Freelance photojournalist and prolific SA country football writer Peter Argent, state selector and Murray South East Regional Director Scott Duncan and SA Country coach Steve Lubke, undefeated for four years during this period, have spent the off season selecting the unofficial Think! Road Safety SA Country Team of the Decade (2010-2019).
In this final part of the series, we reveal the interchange line-up, completing the SA Country Team of the Decade selections.
By Peter Argent
Each of the seven members on the interchange bench could lay claim to having a place in the starting 18 of the SA Country Team of the Decade.
Kimba athletic big man Jesse Kemp had a season with Central District and is a powerful marking option and left foot kick, who can play roles in ruck and up forward.
South Gambier’s Brett O’Neil is an ultra-skilful running defender, who was regularly hit targets with his foot, while West Coast lad Casey Carr is a versatile mid-sized utility player.
Smooth moving Carr, who hails from United Yeelanna, like Xavier Watson has been a consistent performer for the Eyre Peninsula Zone and at state country level.
Originally from Robertstown, Nick Schmidt, with his strong family history in the code and a Mail Medallist in the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association when at Tanunda, is a long-serving representative player who spent a number of years in state country colours.
Billy Lawrie is a high leaping utility who is capable in a variety of positions. He is now starting to make his mark with the North Adelaide Roosters.
Starting as marble range and making a name for himself with South Clare, Brodie Murphy gives the team X-factor.
Being enigmatic at times, he is capable of kicking the match-winning goal or bringing down an old fashioned ‘screamer’.
Originally from Tasmania and having a couple of seasons with the Angaston Panthers, Jackson O’Brien was a natural leader. O’Brien, now playing coach at North Clare, also has been a skilful and consistent ball-winning midfielder.
Over the 10 seasons, consideration in the selection process was given to breadth of performance, with the weight of times selected at SA Country level also being a factor.
Thus players such as 2010 All Australian Leigh Kruger, along with Southern Districts midfielders Mitchell Portlock and Michael Shearer, can consider themselves unlucky.
Eight-goal forward at Alberton Adam Jolly, original AFL Recruit winner Johann Wagner and Brad Mercer were in discussions for a key forward role.
Other contenders included Southern Saints strong-bodied defender Callum Hay, Hatherleigh and Angaston on-baller Tylah Saunders and Millicent Saints full back Steve Duldig.
Thanks to Peter Argent, Scott Duncan and Steve Lubke for all their time and effort in selecting our Think! Road Safety SA Country Team of the Decade.