In the second of a series of articles on SA Community Football in 2021, PETER ARGENT looks at a number of key appointments and players arriving in the Western Border League, Mid South East and the expansive Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara competitions.
A member of the Goodwood Saints in 2020, former 100-game North Adelaide and Sturt footballer George Thring returns to the Keith Crows, with younger brother Max in tow.
The Bordertown Roosters, who have also recruited South Adelaide/WWT Eagles/BBH Rams forward Tom Whittlesea, Kane Cuthbertson has returned to the club after a handful of seasons at the Robe Football Club.
Mundulla, reigning KNT premiers in 2019, and the team that was triumphant in the standalone season of the Limestone Coast League last winter, is again expected to be a serious contender with Nick Davis in charge.
Another of the 2020 appointments, Tony Porter, will be the senior coach at the Penola Eagles.
Now playing in the 10-team competition – with Kaniva/Leeor moving to the Horsham District Football League – the Kybybolite Tigers again have Scott Carberry in charge while Darrin Wilson continues at Border Districts.
Starting with the Lions in 2019, Tarak Redigolo is in a playing/coaching role at Padthaway, with George Verco as his assistant on the bench.
Living and working in the district Tobin Cox, returns his foundation club for this season after being on the Power list for two seasons.
At Lucindale, top local sporting talent Sam Graetz, who was appointed in 2020, will take charge of the Roos for the first time this year.
Zack Donnelly is in charge at the Naracoorte Demons for a second season, after starting in 2019, while ex-Sturt footballer Rory Taggert will be a prized recruit as Josh Gregg also dons a Demons jumper again.
The only team that played in the amalgamated Limestone Coast Football League from the Mid South East, Kalangadoo, have secured the services of Kevin Stack from Casterton for its A grade coaching duties this year.
A couple of mentors first appointed in 2020, Reece Duncan at the Mount Burr Mossies and Jak Ryan at the Tantanoola Tigers will take their first steps as coaches of their new clubs.
Ryan is a former South Gambier Demon.
Duncan is the son of former Port Adelaide and state country footballer Scott, the current Murray South East Regional Director.
“I’m certainly keen to get started,” Reece Duncan told SANFL Media.
“Naturally dad has been a strong support and someone to get advice from.
“When I first got the job I had a chat to Uncle Michael (2011 Eagles premiership coach and current Crows mentor Michael Godden) about training drills and other aspects of the game.
“I’ve taken bits and pieces of advice from all the coaches I have had along the way.
“Now it’s about putting that into place.”
Another who was appointed in 2020, Simon Merrett, will take on the senior role at the Port MacDonnell Demons for the first time this year.
Jack Kelly, a former Sturt and state country footballer, was appointed Woodville-West Torrens reserves coach last year, but was unable to undertake that appointment.
He has returned to the Robe Roosters as their senior coach this winter.
At the Hatherleigh Eagles, Jake Dowdy moves into the role as the A-grade coach in 2021, while Will Whitty is in charge at Kongorong Hawks.
For the Nangwarry Saints, Luke Thompson is in charge of resurrecting fortunes at the club after a winless 2019 campaign.
Frazer Scanlon, the older brother of former Port Adelaide footballer Matt, takes on the role at the Glencoe Murphys. His foundation club is the East Gambier Bulldogs.
From the Western Border League, three clubs – South, North and East Gambier – played in the Limestone Coast competition.
South Gambier’s new coach in 2021 is Brayden Kains, while former Glenelg forward, the mercurial Justin McConnell will be the boss at North again, and Matt Wilson (who was linked for a time with the SANFL Crows) will share the duties with Jayden Eldridge at East.
Just the other side of the border at the Casterton Cats, Kane Forbes, will undertake the senior role after progressing from the Cats’ lower grades.
West Gambier has reappointed dual premiership player Steven Wenman, who hails from the Berri Demons in the Riverland competition, to take up the senior coaching reins again.
Up the road at the Millicent Saints, highly-respected talent Clint Gallio is again in charge, after last undertaking the role in 2019. Gallio spent time with the now defunct NT Thunder side in the NEAFL competition. Tom Renzi has arrived at the Saints as Gallio’s playing assistant coach.