PLAYING ALONGSIDE EDDIE
Organised through connections with a member of the Panthers inaugural reserves premiership side, Josh Young, Angaston veteran Matthew Doecke and defender Tom Ryan had a sporting experience to savour.
Playing in the other football code they participate in, Gaelic Football, this pair donned a guernsey alongside one of the AFL’s biggest marquee names, Aboriginal star of the Adelaide Crows Eddie Betts.
They all played for the Irish Australians team last Wednesday, November 8, in its pre-Christmas Gaelic Sevens competition, as Betts honed his round-ball skills for last Sunday’s International Rules fixture against Ireland at Adelaide Oval.
“For Eddie it was just a chance to have a kick around before Sunday’s game,” teammate and vice president of the Gaelic and Hurling Association of SA Matt Doecke said.
“Eddie knows our other seven-a-side indigenous players Robbie Young and ‘Rabbs’ (Anthony Wilson, a teammate of Betts at the Adelaide Crows in 2015).
“On the field, he was just one of the boys… naturally he played in attack.
“He cruised around and showed tremendous balance and poise, especially when he had ball in hand.
“He reads the round ball well in the air and seems to have more time than most.
“Like in Aussie Rules, he’s very unselfish and gave away a lot of opportunities to other players.”
Betts kicked 10 points in the game, including a pair of ‘unders’ (three-point goals) – with the Irish Australians going on to defeat Onkaparinga 5.21 (36) to 5.16 (31).
Doecke, easily the BLG’s longest serving footballer, who continued his links with the Irish team through the Adelaide leg of the two-test Cormac McAnallen Trophy series, wouldn’t be drawn into whether he would continue next season as an Angaston Panther.
Having turned 43 in late October, Doecke did confirm that he’d be participating in the 2018 BLG pre-season under Paul Sherwood, trotting out the same line about “I will continue as long as the club sees some value in me and that I’m contributing to the team’s cause”.
“We’ll make a call during the pre- season.”
HEARNDEN’S ON HER WAY
Despite being just 14 years old, Angaston Netball Club talent Kimberley Hearnden has been selected in phase three of the Netball SA State 17 and under trials after the second phase was completed on October 28 and 29.
She had a second trial last Sunday and this phase culminates with a two-day camp at Priceline Stadium this weekend.
Hearnden has the capacity to play at both ends of the court, but is seen at the elite level as more of a shooter, in ether of the GA or GS bibs.
National title winning coach and BLG Netball Association life member Lee-Anne Cummins will continue as coach at this level for SA.
Seen as a linchpin to the Panthers’ chances of progressing up the ladder, after a couple of seasons playing reserves football at Central District, Matthew Blenkiron will don the Panthers blue and white in 2018.
“We are rapt to have Matthew on board for 2018,” Angaston coach Paul Sherwood said.
“He’s a local who has the ability to both play roles as key position player at either end of the ground or as an athletic ruckman.
“Matt is an important cog in our recruiting aims.”
DARWIN FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE
Two of the Barossa District current champions playing coach Todd Miles and key forward Darren Shillabeer kept their “eye in” as fly-in footballers to the Northern Territory Football League.
They played under their former team mate at North Adelaide Matt Campbell, who coaches the Darwin Buffaloes
On Sunday, the Buffaloes collected a solid 21 point victory, 11.13 (79) defeated Waratah 7.16 (58), with Shillabeer kicking a bag of seven goals (and five behinds) and Miles being high in the best players as well.
“I didn’t play any football up in Darwin last (northern) season, but because it missed the majority of the second half of the BLG campaign, it was a great opportunity to have a kick and a catch,” Miles said.
“‘Shilly’ was in great touch, kicking ‘em from down town.”