Statewide Super League

Statewide Super League Top 50 – No.14

By ZAC MILBANK

He is SANFL’s Clearance King.

No player in the Statewide Super League had more clearances than new Sturt captain James Battersby in season 2019.

Averaging 7.3 per game, the former Crows rookie also averaged more than 24 disposals, five marks and five tackles as he continued his steady rise to being in the top bracket of the competition’s best midfielders.

At 24, Battersby is entering the prime of his career, coming off a second-placing in the P.T Morton Medal behind Sam Colquhoun as Sturt’s best-and-fairest and selection in the final squad of 25 for the West End State team.

Strong overhead for his size – 178cm and 83kg – Battersby is also difficult to move off his line in the centre square as he feeds his teammates on the outside.

With fellow dual premiership midfielder Aidan Riley entering retirement, Battersby is expected to lift his game up yet another notch as he looks to combine with South recruit Abe Davis at the stoppages in 2020.

Sturt’s No.23 commands huge respect internally at Unley, with club officials and teammates keen to reward his consistency and loyalty with the captaincy upon Zane Kirkwood stepping down from the treasured role.

Having played in both the 2016 and 2017 premierships, Battersby will thrive on imparting the knowledge required onto the new breed at Oxford Terrace as they forge ahead under second-year mentor Nathan Grima.

Selected by SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank, the 2020 Statewide Super League Top 50 is being unveiled one player at a time on the League’s website and social media channels.

For incumbent SANFL players, form across the 2019 season was used as a significant factor in the selection process, with selection in The Advertiser Team of the Year, West End State squad, club leadership group and placings in club best-and-fairest weighing heavily.

This is to ensure there is meaningful movement of player rankings between each year’s Top 50 list at the start and end of the season.

Recruits to the Statewide Super League for 2020 have also been included, with significant AFL experience, performance at State League level and their predicted impact proving critical in deciding the order of players.

JAMES BATTERSBY

Age: 24
Height: 178cm
Weight: 83kg
Position: Inside Midfielder
SANFL Club: Sturt
Community Club: Payneham Norwood Union FC
SANFL Debut: Round 3, 2013
SANFL Games: 122

Statewide Super League Top 50

14 – James Battersby (Sturt)
15 – Zane Kirkwood (Sturt)
16 – Max Proud (Glenelg)
17 – Andrew Moore (North)
18 – Luke Reynolds (Glenelg)
19 – Abe Davis (Sturt)
20 – Tyson Goldsack (Port)
21 – Jarred Allmond (North)
22 – Marlon Motlop (Glenelg)
23 – Kaine Stevens (West)
24 – Matthew Snook (Glenelg)
25 – Travis Schiller (Central)
26 – Billy Stretch (Glenelg)
27 – Joseph Haines (South)
28 – Brad McKenzie (Norwood)
29 – Matthew Rose (South)
30 – James Rowe (Eagles)
31 – Dom Barry (Norwood)
32 – Justin Hoskin (Central)
33 – Harrison Wigg (North)
34 – Matthew Allen (Glenelg)
35 – Troy Menzel (Central)
36 – Mitch Grigg (Norwood)
37 – Jack Hayes (Eagles)
38 – James Rose (South)
39 – Robbie Young (North)
40 – Andrew Bradley (Glenelg)
41 – Tom Schwarz (North)
42 – Matthew Panos (Norwood)
43 – Brad Agnew (Glenelg)
44 – Cole Gerloff (Norwood)
45 – Matthew Wright (Adelaide)
46 – Dean Gore (Sturt)
47 – Tom Keough (West)
48 – Jesse Lonergan (Eagles)
49 – Alex Spina (North)
50 – Logan Hill (West)