Statewide Super League
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2019 RAA Rookies on the Rise

By ZAC MILBANK

SANFL clubs continue to strengthen their local ties, with as many as 57 players earning $28,500 for Community Football Clubs under the RAA Rookie program in 2019.

Surpassing the total of 56 players who made their debut last year, 52 in 2017 and 46 in 2016, the class of 2019 each earned $500 for their original Community Football Club as well as a framed picture of them to hang in the clubrooms.

West Adelaide’s Nigel Osborn was this year’s significant story of perseverance, making his debut at the age of 28 for the Bloods in Round 7.

A perennial representative for the SA Country team, Osborn started his SANFL journey back in 2007 with Woodville-West Torrens’ Under-17 team.

After playing  for the CMS Crows on Yorke Peninsula and Mallala in the Adelaide Plains Football League, the strongly-built midfielder finally earned his call after logging a season and a half in the Bloods’ Reserves.

Another mature-age revelation in 2019 was North Adelaide’s utility Billy Laurie, who played in all 18 of the Roosters’ League games this year after making his debut in Round 1.

Originally from Kybybolite in the south-east, the 26-year-old decided to test himself at State League level after previously lining up with Glenelg in 2012 and Keith in 2018.

Laurie was one of 10 RAA Rookies for North this year, as coach Josh Carr looked to promote talent from within for the long-term future of the club.

South Adelaide and Central District each had eight debutants to round out the top three SANFL clubs for promoting local talent in 2019.

Players with familiar surnames such as Jake Weidemann and Casey Voss lined up in League company for the first time while several of SA’s AFL Draft targets also tested themselves against mature opponents.

All-Australian Under-18s Will Gould, Dylan Stephens and Jackson Mead made their League debuts, with Gould featuring in Glenelg’s drought-breaking premiership win against Port Adelaide in the Statewide Super League Grand Final.

Stephens and fellow RAA Rookie Cam Taheny played in the Redlegs’ 2019 Reserves Premiership after showing exciting signs at League level.

Two players eligible for the 2020 AFL Draft – West Adelaide’s Riley Thilthorpe and Central’s Corey Durdin – also joined the list of RAA Rookies despite only being 17 years of age.

Round Player SANFL Club Local Club
1 Will Gould Glenelg Lucindale
1 Finn Betterman Glenelg Phantoms
1 Darnell Tucker South Happy Valley
1 Ethan East Central Willaston
1 Oliver Grivell Sturt Hahndorf
1 Hamish Latchford Adelaide Prince Alfred OC
1 Tom Hutchesson Adelaide Millicent
1 Jake Weidemann Eagles Woodville South
1 Tom Schmusch Eagles Lockleys
1 Billy Laurie North Kybybolite
1 Kai Pudney Port Port Districts
1 Martin Frederick Port Portland
2 Kysaiah Pickett Eagles Port District
2 Dylan Stephens Norwood Walkerville
2 James Schwarz North Flinders Park
3 Cooper Gaffney Eagles Port District
3 Kyle Emery South Lincoln South
3 Patrick Fairlie West Goodwood Saints
3 Mitchell Johnson Adelaide Flagstaff Hill
4 Cameron Taheny Norwood Eastern Ranges
4 James Mathews Adelaide McLaren
4 Strato Agorastos North Payneham Norwood Union
4 William Coomblas Sturt Unley Jets
5 Liam Verity North Modbury
5 Jack Elsworthy Port Kadina
5 Brett Kennedy South Pooraka
5 Lee Hoey South Morphett Vale
6 Dyson Hilder North Walkerville
6 Frank Szekely North Central Augusta
7 Cam McGree South Reynella
7 Nicholas Moore Eagles SMOSH West Lakes
7 Flynn Pisani Central Tea Tree Gully
7 Nigel Osborn West Mallala
8 Josh Richards Norwood Payneham Norwood Union
8 Dylan Aldridge North Moonta
8 Luke Bogle South Blackwood
8 Casey Voss Sturt Phantoms
9 Brodie Carroll Norwood Tea Tree Gully
10 Mason Neagle North Hectorville
10 Steve Burton Central Barmera Monash
10 Ryan Falkenberg Central Tanunda
10 Mitchell Payne Central Modbury
10 Mihail Lochowiak Sturt Payneham Norwood Union
11 Seb Kerrish Glenelg Plympton
13 Corey Durdin Central Golden Grove
13 Riley Thilthorpe West Goodwood Saints
13 Pierce Seymour Adelaide Payneham Norwood Union
14 Darcy Le Cornu Glenelg Mitcham
14 Karl Finlay North Central Augusta
14 Jackson Mead Eagles SMOSH West Lakes
14 Sam May West Mitcham
14 Cameron Ball Norwood Golden Grove
14 Reece Milsom South Flagstaff Hill
15 Rhett Montgomerie Central Angaston
16 Eamon Wilkinson South Meadows
17 Oliver Shaw Central Tea Tree Gully
18 Terrel Rigney North Salisbury West