenong Stingrays premiership co-captain gets his chance after an injury-riddled 2018 year. Riordan came back as an overager for the Stingrays in 2019, and has averaged 19.7 disposals, 3.5 marks and 4.7 tackles per game – all career best in the NAB League. His six games in 2019 already matched his total from last year, and he is more readymade than many 19-year-old prospects would be, joining premiership teammate Sam Fletcher at the SUNS who was also picked up post-draft. For SUNS fans, Riordan has elite agility clocking up 7.93 seconds in the agility test at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day.

PICK 3 | Melbourne | Kyle Dunkley (Gippsland Power)

Much like Riordan, Kyle Dunkley returned to the NAB League as an overager following an injury-riddled top-age year for Oakleigh Chargers. Hailing from Gippsland, Dunkley returned to the Power without school commitments now, and immediately made an impact as the clear standout 19-year-old prospect. His average disposal count rose from 13.0 to 18.5, and laid almost four more tackles per game this year. More importantly, Dunkley has played a key role in the midfield rather than as a medium forward, and has nice power in the way that he plays. He joins brother Josh in the AFL, and like Riordan is more of a readymade prospect than other 19-year-olds.

PICK 4 | Sydney | Michael Knoll (South Adelaide)

The premier ruckman outside the AFL arguably in the entire country, Michael Knoll was a surprise selection by the Swans considering the amount of pure rucks they have on their list. But with Sam Naismith injured and Callum Sinclair needing support, Knoll fills a need as a readymade ruck who the Swans can call upon if needed. The unlucky Panthers lose their ruck after also losing Keegan Brooksby and then Hayden McLean – who was recruited to replace Brooksby – to the AFL system. Another readymade player.

PICK 5 | North Melbourne | Lachlan Hosie (Glenelg)

It takes a special player to be leading the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) goalkicking tally, and that is exactly what Lachlan Hosie has done so far this season. The 22-year-old 189cm forward has booted 21 goals in eight games so far in 2019, averaging 2.6 goals per game. North Melbourne has been craving an extra marking forward, with Kangaroos fans likely to be pleased with the selection. Along with his goals, Hosie has averaged 14.5 disposals and 5.6 marks, while also getting up the ground and producing 2.5 inside 50s per game.

PICK 6 | Western Bulldogs | Ryan Gardner (Footscray VFL)

The key position utility has been impressive in his Victorian Football League (VFL) stint with Footscray this year, earning a second chance at the top level after a brief chance with Geelong as a teenager. Still only 21, Gardner has plenty of football left in him, and showed at state level he can play up either end. At AFL level, Gardner has been touted as a Tom Boyd replacement, and given he has already been a part of the Bulldogs’ system, he will not need to adjust to any game plans or tactics like at other clubs.

PICK 7 | Essendon | Will Snelling (West Adelaide)

Essendon were touted to pick up Michael Knoll given they lost Sam Draper and Joe Daniher to long-term injuries, but with Knoll off the board, they opted for fellow South Australian Will Snelling who fills the hole left by the injured Devon Smith. Snelling, like Gardner and Deluca, has also had a stint at AFL level, playing one game with Port Adelaide before being delisted last year. In his seven games thus far, Snelling has averaged 29.7 disposals – ranked in the top 10 in the SANFL League competition – as well as 9.6 tackles, 5.7 marks and 2.7 inside 50s.

PICK 8 | St Kilda | Jack Mayo (Subiaco)

One of the more unlucky players to miss out last year on being drafted, the WAFL Colts leading goalkicker has been one of the more dominant goalkickers in Western Australia over the journey. Mayo missed out on playing National Under 18 Championships, but booted 50 goals across 21 games in the Colts competition and has since transitioned between Reserves and Seniors this year in a strong Subiaco side. He has still managed to average two goals per game at Reserves level, and with Paddy McCartin now out long-term, Mayo provides another forward option for the Saints. In terms of his athletic traits, Mayo has elite speed for a tall (2.95 seconds) and elite vertical jump (84cm running jump) which he recorded at last year’s Western Australia state combine.

PICK 9 | Port Adelaide | Cam Sutcliffe (Port Adelaide Magpies)

Cam Sutcliffe became the fourth former AFL player to receive a lifeline in the Mid-Season Draft, and the second to be plucked out by the side he spent time in the Reserves with this year. After being delisted by Fremantle at the end of last year following 104 games and 18 goals, the 27-year-old offers another readymade option for the Power. In 2019, Sutcliffe has averaged 18.7 disposals at an elite disposal efficiency of 88 per cent, as well as 3.7 clearances and 3.5 tackles, more than enough for Port Adelaide to throw him an AFL lifeline.

PICK 10 | Hawthorn | Pass

PICK 11 | Fremantle | Dillon O’Reilly (East Fremantle)

The son of former Docker, Blue and Cat Stephen, Dillon O’Reilly was a key position player for Western Australia at the National Under 18 Championships, playing forward and through the ruck for the Sandgropers. In 2017 he booted 46 goals as a bottom-ager in the WAFL Colts, making his debut for the East Fremantle League side last year, booting three goals in two games. He has managed two games at League level so far this season, and is a tall option who can play anywhere Fremantle require him to in the future. Like Mayo, was one of a number of tall prospects overlooked last year, but has finally grabbed his chance and will now be able to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

PICK 12 | Adelaide | Pass

PICK 13 | Richmond | Marlion Pickett (South Fremantle)

A broken finger that will keep Marlion Pickett out for a couple of months did not deter Richmond from reading out his name at the Mid-Season Draft. The Tigers were keen to add an extra midfielder to their list, and Pickett is considered one of the top state league talents running around. He has only managed the two games this year, including the weekend’s match where he re-injured his finger, but last year managed 21.8 disposals as well as just under five marks and five tackles per game. He has that hard inside edge as well as class, and while he is 27 years old, Pickett will step into the line-up once fit. A great selection for a team in its premiership window.

PICK 14 | Collingwood | John Noble (West Adelaide)

Collingwood also picked up a readymade midfielder, that being South Australia’s John Noble, who was one of the best in the SANFL’s win over the WAFL earlier this year. Noble possesses a rare combination of speed and endurance which attracted the Pies to the 22-year-old, and while the choice of a midfielder would have surprised plenty of Pies fans, Noble provides extra depth for a side that has been tested with injuries this year. More importantly, being 22, Noble is a player who is a late bloomer with plenty of development left. Expect him to be one who catches the eye for Collingwood’s VFL side until he is set to challenge for a role in the AFL side.

PICK 15 | Gold Coast | Pass

PICK 16 | Sydney | Cody Hirst (Eastern Ranges)

The king of agility earned a place on Sydney’s list as the last pick in the Mid-Season Draft. Despite missing almost an entire season through injury, Hirst did not lose his agility at the Rookie Me Combine last year, breaking Stephen Hill’s AFL record twice – consecutively. After being a pressure forward previously, Hirst moved up to a wing this season and the role paid dividends, winning more of the ball and being able to use his athletic traits to hurt opposition sides in transition. He is one of the more long-term prospects, weighing in at barely 70kg, but he has the athleticism and versatility to make a strong go of the top level.

PICK 17 | Western Bulldogs | Pass

PICK 18 | Essendon | Pass

SANFL weekly wrap: Footy returns with Adelaide winning SANFL Showdown

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

SANFL Results

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

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

Glenelg vs Centrals

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

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

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

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

Sturt vs West Adelaide

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

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

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

North vs South

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

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

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

Norwood vs Eagles

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

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

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

SCHOOL/COLLEGE FOOTY

Sacred Heart 17.9-111 defeated Pembroke 3.4-22

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

Other Results:

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

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

SANFL weekly wrap: Round 5 – Under 18s warm-up for Champs

THERE was plenty of football over the weekend in the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) with plenty of big games and close contests throughout the round. The Academy game also took place allowing the youngsters to compete against Western Australia. Our South Australian writers Jamie Morgan, David Chapman Damon Mattiazzo and Tom Wyman all contributed to the article.

SANFL U18 Academy

Last week saw a host of SANFLs best Under 18 players put through a SANFL Academy camp consisting of a variety of off-field training sessions as well as positional and game instructions. The camp culminated in two games with the squad split into two against a similar squad from WA.

Some U17 talent was also absent from the camp as they had been selected for Australian U17 duties in Melbourne.

The first game was played on Friday afternoon at West Adelaide Football Club. In a tough first quarter it took a while for both teams to gel and the scorers were not troubled early. By half-time it had been a defensive battle and Western Australia led 23 – 20. After half time SA hit the lead with the first goal, but from then on WA ran away with the game. Leading 48-27 at three quarter time and slamming on six goals in the last quarter to comfortably win 86 – 35. For WA it was their running brigade which really tore the SA midfield apart, winning the inside ball and then breaking out of the packs in numbers and using quick hands to move the ball with elite speed. Western Australia were led by midfield general Michael Wright with numerous contested possessions and his relentless chat and encouragement for his teammates. Other on ballers also who impressed included Cameron Anderson, Jye Clark, and Tristan Hobley. 200cm ruckman Callum Jamieson was impressive around the ground as well and also hit the scoreboard making his presence felt on the ground. Jeremy Sharp provided real poise and class, especially rebounding the ball and driving into attack. And 197cm Michael Mallard was also dangerous up forward. For SA the better players included the tall defenders Karl Finlay, Dyson Hilder and Jordan Moore. Midfielder Harry Schoenberg also had plenty of it, and Will Gould was again impressive starting down back and then having a run through the midfield and finishing up forward. Brady Searle was also one to link the play well and small forward Cooper Horsnell capitalised with a couple of goals. In the second game, South Australia won with a kick just seconds before the final siren, with Kysaiah Pickett and Cameron Taheny among those who played for the South Australians. The game was littered with injuries and illness, but gave both sides a good chance to warm up ahead of the National Under 18 Championships.


SANFL Wrap

League
Adelaide 14.6 (90) defeated Centrals 8.7 (55)

Adelaide left X Convenience Oval with the four points, defeating Central Districts by 35-points. Recent first-round draftee Ned McHenry played his best game for the club, amassing 28 disposals, seven marks, 11 tackles, four clearances and a goal to press his case for an AFL debut. Prolific on-baller Patrick Wilson notched up another 30 disposals and seven clearances, whilst Andy Otten was strong in defence, taking 12 marks. Josh Jenkins booted three majors, albeit from relatively easy shots, and key-position draftee Jordon Butts continued to look settled at the level, taking nine marks. Ben Davis and Lachlan Sholl were again impressive for Adelaide, as was skipper Matthew Wright who contributed two majors to the clubs winning margin. For the Bulldogs, Jarrod Schiller was terrific around the stoppages, racking up 34 disposals and 12 clearances to go with a pair of goals. His brother Travis was also amongst it regularly, collecting 35 possessions, as was fifth-gamer Jydon Neagle (27 disposals). Yet, despite winning enough of the ball in the middle, the Bulldogs had just one multiple-goal kicker and were simply outclassed by a youthful Crows outfit.

Port v Eagles

A strong second half was the catalyst for Port Adelaide to get back on the winners list defeating Woodville-West Torrens by 37 points at the Maughan Thiem KIA Oval. Former Demon Jack Trengove was again superb in the middle of the ground gathering 31 disposals, eight marks, eight tackles and kicked two goals to lead his side to victory and potentially extending his lead at the top of Magarey Medal. Ruckman turned forward Billy Frampton made up for lost time, returning from a two game suspension to kick goals while also proving to be an aerial threat with eight marks all inside 50m. Emerging ruckman Peter Ladhams continues his dominant season so far with his ability at ground level with 27 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and 22 hit outs in what is turning out to be a breakout year so far. Sam Mayes and Karl Amon continued their impressive form and push for AFL selection, while Steven Motlop had a quiet game disposal wise with only 17, but kicked two great goals to seal the victory. For the Eagles, Jack Hayes continued to give his side a sniff throughout the day but his efforts of two goals and three behinds with 11 disposals were to no avail. James Rowe was one positive for the Eagles kicking four goals for his side and has become the surprise leader of the Ken Farmer Medal after five rounds of the competition. Former Port and Swans players Jimmy Toumpas and Jordan Foote had 22 and 21 touches respectively in an all-round tough day out for the Eagles. The Eagles find themselves with a 1-4 record as they try to adjust to the new era under coach Sam Lonergan.

Eagles vs Centrals
Reserves: Centrals 15.7 (97) defeated Eagles 14.4 (88)
Under 18s: Eagles 10.18-78 defeated Centrals 2.7 (19)

The Reserves game was a tight tussle all day, with Centrals getting a break in the third term, but Eagles fought back in the last quarter to almost run over the Bulldogs. Flynn Pisani from the Bulldogs was best and is having a very good season to date. Steve Burton also had a standout performance clocking up a game high 38 disposals in a strong display for his side. Connor McLean was very good up forward and finished with three goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was a presence up forward finishing with four goals, while Jake Camitogianni and Cooper Gaffney were good around the contest for the Eagles.

The U18 Eagles won easily and the shining light was a six goal haul from Michael Frederick for the winning side. He could have ended up with nine if he was able to convert his three behinds but he clearly posed a dangerous figure in the forward line attacking the ball hard. Henry McCabe (son of Luke) again was solid for the Bulldogs finishing with 24 disposals and best for the losing side

Glenelg vs West
League:
Glenelg 10.14 (74) defeated West 8.10 (58)
Reserves: West 11.13 (79) defeated Glenelg 7.3 (45)
Under 18s: West 17.6 (108) defeated Glenelg 4.12 (36)

Glenelg gained its third win of the season with a 16-point victory over West Adelaide under ANZAC Day eve lights at City Mazda Oval. The Bloods led at every change but were unable to stop a Tigers side which came charging home in the last quarter. Lachlan Hosie finished with a bag of three, bringing his season tally to 14 to sit equal-top of the Ken Farmer Medal alongside Eagle, James Rowe. Luke Reynolds also contributed two goals, with Darcy Bailey and Marlon Motlop also booting majors. Motlop was integral in the win, collecting 25 disposals, seven marks and four tackles. He was supported by Chris Curran (24 disposals and eight marks) and Carl Nicholson (18 disposals, nine marks and four tackles). Young duo Jonty Scharenberg (17 disposals, seven marks and three tackles) and Luke Partington (17 disposals and three tackles) continued to build momentum in the engine room. For West Adelaide, Will Snelling dominated around the stoppages in a best-on-ground performance, tallying 27 disposals, five marks, 17 tackles and seven clearances. Veteran Chris Schmidt had 22 possessions, whilst Jono Beech, Mason Middleton and Gibson Turner each kicked two.

West Reserves side had another good win, with Nathan Batley and Kenny Karpany leading the way for the Bloods once again. Sam May is having a consistent season clocking up another 26 disposal and one goal game. Glenelg’s Alex Martini played a solid game in the loss, and Seb Kerrish continues to push for league selection with a 24 disposal game for the Tigers.

Westies Under 18s had a day out with talented Beau Nunan kicking nine goals in a classy performance. For the Bloods, Bailey Chamberlain found plenty of ball finishing with 32 disposals and three clearances, along with Zac Wooldridge collecting 31 disposals and 11 marks. Will Schreiber was best for the struggling Bays.

North vs Norwood
League:
Norwood 15.11 (101) defeated North 12.15 (87)
Reserves: North 12.14 (86) defeated Norwood 7.12 (54)
Under 18s: Norwood 14.8 (92) defeated North 10.9 (69)

Norwood fought off a fast finishing North in the rematch of the 2018 Grand final, but had control of the game for most of the day. Norwood’s class was evident and prime mover Matt Panos again was best for the Redlegs with 27 disposals and three goals to make him a deserved Anzac Medal winner. North showed signs and recently promoted small forwards Liam Verity and Strato Agostoras both hit the scoreboard with two and three goals respectively.

In the reserves, the result went the other way for North. For the Roosters small forward Frankie Szkeley was best with two goals, eight tackles and 17 possessions to provide real dash and spark around the packs. Midfielder Dakota Nixon returned from injury and also provided some poise for the Roosters with 24 disposals and seven clearances. Medium forward Cameron Tiggeman also had a day out kicking five goals, from both set shots and snaps. For Norwood, in a close to best on ground performance running defender Jacob Collins was impressive, with 28 possessions including nine marks as he repeatedly rebounded the ball or drove it forward from defence with a booming kick. Onballer Cody Szust was also strong with two goals and 22 possessions while Josh Richards also impressed with 24 disposals and six clearances for the game.

Under 18s victory went to Norwood as well, Mitchell Carroll was best for the Redlegs in a 26 disposal, 7 clearance game along with Xavier Tranfa who finished with 23 possessions and 6 tackles. For North Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) had probably his best game for the Roosters, along with midfielder Lachlan Borg who ended up with 22 disposals and 6 clearances.

South vs Sturt
League:
Sturt 14.8 (92) defeated South 11.4 (70)
Reserves: South 11.11 (77) defeated Sturt 10.9 (69)
Under 18s: Sturt 15.13 (103) defeated South 7.3 (45)

Sturt enjoyed a 22-point win over South Adelaide in the League match with Sam Colquhoun having a day out. Colquhoun collected 40 disposals, 10 marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and three rebounds in a massive performance, while James Battersby (27 touches, 13 marks, four clearances and two inside 50s) was solid. Zane Kirkwood and Aidan Riley hit the scoreboard for the Double Blues with two majors apiece. For the Panthers, Matthew Rose had 30 touches, nine marks and eight rebounds out of defence, while Nick Liddle racked up 24 disposals, six clearances and six tackles. Ben Heaslip starred in the Reserves with 31 touches, 10 clearances and six tackles for the winning Panthers, while Joel Thiele was his nemesis at the stoppages, racking up 11 clearances himself as well as 27 disposals and six tackles. In the Under 18 demolition by Sturt, it was hard to go past the performance of the week by Sturt’s Charlie Allan. A huge game of 42 disposals, one goal, eight tackles and nine clearances was highly impressive. For the losing side, Max Clifton had a team-high 22 disposals as well as five marks, eight clearances, six inside 50s and four rebounds.

SANFL weekly wrap: Round 4 – South draws again as Norwood continue winning ways

IT has been a busy week for all South Australian National Football League (SANFL) sides and their young talent with Round 4 completed over Easter, along with some short breaks for certain sides. Four top-end SA youngsters in Will Gould, Jackson Mead, Kossie Pickett and Dylan Stephens, participated for the Australian U18 side against Casey as well. Our South Australian writers, Jamie Morgan, Damon Mattiazzo and Tom Wyman all contributed to the review.

Round 5 sees most of the key SA Under 18 talent unavailable for SANFL selection due to SA AFL Academy camp being conducted.

Round 4 Review:

Norwood 20.7 (127) defeated Port Adelaide 14.10 (94)

In the Easter Thursday clash at the Parade, Norwood extended its undefeated start to the season proving to be too strong for Port Adelaide. The Redlegs’ win was a statement to the rest of the competition as they produced their best game of the season without star midfielder Mitch Grigg. The big emergence from the match was Cameron Taheny, impressing on debut with three goals after not making the U18 Australian match against Casey Demons. Former-Crow Lewis Johnston continues to rack up possessions at will with another 35 disposals and a goal to his name, as former-Kangaroo Brad McKenzie provided plenty of run off half back with 27 touches.

Port Adelaide gained Steven Motlop after his omission from the AFL, contributing 10 clearances with 31 disposals but faded when the Redlegs gained ascendency in the third quarter. Jack Trengove continued his incredible start to the season with 37 disposals and two goals and looks to be an early frontrunner for the Magarey Medal. Third year player and former Redleg Peter Ladhams had his best game of his SANFL career so far with 24 disposals and provided plenty ground ball contests.

South Adelaide’s young talent Zac Dumesny was rewarded with an U18 MVP nomination after a consistent few weeks, and no doubt will be a prospect to watch.

Norwood vs South

Reserves: Norwood 11.9 (75) defeated South 9.6 (60)
U18: South 11.4 (70) defeated Norwood 7.8 (50)

Norwood and South split the results in the Reserves and Under 18s. Jacob Collins had a big day out for Norwood Reserves in defence, picking up 29 disposals, 12 marks and six rebounds in defence, while Josh Richards had 24 touches, five marks, eight clearances and six tackles. Cameron Ball and Lachlan Pascoe both finished with 22 disposals, and combined for 18 marks. For South, Ben Heaslip had a team-high 27 disposals, two marks, seven hitouts, seven inside 50s, five tackles and five clearances, while Jaidan Kappler had 10 inside 50s and six clearances from 22 disposals and five marks. In the Under 18s, the talented Zach Dumesny had eight rebounds and seven marks with his 19 disposals in the Panthers’ win, while Nicholas Kraemer had 22 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and six inside 50s. Lachlan Williams picked up a massive 44 hitouts and 15 disposals, while Liam Hamilton and Mitchell Riddell booted three goals apiece. Meanwhile Redleg, Sam Morris booted three goals from 14 touches and three inside 50s, while Henry Nelligan had a day out with 34 disposals, five marks, 10 clearances, five inside 50s, three rebounds and 11 tackles. Mitchell Carroll was also superb defensively with 25 disposals, nine clearances and a massive 13 tackles in the defeat.

League: South 10.13 (73) drew with Adelaide 11.7 (73)

In South Adelaide’s second consecutive draw, the Panthers were forced to this time split the points with Adelaide’s Reserves, as Joel Cross had a day out with 29 disposals, four marks, eight clearances, seven inside 50s and two rebounds, while Nicholas Liddle also had the 29 touches as well as six marks, nine tackles, six clearances and three inside 50s. Mark Noble booted 3.2 from 15 disposals, while Malcolm Karpany also kicked a couple of goals in the draw. For the Crows, Myles Poholke has finally done enough to bang down the AFL selection door, recalled to the senior side after a massive 30-disposal, four-goal game which included 15 touches and three goals in the first term. Tyson Stengle also looked dangerous with 14 disposals and three goals, while Patrick Wilson was the top ball winner with 33 disposals, as well as nine clearances, 10 tackles and seven inside 50s.

West vs Eagles

League: West 18.8 (116) defeated Eagles 11.13 (79)
Reserves: West 13.15 (93) defeated Eagles 5.11 (41)
U18: Eagles 13.8 (86) defeated West 7.12 (54)

It was a tough day at Richmond Oval on Good Friday for both Eagles’ League and Reserves sides. West Adelaide looked primed for all contests and clearly dominated the whole day in both games. The Eagles league side had some big ins, but these players looked underdone, and with the absolute dominance of ex-AFL listed Will Snelling and Jono Beech, the Bloods got their season rolling. While in the Reserves, experienced Brett Turner and Kenny Karpany led from the front.

The Eagles accounted for West in the U18s game and the form of Joshua Morris in front of goals continued for the Eagles, finishing with another five-goal haul and other Eagles key movers Harry Schoenberg and Lachlan Holie dominated the possession count for the winning side.

Glenelg vs Sturt

League: Glenelg 11.13 (79) defeated Sturt 10.10 (70)
Reserves: Sturt 14.5 (89) defeated Glenelg 11.6 (72)
U18: Sturt 11.6 (72) defeated Glenelg 9.7 (61)

Coming off the back of a draw to South Adelaide, Glenelg made its way back onto the winners list with a tight 9-point victory over Sturt at the bay. The Tigers midfield was led well by youngsters Jonty Scharenberg and former-West Coast Eagle Luke Partington, who collected 25 and 22 disposals respectively. Eighteen-year-old Finn Betterman played perhaps his best League game to date, managing 18 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Medium-sized goal-machine Lachlan Hosie added four more to his impressive start to the year, with Marlon Motlop also adding two. For the Double Blues, consistent midfielder Zane Kirkwood notched up another 36 disposals. He was aided by 30 touches from former-Power defender Sam Colquhoun and 29 from James Battersby. Mark Evans slotted home three majors in the defeat.

North v Centrals

League: Centrals 10.13 (73) defeated North 9.12 (66)
Reserves: Centrals 14.8 (92) defeated North 8.13 (61)
U18: North 14.9 (93) defeated Centrals 10.4 (64)

Centrals won out in two out of three clashes against reigning League premiers North Adelaide in a successful weekend. Bulldogs prodigal son Troy Menzel continued his promising start to the League season with 4.4 from 19 disposals and 13 marks, while Travis Schiller was their clear-best ball winner with 30 touches. Thomas Schwarz and Jarred Allmond were the only North players to rack up over 30 disposals, with Strato Agorastos booting a clinical 3.0. In Reserves, Brody Mahoney‘s 31 disposals and three goals saw Centrals win comfortably, with two other Bulldogs bagging three majors. Liam Verity (3.2) was North’s best in front of goal in an otherwise wasteful Roosters display, while Max Lower had 27 disposals. North managed to get up in the U18 fixture, with six of its eight goal kickers notching multiple goals. Tyran Hill was one of their best, while Rhys Cannizarro had 27 touches and the highly-touted Corey Durdin managed 22 in the defeat.

Season preview: SANFL 2019

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

Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

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

Centrals:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

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

Glenelg

By: Jamie Morgan

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

North Adelaide:

By: David Chapman

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

Norwood:

By: Jamie Morgan

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

Port Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

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

South Adelaide:

By: Jamie Morgan

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

Sturt:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

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

West Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

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

Woodville-West Torrens:

By: Jamie Morgan

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