We’re at the business end now….
After selecting his Top 50 players at the conclusion of 2020, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank has now chosen his Top 50 as we inch closer to the start of the 2021 Statewide Super League campaign.
Form across the 2020 season was used as the chief factor in the ranking process, with selection in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, placings in the Magarey Medal, Shearman Medal and Club best-and-fairest awards weighing heavily as it did in the Postseason.
But to spice things up, a bevy of star recruits signed over summer have been sprinkled in for good measure.
Stay tuned as the countdown continues on the SANFL website and social media channels leading up to Round 1 on April 1.
As we edge closer to No.1, here are players 6 to 10.
Glenelg’s 2019 Magarey Medallist is coming off an exceptional campaign which resulted in a runner-up placing in the John H. Ellers best-and-fairest count last year while the Bays’ midfield star was named at half-forward in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Retaining his place in the Tigers’ leadership group, Partington has been quick to impress his new coach, Brett Hand. “Luke Partington has stepped up over the preseason and is well respected by the playing group. He works hard at his own game, as well as with the younger players to help make them better,” Hand said.
Stepped down from South’s co-captaincy for 2021 to had the mantle to Matthew Rose in a sole capacity. But this doesn’t mean Cross’ presence won’t continue to be felt at Noarlunga. “Joel has been a fantastic clubman and leader for a long time now,” South coach Jarrad Wright said.
”He has a long list of personal accolades, but his driver is wanting team success. Because of that he will continue to be a leader without any title attached.” In 2020, he finished inside SANFL’s top 10 for disposals, inside 50s and clearances while averaging 23 possessions and booting 15 goals for season. Could he produce similar in a potential premiership year for the Panthers?
Rewarded South Adelaide’s investment in him last year by claiming the Knuckey Cup as the Panthers’ best-and-fairest. Averaging 21 disposals and six marks, the former Power defender finished seventh in the Shearman Medal. Named at half-back in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, Broadbent was a calming influence for his new club in the position while also providing valuable influence when employed inside the centre square. The 30-year-old is still on top of his game and looms as a particularly dangerous weapon alongside star recruit Bryce Gibbs given both can play a distributing role off half-back or provide size inside the centre square.
What can’t this man do? He’s the player the majority of rival SANFL coaches would love to have on their own list due to his versatility and ability to impact games. Arguably the best contested mark in the competition, Hayes can create havoc inside attacking 50m or when thrown into the ruck, where he regularly acts as a fourth midfielder once the ball hits the deck. Averaged 18 disposals, six marks and nearly four tackles per game last season, ensuring he would be named at centre half-forward in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
Boasts arguably the lowest profile of those to be named in the Preseason SANFL Top 10 but that doesn’t mean he’s any less valuable. Loyal Eagle Sinor was a major catalyst in his team’s 2020 premiership, awarded the Perce Johns Medal as Club Champion and finishing sixth in the Shearman Medal such is the respect he garners from opposition coaches. Could Sinor, a member of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year last season, become the first Woodville-West Torrens player to win the Magarey Medal if he produces similar numbers to the 22 disposals and six tackles he averaged in 2020?