SANFL’s ZAC MILBANK breaks down all you need to know about the Double Blues heading into the 2021 Statewide Super League season.
Finished – 6th
Record – Five wins and nine losses
P. T. Morton Medallist – James Battersby
Leading Disposals – James Battersby (359)
Best Team Man – Sam Wundke
The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year – Sam Colquhoun (wing), Sam Wundke (centre half-back), James Battersby (ruck rover – vice captain)
Patrick Wilson (returned/Adelaide), Riley Grundy (returned/Port Adelaide), Josh Patullo (returned/country Victoria), Hamish Allan (North Hobart), Jared Dakin (Launceston), Charlie Parker (Adelaide University), Connor Bristow (Norwood)
Sam Colquhoun (retired), Tom Harms (retired), Byron Sumner (retired/Aldinga), Harry Morrison (Sydney Swans VFL), Tom Powell (North Melbourne), James Borlase (Adelaide), Malachy Carruthers (Sydney), Charlie Allan (West Adelaide), Jack Henderson (Victoria), Darcy Bennett (Victoria), Beau Schwarze (Glenunga), Hamish Latchford (Adelaide SANFL)
Friday March 19
Sturt 14.8 (92) d Port 8.13 (61) at Alberton Oval
Friday March 26
Sturt 17.6 (108) d Central 5.10 (40) at X Convenience Oval
Starved of opportunity – just two AFL games – in his three seasons with Adelaide, Patrick Wilson is itching to continue impacting the Statewide Super League with his beloved Double Blues. Measuring in at 188cm and 89kg, the big-bodied midfielder is a beast at the clearances and can find the ball at will. Importantly, the 26-year-old premiership player will provide significant support to captain James Battersby, who carried a heavy load through the midfield for Sturt last season. Injured his shoulder in trial match against Central which should sideline him in Round 1 but the former Crow is hopeful of avoiding surgery.
Smooth-moving wingman Josh Shute looms as a genuine Powerade Breakthrough Player candidate for the Double Blues this season. A key member of the 2019 Torrens University SA U18 team, the 20-year-old was unable to make his League debut last season after making 15 Reserves appearances. But his running capacity and skill by foot has caught the eye of returning coach Marty Mattner, who has been impressed with Shute during the preseason.
Morgan Ferres (190cm and 80kg)– Has very clean and strong hands as a leading, marking forward. Boasts an elite combination of speed and endurance that allows his to outrun his opponent in the front half of the oval. Working on field kicking and having more defensive impact inside 50m.
Declan Hortle (193cm and 93kg) – A very strong and competitive undersized ruckman who often gives away height to his opponent but finds a way to give his midfielders an equal chance to win the ball. Displays a huge vertical leap at centre square bounces. Working on learning to play in a key position behind the ball.
Hugo Kittel (197cm and 99kg)– Elite level rower who has been juggling his preseason training with his rowing commitments. Will line up in the ruck with Sturt’s U18s but could take some time to find his footy skills and awareness.
Will Spain (177cm and 70kg) – Very smart small midfielder who influences the game in all areas. Has a handy combination of endurance and speed along with very clean hands. Looking to hit the scoreboard more often this year.
Zac Becker (190cm and 92kg) – A big, strong key defender who is elite in reading ball in flight and taking intercept marks in the defensive area. Has composure and is also able to distribute the ball effectively by hand and foot from defensive 50m. Continuing to work on his running capacity and agility.