SANFL’s ZAC MILBANK breaks down all you need to know about the Panthers heading into the 2022 Hostplus SANFL League season.
Finished – 3rd (fifth minor round)
Record – 10 wins and 8 losses
Knuckey Cup (Best & Fairest)
Mark Rawlins Memorial Trophy (Runner-Up Best & Fairest)
Third Best & Fairest
League Most Improved Player
League Leading Goalkicker
Liam Fitt (31 Goals)
The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year – Bryce Gibbs (Ruck Rover), Joseph Haines (Centre Half-Back), Matthew Broadbent (Half-Back Flank)
Keegan Brooksby (returned/Hawthorn), Ryan Garthwaite (Richmond), Oscar Brownless (Geelong), Oscar Claravino (St Kilda), Harrison Gunther (Glenorchy), Ollie Davis (Adelaide SANFL/Clarence), Elliot Dunkin (West Adelaide), Sam Ramsay (Carlton VFL), Jye Menzie (North Hobart), Kyle Emery (Darwin)
Joel Cross (retired), Jason Horne-Francis (North Melbourne), Matthew Roberts (Sydney Swans), Arlo Draper (Collingwood), Sam Skinner (Port Adelaide), Alex Cailotto (retired/Sacred Heart OC), Nic Schwarz (retired/Flinders Park), Anthony Biemans (retired/Morphett Vale), Tyson Brown (McLaren), Jake Tarca (Encounter Bay), Ben Haren (Lockleys), Jake McCreery (Cove), Jack Elsworthy (Kadina), Daniel Nobes (Hope Valley), Ben Sawford (Payneham), Jaidan Kappler (Noarlunga), Jesse McKinnon (Victor Harbor), James Loneragan (Triathlon)
Saturday February 26
Central 7.9 (51) d South 3.4 (22) at X Convenience Oval
Saturday March 12
Sturt 12.7 (79) d South 8.9 (57) at Flinders University Stadium
Saturday March 19
South v Eagles at Flinders University Stadium – 1.10pm
Keegan Brooksby has unfinished business at Noarlunga. As a child, he proudly helped plant trees on the outer side of Flinders University Stadium when it was established as South’s new home ground for the 1995 season.
His father Phil and uncle Graham were unable to taste the ultimate success playing for the Panthers but Brooksby is determined to play a part in breaking the club’s premiership drought, which has stood since 1964.
The 31-year-old – who measures in at 197cm and 99kg – is a proven force in the ruck at SANFL level, having previously been captain of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
His challenge this season will be juggling his work commitments while living in Melbourne to work with the Hawthorn Football Club. Brooksby will be commuting to Adelaide weekly while remaining engaged with Panthers’ team meetings via Zoom during the season.
Described by coach Jarrad Wright as his preseason ”bolter”, small defender Lachlan Hayes is pushing for a berth in Round 1.
Originally from Hallett Cove, the 18-year-old has genuine speed which has caught the eye in South’s opening two League trial matches.
”He didn’t really play much footy in his 17th year,” Wright said.
”He came up to (U18 coach) Mark Clayton last year and said he wanted to be a small defender and not a winger.
”He came third in our U18 medal last year, has come in (to seniors) and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He has a real crack, competes and gives a bit of bounce off half-back.”
Torrens University SA U18 coach Tony Bamford profiles South’s players
Will is a developing tall ruck who can also play as a marking forward. He has played in both positions for South across the past two seasons. His ability to win the ball at ground level, as well as his impact in ruck contests and clearances, separates him from other rucks his age. He has had an interrupted preseason due to ongoing groin complaints that he has been managing. Will needs to continue to develop his ball use efficiency over the coming season to maximise his potential.
Jaiden will be enjoying his first full season of SANFL footy this year now he has left Sacred Heart College. He is a very clever medium-sized forward who is also learning how to play through the midfield. Jaiden is a highly-talented natural footballer, who has had some niggling foot/lower leg complaints to deal with this preseason. The challenge for Jaiden now is to find a high level of performance consistency in the SANFL U18 competition while remaining injury free. Jaiden is working hard on his workrate when he doesn’t have the ball.
Kyle is another developing tall player who entered South’s talent pathway at age 16 after being scouted playing for his school. He is still very raw in terms of playing in a high-performance competition but has shown an ability to improve gradually over the past two years. He is currently best suited to playing as a high, tall defender and this is where he will play for South’s U18s. Athletically he is well suited to this role as he has good closing speed and a long reach. He is working on improving his kicking efficiency as well as his ability to take intercept marks.
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