Bates is back for her 50th SANFLW League game

Glenelg star Jess Bates will reach her 50th Hostplus SANFLW League game in Saturday's Second Semi Final. Picture - Gordon Anderson


Glenelg superstar Jess Bates is poised to reach her 50th Hostplus SANFLW League game in Saturday’s Second Semi-Final against South Adelaide after being stranded on 49 matches for the past fortnight.

Bates, the competition’s leading disposal-winner despite only playing 12 of the 14 minor round matches, has been plagued by Plantar Fasciitis in her foot but is now fit to face the Panthers at Flinders University Stadium from 12pm.

Speaking on SANFL Radio, the 2022 SANFLW Best and Fairest winner declared she was itching to get back into the action to help her Tigers earn a direct path into the SANFLW League Grand Final on Saturday July 6.

Having tasted premiership success with the Bays in 2021, Bates spent last season in the VFLW with Collingwood, where she also displayed her ball-winning prowess in claiming the Magpies’ Club Champion award.

The 28-year-old traces her natural ability to find the footy back to playing against the boys while attempting to follow in her brother Hayden’s footsteps with the North Haven Under-12s.

But the lack of a pathway for girls ensured Bates would return back to playing netball until she was lured out to play for SMOSH West Lakes in 2019.

Playing under the guidance of Port Adelaide great Greg Phillips, Bates was encouraged by her teammates, the Howell twins Sheridan and Kendall, to trial at a SANFLW club.

Sheridan, tied to Glenelg, suggested the Tigers while Kendall, tied to North Adelaide, suggested the Roosters.

Bates attended her Glenelg trial first and the rest is history as she made her home at Brighton Road before having the opportunity to head to Prospect.

Now the hairdresser is aiming to make the most of her team’s double-chance to claim a second premiership, after earning her first medallion in 2021.

Jess Bates after winning the inaugural best afield medal for the SANFLW State Team.

Sign up to receive the latest SANFL news straight to your inbox.