By Peter Argent
With three teams gaining direct entry to SANFL Grand Final – League, Reserves and Under 18s – North Adelaide are in the box seat to win season deciders at each level.
The league side, coached by Jacob Surjan, will face off against Jade Rawling’s Norwood Redlegs in the Grand Final at 3.00pm this Sunday, September 18.
In the game preceding that, the North Adelaide reserves play for the seconds flag against Sturt with this contest beginning at 11.30am.
When what is a full day of football starts, the best SA under 17s will play a futures match to start the day’s footy, at 9.15am at the state’s home of sport, the Adelaide Oval.
Programmed to play on Friday evening September 16, are the two Underage SANFL Grand Final’s also at the same pristine venue.
The Under 16s match between Glenelg and Woodville West Torrens starts at 4.50pm, with the Under 18s match pegged for a 7.30pm start.
North Adelaide are building a strong connection with Broken Hill currently, with Junior Development Manager Neil Sanders in regular contact with Silver City football clubs.
The town had three players in the Roosters Under 18s squad this year, Nick Schofield, Lachlan McKenzie and Lachlan Turley during the season.
“Nick was solid in the back pocket on second semi-final day, and he should keep his spot for the Grand Final,” North Adelaide Under 18s coach Craig Brooks confirmed.
“Lachlan was pretty unlucky to be squeezed out as we had a number of college boys come back into the team for the finals.
“He is still in the mix to play on Friday night, depending upon structures.
“Glenelg are a worthy opponent and we’ll need to play to the best of our ability to lift the cup.”
North Adelaide have enjoyed a week’s rest and go into this Friday night contest as slight favourites against the Bays.
“(It’s been) Hard to gauge, when you talk about the strength of each team,” coach Brooks says.
“It has been a good even competition and most games being quite competitive, despite the large movements of players across the breath of the season.
“The strength of the sides varies when the College participants are available.
“During this year’s finals campaigns, bar injury, all sides have been close to full strength.”
North Adelaide at Under 18s level are noted for the competitive aspects of the game, putting strong pressure on the ball carrier and being defensively accountable.
The Roosters have plenty of depth and flexibility as well, with a number of players who can play a multitude of roles.
West Broken Hill Robins defender Mitchell Clisby was a member of the Roosters preview flag in 2018.
That season North Adelaide charged home from the Elimination Final, survived a nineteenth man controversy on Preliminary Final day to go on to defeat Norwood and lift up the famous Thomas Seymour Hill Cup.
That proved to be the highlight of Clisby’s 154-game career at Prospect.
PICTURE: West Broken Hill Robins defender Mitchell Clisby