Pocket Profile

2024 Hostplus South Adelaide Pocket Profile

South Adelaide players stretch out at preseason training at Flinders University Stadium. Picture - Ash Rayson

Sponsored by Hostplus

SANFL’s ZAC MILBANK breaks down all you need to know about the Panthers heading into the 2024 Hostplus SANFL League season.

2023 Snapshot

Finished – 9th

Record –  5 wins, 12 losses, 1 draw

Knuckey Cup – Club Champion
Keegan Brooksby

League Knuckles Trademark Award
Oscar Clavarino

League Players Player
Oliver Davis

Flinders University League Most Improved Player
Ben Shillabeer

League Leading Goalkicker
Zach Sproule – 30 goals

Dr Jim Harley/Frank Brown Memorial Trophy (Best Clubman)
Oscar Clavarino

David Kantilla Memorial Trophy (Best First Year League Player)
Jonti Schuback

The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year – Keegan Brooksby (Ruck – Vice Captain)

2023 Knuckey Cup winner Keegan Brooksby

Player Movement

Arlo Draper (returned/Collingwood), Callum McCarty (Essendon VFL/Strathfieldsaye), Jake Arundell (Box Hill Hawks), Finn Emile-Brennan (Casey Demons/Dandenong Stingrays), Ethan Roberts (Inner West Magpies AFL NSW), Hayden Kernahan (Returned/Adelaide SANFL), Harvey Lambert (Sacred Heart OC), Oscar Lovelock  (Sacred Heart OC), Darren Walters (West Adelaide/Port Noarlunga), Alex Habib (Kangarilla), Dylan Draper (Brighton Bombers), Zac Earl (Glenelg U18), Bailey Pilmore (Aldinga), Noah Goldie (Henley), Corey Grocock (Happy Valley), Dayne McGary (Returned/Brighton)


Bryce Gibbs (retired/Victor Harbor), Matt Broadbent (retired/Henley), Matt Rose (retired/Port District), Joseph Haines (retired/Port District), Zac Sproule (Port Noarlunga), Mitch O’Neill (Norwood), Ely Smith (retired/injury), Sam Ramsay (North Adelaide), Kim Kantilla (Tiwi Islands), Ben Heaslip (Victor Harbor), Jack Delean (Fremantle), Taylor Goad (North Melbourne), Harrison Gunther (Bordertown), Koby Cockshell (Mount Barker)

South coach Jarrad Wright will be looking to fast-track his players’ development in 2024.

2024 Trial Matches

Saturday March 2
South Adelaide v Woodville-West Torrens at Flinders University Stadium from 12.20pm

Saturday March 16
South Adelaide v Norwood at Flinders University Stadium from 1.10pm

Friday March 22
Port Adelaide v South Adelaide at Alberton Oval from 5.45pm


South Adelaide forward Eamon Wilkinson will play a vital role in attack for the Panthers in 2024.

Star Signing - Arlo Draper

South Adelaide fans are in for a treat this season when returning Arlo Draper pairs up with his younger brother Sid inside the centre square.

Drafted by Collingwood with Pick No.45 in the 2021 AFL Draft, Arlo Draper was unable to break into the Magpies’ supremely talented line-up.

Used in multiple roles including half-back and the midfield in the VFL, the 20-year-old will add class and clearance-winning ability for the Panthers this season.

The well-spoken utility sees himself as a genuine big-bodied midfielder and while he remains focused on having a strong year with South, has not given up on returning to elite level.

Powerade Breakthrough Player Candidate - Tom Wheaton

Strathalbyn product Wheaton is leading the charge of most likely U18 premiership players to make the instant step into the Hostplus SANFL League this season.

Measuring in at 190cm, the 18-year-old is physically mature to handle the cut and thrust of senior football, particularly on the inside of the contest.

A member of last year’s SA U18 team, Wheaton should also have a point to prove to AFL scouts after many outsiders considered him unlucky not to have his name called last November.



Exciting teenager Tom Wheaton is one to watch nearing Round 1.

2024 State Talent Academy Members

SA U18 coach Tony Bamford profiles the Panthers’ players in 2024

Sid Draper
Sid is coming off an outstanding 2023 season where he was awarded the SA U18 MVP and selected as an All Australian as a ”bottom-ager”. He is currently in the AFL National Academy where he will travel to Melbourne for two camps in April and play in two trial games against VFL teams. Sid is a midfielder with high-end football talent, athletic ability whilst also possessing an unconditional work ethic.  He was exposed to SANFL league football last year for the Panthers and is likely to get more opportunities early 2024. Sid has been working hard on his ball use by foot when exiting stoppage at speed.

Phoenix Hargrave
Phoenix has had a very impressive pre season. He has been able to elevate his training standards and performance significantly over the past 12 months. His experience last year as a bottom-age player in the 2023 U18 State team will help him take more leadership responsibly this year. Phoenix is a ball-winning midfielder who can impact in contest and at stoppage and always gives his forwards a good look going inside 50. We have been working with Phoenix on impacting more in transition defence and finding more ball outside the contest.

Dakota Sterzl
“DJ” is in the state talent pathway for the first time after an impressive bottom-age season last year for the Panthers off the wing. When Dakota is playing well, he is receiving the ball in the back half and using his ability to gain meters for his team using his run and penetrating left foot. Dakota also has the ability to position himself well to win the ball back from the opposition. In the State Academy program, he has learnt a lot about building consistency in his training performance in order to maintain and accelerate growth in his game.

Jacob Sheean
The big key defender is also an apprentice plumber and is not shy of hard work. Unfortunately, over the preseason his exposure to full training has been limited due to his recovery from a lower back injury. Jacob likes to make life difficult for his opponent and when he gets the ball in his hands generally uses it well to his team’s advantage. He is still learning how best to identify the best starting position to use against different types of key forwards and when to leave his opponent to win the ball or assist a teammate.

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