On Saturday, South Australia had one of their first internal trial games for the 2017 Under 18 program with players split into two teams red & blue. The first half was played with 25 minute quarters, before the second half was shortened to 15 minutes due to the heat.
(Player vision to come)
#2 Izak Rankine– The small forward showed his craft around goal with electric movement inside forward 50. The bottom ager is apart of the NAB AFL Level One Academy and hit the scoreboard for Team Red. A name to scribble down to keep an eye on throughout the season.
#9 Alex Martini– Won the ball well on the inside going in hard. Impressed last season in the SANFL U18s and should be one of South Australia’s starting midfielders in the Under 18 Championships.
#10 Jackson Edwards– Edwards is eligible for Father/Son selection for Adelaide later this year and whilst it wasn’t a game where he stood out as usual with his clean ball skills on the outside, he was good overhead and worked hard on the inside through the midfield.
#4 James Rowe– One of the best players on the ground, working tirelessly on the inside and up forward. He won plenty of the ball and got to the right positions, his work in tight at the contest is extremely good and reminded me somewhat of Andrew McGrath when he played in the midfield in 2016.
#7 Stefan Giro– The left footer stood out with his blonde locks and showed speed & dash through the midfield. At times he did just bomb the ball forward, but found the ball on regular occasions.
#8 Robert Irra– Irra played a quiet game, but was someone I had noted down coming into the match. His work rate is good, with his flashes promising- but needs more consistency throughout the game to avoid going quiet.
#12 Mitch Crowden– Crowden went in hard through the midfield and despite his small size he wasn’t afraid to hunt the ball. Reminds me of 2016 South Australian Jake Pitman – but will his height put off AFL clubs? Possibly – but his performance in the trial was very positive. His quick hands are another strength.
#24 Darcy Fogarty– Fogarty should be one of the first players selected in the 2017 AFL Draft. In the past he’s played forward for South Australia and through the midfield for Glenelg – but begun the trial in defence and showed his ability to drop off his opponent and find the football. At times he did just hack it forward, but it was a real positive to see a player of his frame run through the midfield after half-time where he started in the centre square.
#43 Nathan Kreuger– There’s something about this kid and if you haven’t marked him down, do it now. His form last year in some of the games I saw was very good and whilst it wasn’t a complete performance from Kreuger, some of his moments just screamed AFL potential. He begun in defence, but moved higher up the ground as the game went on including kicking a goal.