By ZAC MILBANK
The 2019 Torrens University SA U18 Squad has been released, with a plethora of key defensive options littered through the 36-player list.
Unlike previous years, this year’s crop boasts plenty of height, particularly of those willing to play disciplined roles in the back half.
Headlined by Glenelg’s U18 All-Australian Will Gould, the backline boys also include North pair Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder, Tiger Jordan Moore and Sturt’s Lachlan Burrows, a former Decathlete.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Torrens University SA U18 coach Tony Bamford said he and the entire coaching staff were more impressed by the defensive display of the Croweaters in the two trial matches played against WA during last week’s five-day AFL Academy camp.
Together with Gould, Norwood pair Dylan Stephens (pictured above) and Cameron Taheny, Eagles livewire Kysaiah Pickett, Sturt tall Oliver Grivell and South goalsneak Darnell Tucker have all tasted Statewide Super League action this year.
Tucker is among four over-age players together with Burrows, Glenelg’s Declan Carmody and West ruckman Angus Rana.
On the flip side, exciting underage talent abounds with the inclusion of father-sons Taj (Jarrad) Schofield and Luke (Tyson) Edwards, as well as smalls Corey Durdin (Central) and Cooper Horsnell (Glenelg).
Athletic pair Riley Thilthorpe (West) and Zac Dumesny (South) also loom as key players across the next 18 months.
The Torrens University SA U18 team will train chiefly at Thebarton Oval, while also spending time at the SA’s AFL facilities of Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
Three trial matches will be played, including the final one against the SA U20 side ahead of Game 1 of the AFL U18 National Championships to be played against WA at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday June 15.
Just one match will be played on home soil, against arch-rival Victoria Metro at Alberton Oval on Saturday June 22, before final matches are played against Victoria Country at Geelong on Friday June 28 and the Allies at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday July 3.