The SA Country Football Championships – this year being held in the Barossa Valley towns of Nuriootpa and Angaston – see both long term player at this level Marc Purcell and Sam Wilson, as well as late call pick Bryce Langdon, selected from the Broken Hill Football competition to play in the Northern Zone Mens team.
A high decorated local footballer, Purcell has been skipper of the South Roos since 2019 and this is his fourth year as the club’s on-field leader.
He has won six Club Best and fairest awards at South Broken Hill, along with three Lionel Johnson Medal in the 2015, ‘19 and ’21, the competitions top honour.
Add to that is five Mail Medals as the best and fairest player in the Silver City voted on by the umpires; a first in ’12, and now four consecutive accolades from 2017 to 2021.
“This is the fifth time I will representing the Northern Zone,” Purcell told the Truth this week.
“I started in Berri in 2012 and have played in Whyalla, Port Pirie, Victor Harbor and now the Barossa Valley. I also played nine games for Sturt back in 2013. We made the final in Port Pirie (in 2019) and would like to go one better.”
Langdon, playing Under-18s this year, has also played seven A-Grade matches for the Roos this season and been in their best players on three occasions.
He has been involved in the GWS Giants Academy, and played five games for the North Adelaide Under-16s in 2021.
The other Silver City representative, Sam Wilson, is a school teacher playing for Central Broken Hill in the second year in Broken Hill football after coming across from Albury.
“He is a strong marking centre half forward type, who can give a chop out in ruck,” Purcell explained.
“Sam kicked seven goals on the weekend, and in a game a couple of weeks ago kicked all five of Central’s goals.”
The Northern Zone start its campaign against the hosts, Central, in the first match of the tournament in the Barossa, at Angaston Oval in a two-by 25-minues contest, that has a 10.35am start this Saturday, July 8.
At 1.05pm the Northern Zone take on Eastern at Angaston Oval.
It is expected that the team needs to win both games, to play in the final on Sunday.
SANFL Head of Community Football, Shawn Ford, said the Country Championships not only provided an opportunity to showcase the State’s best country footballers, but also would be 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 the entire Barossa community,” Ford said.
“The Championships showcase and celebrates all the great things we love about country footy and leaves a lasting legacy for everyone involved.”