National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors Division 1 U17.5 Boys Grand Final Preview


The Goodwood Saints are looking to achieve the same as the Norwood and North Adelaide SANFL league teams did in 1984 and 2018 respectively; rise from an Elimination Final and to claim the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors Division 1 U17.5 Boys crown.

Saints had just five wins in the regular season, but have stormed through the finals, defeating SMOSH West Lakes Gold in the Elimination by six goals, won against an inaccurate Flinders Park by a telling 49-point margin and advanced to the Grand Final after a 23-point triumph in the Preliminary Final against Port Districts.

Conversely, Henley Sharks finished ladder-leaders this season, winning 11 of their 14 games across the minor round.

The title-decider will be played on Sunday afternoon at Thebarton Oval, kicking off at 2.30pm.

“We had to defeat Port Districts to get to the Grand Final,” Michael Bourke, the Henley mentor said.

“This is a very close competition and we are taking nothing for granted.

“We’d like to think we’ll receive plenty of rebound from half back and if we can get our midfield to control the stoppages, along with the contested possessions, that will set us up.

“You need to turn up on the day and this competition certainly isn’t reflected in the win-loss ratio over the season.”

Players to watch for the Henley Sharks side include hard as nails centreman Reuben Norton-Hayes, along with full back and skipper Jack Richardson.

Henley’s other key defender Jordan Hodges has been impressive at centre half-back, while Luke Tippins and Jack Grosser also have featured consistently.

Billy Hawke and Izaac Neumann are key forwards with a presence for the Goodwood Saints to quell, while Jordan Gadaleta, a co-captain who travels from Renmark, along with William Blair and Eddie Kneebone, will give the Sharks nip as small forwards.

Henley’s U17.5 team celebrate a goal against Flinders Park this season. Picture – Gavin Karjalainen

Goodwood Saints coach Kym Laube suggested the strength of the Saints is its “’team first” ethos and work ethic they display for each other.

“In an our best-and-fairest count we’ll have more than a dozen players who are capable of winning the award,” Laube said.

“Dan Mclaren and Will Turner are strong personalities and leaders within the group.

“There is a strong bond and they are a fun group to coach.

“Our leading goal kicker Nash Klemm has proved to be versatile and finds different ways to convert and Ed Schultz is a key target at centre half-forward.

“A couple of key pillars in defence, Jack Jenkin at full back and Mitchell Brennan at centre half-back are complemented by a group of running and link-up players.

“When they get game on their terms they move the ball well.

“Henley match up well against us; we respect them greatly and the contests with them have been played in great spirit.

“Padrick O’Donoghue has some experience at West Adelaide and Dane Habner also played some games with the Double Blues’ Under 18s.

“It’s a wonderful team of young men and we need to play our own game.”

Head-to-Head in 2022

Round 1
Sunday, 01 May 2022 – Goodwood Saints 6.8 (44) lost to Henley Sharks 10.11 (71)

Round 6
Sunday, 05 June 2022 – Henley Sharks 5.7 (37) defeated Goodwood Saints 2.3 (15)

Round 11
Sunday, 24 July 2022 – Goodwood Saints 9.11 (65) lost to Henley Sharks 10.11 (71)

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