By ZAC MILBANK
South Adelaide coach Jarrad Wright is set to resist the temptation to have co-captain Joel Cross spend more time through the midfield in a shortened Statewide Super League season.
Despite the dual Magarey Medallist reporting back for duty in outstanding shape after being freshened up by a longer break between seasons, Wright is poised to keep his 33-year-old primarily stationed inside the 50m arc when the season begins on June 26.
Cross booted 26 goals last year en route to his fourth Knuckey Cup as best-and-fairest, proving he can be equally damaging in attack as he has been through the centre square in his 174 League appearances.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Wright revealed an invigorated Cross had been ”very excited” to get back on the training track, adding that he was like a ”kid in a candy store – being around his mates again.”
Entering his third season at the helm, Wright said he was eager to continue fostering the development of local products such as Eamon Wilkinson, Luke Bogle and Beau McCreery, who have all impressed during preseason.
Athletic tall Cam McGree, from Reynella, is another from the Panthers’ zone looming as a League starter in Round 1 as the 198cm youngster looks to grasp his opportunity in the ruck.
South’s almost luckless recruiting campaign over the past two years continued with the late withdrawal of former Sydney Swan James Rose, who will pursue his off-field career in 2020.
But Wright is refusing to dwell on Rose’s absence with fellow recruits Matthew Broadbent and Ben Sawford bringing outstanding attitude and experience to the young group.
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