By ZAC MILBANK
North Adelaide finds itself in a unique situation as it approaches the 2019 Statewide Super League season.
After last year’s controversial Preliminary Final win, the Roosters begin the year with four fewer premiership points than their rivals, something not lost on coach Josh Carr.
It places a significant onus on the boys from Prospect to start their premiership defence strongly or risk quickly falling behind in the race to make the top five.
And there will be no bigger test for North in Round 1 than confronting the team which it defeat in last year’s penultimate match – the Eagles – on the their home deck.
Five of last year’s premiership team – Connor Rozee, Callum Wilkie, Boyd Woodcock, Jordon Sweet and Robbie Young – have all been selected by AFL clubs, but the inclusion of delisted Power forward Jake Neade will assist with the loss of Young to St Kilda.
Former Crows rookie Ben Jarman returns to Prospect, with the son of North premiership star Darren Jarman, to sport his father’s treasured No.8 guernsey in 2019.
Roosters juniors Campbell Combe – who has won three Mail Medals – and Henry Trenorden are back to give SANFL another shot, as is mature-age defender Jake Keller, who last pulled on the white V in the 2013 League Grand Final.