By Peter Argent
Fresh from premiership success last year and a shoulder operation in the offseason, Woodville West Torrens midfielder Kobe Mutch is primed for another big season in the SANFL.
The Eagles are looking for a third successive flag and Mutch is seen as a key component in the midfield rotations.
“Fitness-wise, I pretty happy where I’m at and it’s about 20 weeks post-operation now,” Mutch, who started his football as a North Broken Hill Bulldog, said.
“I thought I was pretty sharp in our first trial against Port Adelaide and a little flatter against Central District, although I found enough of the ball.
“From a goal-setting perspective, I’m not the type of player looking for individual targets.
“I just like to let my footy do the talking and see the results happen from a team perspective.
“We play South Adelaide in our final trial today (Saturday, March 19) and hopefully, I get a chance to play against Rhys.
“He finished his season at Victor Harbor last year in the Great Southern competition, about an hour south of Adelaide.
“The Panthers asked him out to do a pre-season and he played a trial in the league team and one in the reserves.”
Mutch also played a significant role in getting former Essendon teammate Dylan Clarke into the Eagles SANFL program.
Having played 24 games across the past four seasons with the Bombers, Clarke will be a strong replacement for 2021 Magarey Medallist James Tsitas, who was taken by the Gold Coast Suns with their last position on the ’22 list.
“We built a strong friendship at the Bombers over the time we were there,” Mutch said of Clarke.
“I was heavily involved in getting Dylan to the club.
“He will be a valuable acquisition to the club and he’s a cracker bloke.”
Following the trial on Saturday, Mutch and the Eagles have the weekend of March 26-27 off. Before the SANFL minor round for the Eagles starts on Saturday, April 2.
Woodville West Torrens first opponent in their premiership defence is North Adelaide at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval (Woodville Oval) in a 4.10pm fixture.
Kobe’s younger brother Rhys is now at the Panthers and keen to make his mark on the SANFL as well.
“I really enjoyed my football down at Victor,” Rhys Mutch told the Barrier Truth.
“I played a couple of games at the end of the season at centre half-forward, kicking a bag of five, but most the year at centre halfback.
“Playing in that competition gave me back the self-belief that I could make an impact at the SANFL level.
“South has been very welcoming and made me feel at home.
“I have been playing roles at halfback and on the wing at South.”
South Adelaide’s season opener, also on April 2, is against Central District at their home ground, Flinders University Stadium at Noarlunga.
The season starts with a “SANFL Showdown” between Port and the Adelaide Crows on Friday evening, April 1.