By Peter Argent
With the Northern Zone men’s team looking for a breakthrough inaugural title at the 2022 South Australian Country Football Championships, no less than eight Broken Hill Football League talents have been included in the initial squad.
They are the current captain of the West Robins Football Club, quick midfielder Michael Andruszkiewiewicz, the North Broken Hill Bulldogs pair of smooth moving and goal kicker rover Adam Slattery and journeyman ruckman, Luke “Billy” Wells, along with another well-travelled footballer, left footed mid-fielder Aaron Jory from the Central Broken Hill Magpies.
There are also four players from the ladder leading South Broken Hill Kangaroos, goal kicking ace the skilful Cody Schorn and his sibling, running link-up player Riley, 198cm mobile ruckman Mitchell Henderson and long-term representative and Zone Championships participant, South captain and SA country selection in ’21 Marc Purcell.
The Northern Zone team in 2022 will be coached by Matthew Promnitz, who is currently in the same role with Proprietary/Risdon Lions in the Spencer Gulf League (SGL).
He took the Prop/Risdon Lions to the 2021 premiership in SGL, defeating cross-town rivals Solomontown by 14 points at Central Oval in Port Augusta in the season decider after they were five goals down at three quarter time.
Promnitz said he was excited about the challenge of coaching the Northern Zone side and keen to bring a strong cohort of footballers together for this championship.
“I was really pleased with the young talent I witnessed at the Spencer Gulf versus Whyalla Football League game on the June long weekend,” Promnitz said.
“We are keen to secure a strong contingent from each league, including the Silver City footballers.
“I’ve received good commitment so far this year from the personnel asked to play.
“The facilities at Whyalla are very good and we are keen to perform strongly in this event, which is with our Zone.”
It is expected that upwards of 250 players, both male and female, and a further 200-plus officials from regional leagues across the State will descend on Whyalla across the weekend of July 16-17 to represent their Zone in matches at Bennett and Memorial ovals.
The Round 15 SANFL regional match will also be a feature of the event, with North Adelaide to host Adelaide in the Roosters’ regional zone at Bennett Oval on Saturday afternoon.
SANFL Head of Community Football Lisa Faraci said the Country Championships not only provided an opportunity to showcase the best country footballers, but also a major tourism boost for the region.
“The country championships are much more than a footy carnival – it’s one of the largest regional sporting events on the SA calendar, providing a fantastic social and economic boost for Whyalla and surrounding communities,” Ms Faraci said.
“The Championships showcases and celebrates all the great things we love about country footy and leaves a lasting legacy for everyone involved.
“It’s also a great opportunity for Whyalla to capitalise on its outstanding Bennett Oval facility, which was recognised as winner of the 2021 AFL Community Facility Project of the Year.”
Back in 2019, at the event in Port Pirie, the Northern Zone were runners up to the Central Zone.