Sons of guns earn stripes

Both their fathers played in premierships at the Freeling Football Club and on Saturday, son Shane Edwards and Jack Graham achieved the highest honour in football as premiership players in the Richmond Tigers’ flag.

The Tigers were simply outstanding after quarter time in front of 100,021 patrons, winning by a significant eight goal margin.

Edwards, one of the best players on the ground, had 25 positions and played with a coolness and composure his 11 seasons of AFL football hs given him.ave

For Jack Graham – seen as a future Tigers leader – this was just his third AFL final and his fifth game at the top level; his maturity was outstanding for a 19-year-old.

Graham had to wait until pick 46 last year to get his chance last year, after captaining his state last season and winning the Larke Medal (Under 18s national championships best and fairest), had injury problems at the start of the season before finally getting a huge opportunity late in the minor round.

Edwards is a third generation SANFL footballer and the first to play at the top level.

His father Greg was a member of the Freeling Football Club during its stellar era under Ian Mckay during the mid 1980s, where they won an amazing 40 games in a row during one sequence.

Jack Graham’s father Jeff played with Freeling Football Club from 1993 until 2000, being a member of the ‘94 flag against Willaston.

He’d previously played league football with the Woodville West Torrens Eagles.

CENTRAL DISTRICTS NEWS

Despite spending the last portion of the year in the Central Districts reserves side, Ryan Falkenberg’s exciting first half of the season was enough for him to win the Under 18 best and fairest this year.

The most outstanding underage player for 2017, collecting the prestigious Jack Stoddard Medal, was Cooper Dahms, who was also runner up to Falkenberg in the best and fairest.

Harrison Elbrow finished fourth in this year’s U18 best and fairest, while the most dedicated underage player award, The Lindsay Renney Memorial Trophy, was won by Eudunda-Robertstown’s Aaron Nietschke.  

Victorious 2015 Nurioopta A grade premiership coach Darren Reeves has been further promoted at the Ponderosa.

After spending the past two years as the U18 coach, Reeves is the new reserves coach and is seen as a senior assistant to Roy Laird on game day as well.

OUTBACKS TRIALS

Four of the Barossa and Light Cricket Association’s leading talents – Freeling’s Ben Parish, Kapunda skipper Joey Brown, Malalla’s Jake Birchmore and South Gawler’s Daniel Golder – have been invited to play in the 2018 selection trials for the SA Outbacks.

Both Parish and Brown were members of the 2017 Outback squad that went to NSW this year and the ‘18 championships will be held in Geraldton, WA.

The Outbacks have two trials this weekend.

SA TALENT FOR 2018 DRAFT

Trinity College protégée Jackson Hately was among seven lads to play in the second annual AFL All Stars under 17s match at Simonds Stadium, Geelong, last Friday afternoon.

While Izak Rankine was the star, all seven SA lads acquitted themselves well and look destined for a bright future. Next year SA may have its biggest top 20 draft contingent in the 30-plus year history of the draft.