National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors – where it all began for 2023 AAMI Rookies

Norwood's Logan Evans in action for Hectorville.


For many, the journey to Hostplus SANFL League footy begins through the ranks of National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors, including Eagles’ Adam D’Aloia, Glenelg’s Archie Lovelock and Norwood’s Logan Evans, who have all earned this privilege as teenagers.

The three talents began their careers in SANFL Juniors before progressing to SANFL’s under-age programs, before making their League debuts as AAMI Rookies in the opening round this year.


Norwood’s Logan Evans playing for Hectorville.

At just three-years-old, Logan Evans started playing football for the Hectorville Hounds.

Now the 17-year-old Norwood defender is an impressive talent who is able to battle against more experienced and bigger bodies despite his tender age.

“I couldn’t actually play any games, so I had to train with my brother who was two years older than me in the U6 team,” Evans said.

He looks back fondly on his time at Hectorville saying his: “favourite part of SANFL juniors is the friendships you make.”

At just 10, Evans won a grand final with his brother in the U13s and throughout his junior career from U13s to U15s, he won three of four Grand Finals.

Evans made his first Hectorville A grade appearance as a fresh 16-year-old, saying he was prepared to play at an elite level from a young age, especially having a tough task on a name synonymous with the Redlegs – back-to-back Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg.

“When I was younger, playing up one or two grades, getting used to the bigger bodies is probably a good thing, but then also having an older brother who is not scared to throw his body around with me when I’m training probably helped a lot.

“Before that, I played the trial on Mitch Grigg – so that probably helped a lot as well.”

Completing his Year 12 studies at footy factory SEDA College, he earned the honour of playing League footy and is relishing the opportunity to play for the Redlegs this season.

“That’s probably the biggest achievement I’ve had in my whole footy career,” Evans said.

“All my eggs are in the basket at Norwood at the moment, I want to be able to play League this whole year and get us to another premiership again.”

Glenelg’s Archie Lovelock wrong-foots his opponent while playing for Phantoms.

Just 18, Glenelg midfielder/forward Archie Lovelock is a small yet tough ball-winner who played for PHOS Camden throughout his whole SANFL Juniors career.

“Even though you’re only young, everyone took it so seriously and you got to play in Grand Finals with all your best friends – there weren’t really many worries as well,” Lovelock said.

“It’s not about how well you’re playing, you just got to play with your team.”

As a kid playing for the Phantoms, Lovelock dreamed of playing footy at the highest level.

“I always aspired to play League at Glenelg because I had my older cousin, Max Proud, who’s the captain. I have always looked up to him,” Lovelock said.

On the back of a successful year, winning the Torrens University U18 premiership with the Tigers, the Alan Stewart Medal (best-on-ground), and last year’s Players MVP, the young cub earned his Tiger stripes in Round 1 against Sturt this year.

“As soon as I ran out, I remember just being like bloody hell, I thought I would get a bit more nervous – it was surreal,” Lovelock said.

“The best part about it is how everyone takes it so seriously and how important it is to everyone else.”

Glenelg’s Archie Lovelock is chaired off after playing his 100th game for Phantoms.

Aged 19, Woodville-West Torrens midfielder Adam D’Aloia is a prolific ball-winner and natural leader who grew up playing for the Henley Sharks in the Under 7s.

“There’s a great community feel at the local clubs and just playing with your friends is a great experience,” D’Aloia said.

The natural leader has captained many teams, at the Sharks, the Eagles and SA under-age teams.

“From a pretty young age I’ve always had a few leadership roles and I’ve always enjoyed the responsibility of leading my teammates,” D’Aloia said.

”It’s something I take great pride in and keep working on.”

The young Eagle was rewarded with his well-earned debut in League footy, playing the season-opener against Norwood at The Parade.

“It was pretty special… it was something I really enjoyed it and I took great pride in making my league debut for the Eagles,” D’Aloia said.

“I guess it’s just about focusing on each week and just trying to play my role for the team, seeing where it can take me and just focusing on playing to the best of my abilities for now.”

No surprise that Eagles midfielder Adam D’Aloia was getting dirty from a young age with the Henley Sharks.

Other AAMI Rookies in the first three rounds of the Hostplus SANFL League who have come through the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors pathway are:

Jack Saunders (Norwood) – Walkerville FC/Unley Jets
Kane Sherlock (West Adelaide) – Plympton FC/PHOS Camden
Joshua Sheppard (West Adelaide) – Broadview
Dale Pearce (Central District) – Portland FC/Port District
Will Francou (Port Adelaide) – Walkerville
Blayne O’Loughlin (Adelaide) – Gepps Cross
Kyle Marshall (Port Adelaide) – Port Noarlunga
Tom Scully (Port Adelaide) – Lockleys
Billy Dowling (Adelaide) – Walkerville
Lukas Cooke (Eagles) – Henley FC/Lockleys
Jack McCann (North) – Flinders Park

AFL debutants
Mattaes Phillipou (St Kilda) – PHOS Camden
Max Michalanney (Adelaide) – Glenunga

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