Talented young footballers from country South Australia were among standouts in the SANFL’s Under 18s academy program clash at City Mazda Stadium in Richmond on Saturday, February 17.
It was the first opportunity to see the South Australian talent for the 2018 AFL Super Draft season.
SA’s yellow side, coached by Peter Fitzgerald and Ben Kane, dominated the contest in the middle two terms and won the match in the end by a seven point margin, although they were comfortably the better side all game.
As usual, a large percentage of the young players involved in the SA Academy, who will be vying for selection in the next AFL draft, have country roots. These players, who took to the ground on Saturday included Kysaiah Pickett, Jacob Collins and Kade Chandler, Ceduna; Jacob Kennerley, Cummins; Ben Jarvis, Port Lincoln; Cameron Taheny, Cleve; Declan Carmody and Mason Hein, South East; Dougal Grieve, Rhett Montgomerie and Jez McLennan, Barossa; Tom Lewis, Meningie; Aaron Nietschke, Eudunda/Robertstown; Jackson Hately, Gawler/Trinity College; Eamon Wilkinson, Meadows; Josh Hart, Virginia; Dylan Stephens, Mildura; Boyd Woodcock, Kadina; Sam Michael, Balaklava; and Tyson Hone, Mount Loftys.
Proposed number one draft option Jack Lukosius and strong running tall defender Mihail Lochowaik were simply sensational across half back for the winners.
Indigenous small forward Donnell Tucker kicked four goals for the victors while rover Oscar Lovelock, the strongly built Hugo Munn, and North Adelaide talent James Langley kicked two goals in the win. Best for the Blue team was Trinity College lad Jackson Hately, whose work ethic was evident all match, followed by utilities Tom Sparrow from South and Aaron Nietschke.
Hately and Indigenous talent Malachai Ahmatt- Lovell both kicked three goals for the vanquished.
“I was happy with the hit out,” said Tony Bamford, new SA Under 18s Coach and Academy Manager.
“We have a number of 185cm to 192cm medium Defenders and inside midfielders which gives us a lot of depth in this area.
“We did have a couple of injuries from the game; Sam Whitbread [received a] broken collarbone and he’s expected to miss between six to eight weeks, while Rhett Montgomerie had stitches in the back of his head from a marking contest and didn't play the latter part of the game.”
If this initial contest is any indication these South Australians look to have at least eight strong draft selections, with five of those capable of being top 20 candidates, and at least another 15 who have the possibility to be senior or rookie draftees this November.
U18 South Australian Academy Match - Feb 17
Yellow: 3.1 | 8.4 | 11.4 | 13.8 (86)
Blue: 3.3 | 4.3 | 7.3 |12.7 (79)
Yellow:- Jack Lukosius (WWTFC), Mihail Lochowiak (SFC), Tom Lewis (SAFC), Darnell Tucker (SAFC), Kade Chandler (NFC), Tate Coleman (SAFC);
Blue:- Jackson Hately (CDFC), Tom Sparrow (SAFC), Aaron Nietschke (CDFC), Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett (CDFC), Tyson Hone (SFC)
Yellow:- Darnell Tucker (SAFC) 4, Oscar Lovelock (GFC) 2, Hugo Munn (SFC) 2, James Langley (NAFC) 2, Kade Chandler (NFC) 1, Kai Pudney (WWTFC) 1, Tom Jones (GFC) 1;
Blue: Jackson Hately (CDFC) 3, Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett (CDFC) 3, Isaac Saywell (NFC) 1, Izak Rankine (WAFC) 1, William Gutsche (WAFC) 1, Eamon Wilkinson (SAFC) 1, Tyson Hone (SFC) 1
CDFC – Central District
GFC – Glenelg
NAFC – North Adelaide
NFC – Norwood
SFC – Sturt
SAFC - South Adelaide
WAFC – West Adelaide
WWTFC – Woodville West Torrens