By ZAC MILBANK
SANFL’s Talent Department will clock up the kilometres from next week as it scours the state for the best teenage Indigenous and Multicultural talent.
SANFL Talent Manager Brenton Phillips and his team will conduct a series of selection trials in regional SA starting on Monday March 18, which will include AFL Combine testing as well as skills-based exercises.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Phillips said the intention was to narrow down the field to 25 Indigenous players and 15 Multicultural players aged Under-15, who will then take part in a two-day camp at Woodhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
From there, SANFL will select eight Indigenous players to push for selection in the AFL’s Boomerangs team and a further four Multicultural players to be considered for the AFL’s All-Nations line-up.
Unlike previous years, there will be no AFL Diversity Championships for an SA Kickstart or All-Nations team to participate in with both the Boomerangs and All-Nations sides likely to face off against each other later in the year.
As well as the regional trials, SANFL will conduct a metropolitan version at Henley High School on Saturday April 6.
The pathway acts as an excellent starting point for players such as Woodville-West Torrens’ Martin Frederick, who after representing SA’s All-Nations side, eventually went on to being selected by Port Adelaide under the AFL’s Next Generation Academy rules.
Chosen as a Category B rookie, Frederick – who hails from South Sudan – will begin his AFL journey with Port Adelaide’s Magpies in the Statewide Super League this year.