By Peter Argent
North Adelaide moves to continue to grow their connections with Broken Hill has borne fruit again this year, with Lachlan McKenzie playing his 15 SANFL Under-18s game for the season, while Nick Schofield had played 14 at this level.
The Roosters are definite contenders for the SANFL Under-18s crown, currently sitting on top of the ladder and will play on second semi-final day.
Prospect is a great football environment to be in as North are currently top in the SANFL league competition, second at reserves level and third in the Under-16s SANFL competition as well.
At Under-18s level they have 12 wins from 17 games so far, one ahead of Norwood and two in front of the trio of Glenelg, Sturt and West Adelaide, all fighting for a finals berth.
“Will finish in the top two either way,” North Adelaide Under-18s coach and Talent Manager Craig Brooks explains.
“A win today [on Saturday] will ensure top spot. We had a good year, but have had a lot of turn-over of personnel, through the college system and in state programs.”
Tall defender from the South Broken Hill Roos, Lachlan McKenzie had a career best 10 tackles last week for the Roosters against West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium, (Richmond Oval).
He has averaged 8.7 disposals per game and 2.1 tackles each match, with the 189cm, 84kg talent playing roles at centre half back and in the last line of defence.
“Lachlan is a reasonable sized lad, and we’ve used primarily as a deeper back man, and at times at centre half back,” Brooks confirmed.
“He is a competitive character, who has a real crack. An undervalued trait Lachlan has showed all season is that he’s very coachable and wants to listen and learn. He’s definitely still pretty raw and missed out on most of our pre-season but he’s a genuine young man with a strong work ethic.”
From the West Broken Hill Robins, Nick Schofield played a “run with” role in the clash with West Adelaide last week, He has played 14 games at Under-18s level, averaging 9.2 touches a contest.
His best statistically effort was in round 11 against South Adelaide, where he secured 16 possessions, four tackles and a couple of clearances.
“He has been promoted to the reserves for his second game at that level this week against Sturt,” Under-18s Coach Craig Brooks confirmed.
“Nick has been playing with us as an over-ager this year and is studying at University. He has progressed well this season, but is also still in the education phase of his footy.
“Nick is a pretty refined player, being a good ball user and decision maker. He needs to continue to work on the defensive traits that are required from a small defender.”
A 200cm athletic ruckman from the “Silver City” Lachlan Turley played in the Under-18s program, registering 18 hit outs in the round seven win against Glenelg, but has dealt with injury problems.
He has been played Under-18s and A grade for the West Robins this year.