by Peter Argent
Giants Academy defender Jackson Savage and Darcey Cullen from the Leeton-Whitton Crows both debuted with the Norwood Football Club Under 18s this last weekend.
They donned the Redlegs navy and red against West Adelaide in the round nine SANFL match at The Parade.
In a tight contest, Norwood ran out winners by eight-points against the inaccurate Bloods, and kicked 9.7 (61) to 6.17 (53) with both Broken Hill lads having an impact on the contest.
In an impressive first SANFL game by the left footer, Savage was given the Redlegs third best player, finishing with 22 possessions, along with a game-high 11 marks, four tackles and a couple of clearances.
Cullen was still more than serviceable with 12 disposals, a second quarter goal, four marks and five tackles.
“Both had trained with us for a week in February, but that was all,” Norwood Under 18s coach Alex Newell said. “So they had some knowledge of the playing group, but were still learning about the nuances of their team mates on the run. They fitted into the group pretty well considering.
“Savage played as a running defender coming off the half back line and he won more than a couple of crucial one-on-one, especially deep in defence. He marked and also halved a lot of contests in the air and has a strong left foot kick.
“Cullen is a strongly built footballer, who played as a key defender for us against West. He was very clean with his use of the ball and strong in the one-on-one contest. After taking a little while to adjust to the pace of the game, he found a way to adapt.
“He stands at about six foot, and two inches tall (189cms) and his skillset is pretty solid.
“We’re hopeful that this pair will don the Redlegs jumper again this year and further develop in our program.”
Savage had been in Adelaide two weeks earlier playing with the combined Giants/Suns Academy, which took on the SA Under-18s at Thebarton Oval.
In the SANFL Under-16s clash with West Adelaide it was a different affair last Saturday. Norwood were well beaten by West, going down by a large 46-point margin, 11.9 (75) to 4.5 (29).
Max Roberts was the most productive of the Broken Hill contingent with 13 touches, while Talan Pitt finished with 11 disposals. Tall, Harper Bromson won 12 hit outs to go with six tackles and five touches in general play.