AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. In Round 13 of the SANFL, members of the State under 18s team resumed SANFL duties at various levels. With school football on a break over the school holidays, we take a look at who the top performers were across the reserves and the under 18s.
The Reserves competition after July 1 really starts to promote Under 18 talent and there was plenty on show this week. In Norwood’s five-point win over North Adelaide, mid Stefan Giro accumulated 24 disposals including six tackles, Cole Gerloff also had 19 disposals with eight tackles & six clearances. Under 18 All-Australian Harry Petty continued his good form with eight marks alongside his 15 possessions. Brodie Carroll, Cam Ball and Isaac Hewson also had solid games, while bottom-ager Connor Rozee had 15 disposals for North.
For Central District, bottom-ager Jackson Hately played his second good game in the Reserves, finishing with 17 disposals.
In South Adelaide’s 65-point demolition of Glenelg, Henry Bruce was again amongst it with 16 possessions, including six tackles and a goal. For Glenelg, Adelaide father-son prospect Jackson Edwards was named in the best players with his 17 disposals. State Under 18 teammates Brad McCarthy and Sam Davis were both solid.
In Sturt’s six-point win over Woodville-West Torrens, midfielder Mitch Crowden continued his great from from the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and was second best with 25 disposals, nine clearances and a goal. Charlie Ballard was also named in the best players with his 16 disposals, six marks and a goal. Tall defender/Ruckman Brandon Zerk-Thatcher was also effective with 23 disposals, eight marks and 19 hitouts. Bottom-agers Mihali Lochowiak and Tom Lewis also showed some promise. Possible top 30 draftee Jordan Houlahan was quiet with one goal to go with his seven disposals. Second best for the Eagles was small Jimmy Rowe with 24 disposals and eight marks. Cooper Gaffney was also in the bests with 17 disposals, including one goal and six inside 50s. Other Eagles to have a positive impact were Jake Weidemann, Isaac Moller, Tom Schmusch and bottom-ager Jack Lukosius.
West Adelaide knocked off Centrals by four-points with a dominant best-on-ground performance from Jakob Heitmann, who had 34 disposals, 11 marks, eight inside 50s, six tackles and booted two goals. Teammate Josh Smithson was also impressive with 27 disposals, nine marks and two goals. Midfielder Alex Stidiford continued his recent good form with 24 disposals. For Centrals, Nick Lange was their best with 24 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s and three goals.
In another nailbiter South’s held on by two-points against Glenelg. They were led by a best-on-ground display from Sam Whitbread (32 disposals) and bottom-age midfield bull Tom Sparrow. Sparrow collected 24 disposals, brought the ball inside 50 on 12 occasions, laid eight tackles and booted a goal. For Glenelg, Oscar Lovelock was their best with 20 disposals and six tackles.
North continued their surge up the ladder with a 13-point win over Norwood. Roosters underage mid Boyd Woodcock followed up his U18 MVP from last week with another fine performance accumulating 27 disposals, 10 marks and two goals. Sam Daniele was again strong in the midfield with 26 disposals including six tackles and 12 clearances. In the ruck, Ben Oborn dominated for the Roosters with 41 hitouts. For Norwood, AFL Academy Level one member Luke Valente was in the best with 30 possessions, including eight clearances and he clunked seven marks up forward and through the midfield. Valente was well supported by Jack Astbury who had 32 disposals, eight marks and kicked two goals.
The Eagles had a comfortable 20-point win over Sturt. Jacob Pedler was best on ground with 29 disposals. He is having had a great season in school footy for PAC rebounding from the back line and has now been moved into the midfield for the Eagles. For Sturt, Casey Voss was best with his 23 disposals, and Adam Trenorden continued his prolific ball winning season with 37 disposals, 10 marks and six tackles.