By ZAC MILBANK
South Adelaide has engineered a recruiting coup by securing experienced defender Matthew Broadbent for the 2020 Statewide Super League season.
Starting his career with Woodville-West Torrens’ Under-17 team in 2006, Broadbent has opted to continue his SANFL journey with the Panthers after playing 171 AFL games for Port Adelaide between 2009 and 2019.
Drafted by the Power with Pick No.38 in the 2008 AFL Draft, the 29-year-old will provide composure and neat delivery by foot off half-back under coach Jarrad Wright next season.
Broadbent, who measures in at a deceptive 189cm and 89kg, said his relationship with Wright – who he played with at the Eagles – was a major factor in his decision-making process.
Both Broadbent and Wright are also originally from Henley FC, with the third-year Panthers’ mentor also outlining a leadership role for his prized recruit.
Struck down by injury in his final two seasons at Alberton – he didn’t manage a game in 2018 – Broadbent says his body is feeling good after overcoming his latest setback to his ankle.
The running defender feels he has at least 3-4 years of footy left in him and is viewing his new challenge at Noarlunga as a fresh start on and off the field as he seeks to begin a career in social work.
Broadbent’s signature comes on top of South’s recent additions such as former Sydney Swan James Rose and Glenelg’s Ben Sawford while former Panthers-co-captain Keegan Brooksby confirmed his return to Lovelock Drive on Wednesday.
”We welcome Brogsy to the club and we’re really happy to have him on board for an exciting 2020″ said Wright.
“He’s been around footy and the AFL system for a long time, and the wealth of experience he brings to the club will be really useful in helping with some of our younger players.
“We’ll expect him to bring his hard-nosed style to our new look midfield while also helping to cover down back.
“Matt will add a layer of calmness in the heat of battle which is a developing area for our team.
“His decision making and skills by hand and foot is something that our offensive transitions will benefit from.”