By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood premiership mentor Jade Rawlings has described his honour in accepting the role of West End State Coach for 2023.
A proud Tasmanian who acted as an assistant for the Croweaters’ successful four-point win against the WAFL in Perth last year, Rawlings is excited about the prospect of securing a fourth consecutive victory whilst retaining the Haydn Bunton Junior Cup.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Rawlings revealed he will be joined by fellow Hostplus League coaches Jacob Surjan (North Adelaide) and Darren Reeves (Glenelg), who will work as his assistants.
The 45-year-old confirmed more appointments were to be finalised soon on the assistant coaching and support staff panel, ahead of the clash to be played as a curtain-raiser to the Port Adelaide v Melbourne AFL game at 3pm on Friday May 19 at Adelaide Oval.
In a change to previous years, a ”tighter” squad will be selected closer to the last remaining annual senior State League contest, providing selectors with a solid form, and injury, guide across the opening four to five round of the Hostplus SANFL League.
The West End State team has won its past three encounters against the Black Swans, securing a comprehensive 53-point victory in their last meeting at Adelaide Oval in 2021.
Incredibly, SA boasts a 49-48 advantage against WA across all forms of State matches played between the Nullarbor rivals since 1904.
Enthusiastic Surjan will assist in plotting his home state’s demise for the fourth occasion while rookie Bays mentor Reeves has been handed his first opportunity after showing a strong desire to help the Croweaters’ cause.
Sign up to see all the news from around the SANFL each week – directly in your inbox!