Two AFL Broken Hill players are making their SANFL Under-16s debuts this weekend when they suit up for Norwood. Harper Bromson from South Football Club and Max Roberts from West Football Club trained with the club last weekend and have now been selected for the side’s Round 5 clash against North Adelaide at Prospect Oval on Saturday, April 22.
The pair have been playing well for the GWS Academy and were emergencies in Norwood’s 19-point loss to Woodville-West Torrens in Round 4, following an invite – along with Talan Pitt from North Football Club, who is unfortunately, currently injured – to train with the club.
West Football Club Under-18s Coach, Lachlan Harvey, said Harper’s selection was a testament to having put in the effort on the training track, and he looks forward to what he can do this weekend.
“It’s a bit of a pat on the back and a reward to us as coaches too. We see the kids develop and Harper’s put in a lot of work this pre-season,” he told the Truth.
“[Harper’s] been at every training, whether it’s Under-18s [or] Seniors, and busted his gut to get there. To see him reap the rewards, you’re always so proud of kids when they can push their footy a bit further than Broken Hill level.
“His running levels for a 16-year-old kid are beyond elite. By the sound of it, he’s going to play in a little bit of a different position on the wing, so it’s pretty good to have a 16-year-old that’s six-foot-two running around on a wing.
“We’ve got a lot of different kids linked to a lot of different places. It’s another SANFL team that’s obviously looking around The Hill, so [it] means the footy standard must be good, we’re getting a lot of traction from elsewhere.
“[We] just wish him luck and hope he goes alright from us, the club, and the rest of his teammates.”
South Football Club Coaching Director and Senior Coach, Craig Thomas, told us that he and the club are proud to see Max given the opportunity to play for Norwood.
“It makes us very proud from a club perspective. The development of this young lad coming through now, training with the senior boys, we’re so proud of Max. We’re 100 per cent behind him and to what he can get to and the highs he can get to through his football career,” he says.
“The beautiful thing about Max’s game is his fitness level, for a start, and his tackling. The way he tackles, the way he hunts the ball carrier, and then when he’s got the ball himself, he’s got some outstanding skills. He reads the play well and his decision-making is as good as I’ve seen from a young lad.
“We’ve been blessed in Broken Hill. We’ve been a really good breeding ground for young footballers to get to go on to be AFL footballers. This is just another one that’s coming through the ranks and the towns so proud of these young lads to get the opportunity to come down here to Adelaide and show their stuff and progress and further their career.
“I think Max can go a long way. He’s got a great family behind him as well, which always helps, and his skills and his natural ability will take him a long way. He won’t let no one down, he’s that sort of lad.”
Norwood is 1-3 in the SANFL Under-16s season so far, with the team’s next fixture (Round 5) against North Adelaide on Saturday, April 22 from 1.30pm at Prospect Oval.