IT WAS a busy weekend for all of South Australia’s young talent with selection in the final squad up for grabs and those vying for their spot being put through their paces. The SA squad took on Glenelg Reserves, with some of the SA squad members lining up for the Tigers.
SA Under 18 Trial Game
With 28 Players (26 for SA and two playing for Glenelg Reserves) in the match at Glenelg on Saturday, it meant that another 14 returned to their SANFL Clubs to play either League, Reserves, U18s with a few also returning to College football.
South Australia U18 15.7 (97) defeated Glenelg Reserves 13.13 (91)
South Australia U18: W. Gould. J. McLennan. L. Valente. T. Lewis.
Glenelg Reserves: T. Cox. F Betterman
South Australia U18: B. Jarvis 3. J. Tarca 2. J. Colwell 2. D. Carmody 2. J. Mead, B. Woodcock, J. Collins, K. Chandler, L. Valente, C. Taheny.
The better players for SA included underager Will Gould, Jez McLennan, Luke Valente, and Tom Lewis. Tobin Cox and Finn Betterman were both good for Glenelg.
Scouting Notes from the game:
Jez McLennan – playing across half-back, McLennan was fantastic with his aerial contests and when not smashing the contests, was taking marks including some contested gems. A strong body, McLennan also used the ball well by foot to generate the rebound for SA.
Luke Valente – playing on the ball, Valente had his hands on a lot of footy in close and rode many a tackle to give a better team disposal for SA. His smooth skills on either side also impressed.
Tom Lewis – another strong midfield bull , Lewis was hard at it through the clearances and also provided a lot of attack through handballs, especially in the third quarter with a creative over the shoulder handball that led to a goal. He is always in the thick of the contest at the feet of the ruckman.
Tobin Cox – the overager returning from a run of injuries last year was effective in a number of roles for Glenelg. His hard running work and by foot allowed him to break the lines really well and sparked his teams revival when it looked like SA was about to run away with the game.
Jacob Collins – playing as a rebounding defender/winger, Collins was really noticeable with his dash off half back and on the wing and led the game with running bounces. At 189cm, Collins backs himself to take on the opposition with his pace and just needs to tidy up that final disposal to progress to the next level.
Draft watchers should note that a number of squad members did not play in this trial including Jack Lukosius, Jackson Hately, Izak Rankine, Hugo Munn, Conor Rozee, Mihail Lochowiak, Hayden Sampson and Tom Sparrow.
SA squad talent Jackson Hately suited up for Centrals against Sturt and although he was down on possessions, he applied plenty of defensive pressure finishing with five tackles after playing up forward and in the midfield. Sturt talent Hugo Munn was again strong overhead and slotted a goal. Eagle Jack Lukosius had a goal in his teams loss to Norwood, while Conor Rozee was solid in a North’s loss to the Panthers. Izak Rankine was prominent in the Bloods’ victory over Port Magpies finishing with two goals,
Only a handful of U18 players filled spots in their SANFL clubs Reserves sides with Mihail Lochowiak one of Sturt’s best with 19 possessions, two goals and seven tackles in a good all round performance. Hayden Sampson showed signs of quality again in a 14-disposal, five-tackle effort for the Panthers in their win over North.
SANFL Under 18s
The U18s competition kicked back in this weekend, and although a host of players were trialling with SA squad, there was a host of other solid performances across the games with some players continuing to show their abilities.
In West Adelaide’s first win of the season ball magnet William Gutsche was best with 19 contested possessions from his 29 disposals and eight inside 50s for one goal. Glenelg would have been disappointed to lose this game, but youngster and 2019 prospect Brady Searle was best for the Tigers with a monster 34-possession game.
The Eagles dismantled an undermanned Norwood by 67 points, and Jarrod Miller continued his good form for the Eagles finishing with four goals from the midfield. Jed Spence was Norwood’s best with a good inside/outside game of 24 disposals, seven tackles and seven clearances.
Standout player of the round and Most Valuable Player (MVP) round nominee Bailey Coleman-Oakes was dominant with a huge 43-possession and 12-clearance game in the Roosters win over South. Panthers prospect Reece Milsom was best in the losing side
Centrals just got over the line by 10 points against Sturt, and it was consistent Bulldog performances by Aaron Nietschke in the middle, and Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett up forward with three goals along with Llwellyn Milera who booted three as well. The stocks for father son prospect Casey Voss continue to rise as he again was Sturt’s best with eight tackles and six clearances.
Sacred Heart (SHC) recorded their first win of the season with a 22-goal win over St Michaels. SHC had let their first two games slip but Glenelg key forward Darcy LeCornu continues to shine, booting seven goals in the victory and also having 17 goals to date. Hearts face an important game this week against Immanuel College and no doubt the prospect of relegation under the new College system will bring out their best.
Rostrevor continued their winning ways and accounted for Immanuel by 82 points, and ex-SANFL League coach Ron Fuller has the Red and Blacks playing some good footy.
Although Prince Alfred College (PAC) accounted for St Peters by 68 points it was still a tough competitive game. PAC lead by Jack Heard at CHB and Captain Tom ‘Jack’ Sparrow defeated Saints at PAC. With hard running and some silky skill execution PAC were too good. The Saints, through youngsters Henry Nelligan and James Higgins, showed some impressive clearance work in the first half in particular and will be a real threat in the Premier League this year.
This weeks rounds of matches will pit the two undefeated sides of PAC and Rostervor against each other at PAC in a huge clash and the SHC and Immanuel game will be an important one too.