By ZAC MILBANK
Emerging South Australian draft target Riley Thilthorpe is injury free as he eyes a return to West Adelaide’s attacking rotation in 2020.
Determined to continue his development with the Bloods in the Statewide Super League this year, Thilthorpe revealed his body is feeling good after battling shoulder and ankle concerns in 2019.
Speaking on the Catching up with a Croweater podcast, the 198cm tall forward said he has discussed his role with Bloods League coach Gavin Colville, who is keen to use Thilthorpe again after playing him in six matches last year.
Thilthorpe is giving himself the ideal platform to continue to shine after gaining valuable experience training with AFL club Port Adelaide and with SA’s AFL Academy Hub players in January.
Describing himself as a ”big Crows fan”, Thilthorpe enjoys watching, and trying to emulate, the running patterns of experienced Adelaide forward Tom Lynch.
And Thilthorpe has looked towards a small Crows forward – Lachlan Murphy – while aiming to improve his defensive pressure instincts in 2020.
Main Image – West’s Riley Thilthorpe (left) works up a sweat while training with Port Adelaide in January. Picture – PAFC Media
The son of former Australian Ice Hockey player Ben Thilthorpe, Riley Thilthorpe represented SA in Ice Hockey until Under 12 level before deciding to concentrate on cricket and football.
The Goodwood Saints product is studying Year 12 at well-known cricketing school Adelaide High, having previously enjoyed batting and wicket-keeping.
But the 17-year-old has placed his cricketing pursuit on hold as he chases his dream of having his name called in the 2020 AFL National Draft.
Set to display more leadership among his peers in the Torrens University SA U18 team, Thilthorpe is also hoping to slot more goals like the one he produced against Norwood in Round 18 last year as seen in the clip below.