SANFL’s Zac Milbank selects his top five Statewide Super Women’s League games for 2020.
The subplots are plenty for what presents itself as a salivating match-up between South Adelaide and North Adelaide at Noarlunga. Firstly, the two Grand Finalists will meet for the first time since last year’s title-decider, in which the Panthers dominated amid wet conditions. Secondly, South’s inaugural Women’s premiership coach – Krissie Steen (pictured above) – will return to Lovelock Drive for the first time since taking up her appointment as the Roosters’ Women’s coach. And finally, if that wasn’t enough, former South talls Kristi Harvey and Mollie McKendrick will face their old team-mates after choosing to don the white V in 2020.
It will be the start of a new era for both clubs as their new coaches – Bruce Dawes at Sturt and Mark Moody at West – take the mantle for the first time in a clash for premiership points. The Double Blues and Bloods have also yet to taste finals action entering the fourth year of the competition, ensuring the desperation to secure a positive fast start is high. Sturt will unveil basketball convert Stephanie Ratliff for the first time while familiar faces Rachelle Martin and Rachael Killian will be welcomed back in the red and black.
Glenelg’s first home game of the season couldn’t come on a more special occasion than Anzac Day. With the Bays’ all-conquering Men’s team facing Port Adelaide at 2.10pm, it will be the turn of Jason Fairall’s Tigers to fend off the plucky Eagles from 4.45pm at Brighton Road. With good weather, there’s no reason why this won’t be one of the highest attended SANFLW matches of the season. If Crows AFLW star Ebony Marinoff dons the gold sash again like she did late this season, then it certainly will be!
Last year’s minor premier has to wait until Round 7 to get another shot at confronting the side which bundled it out of the finals race with a heart-breaking two-point Preliminary Final victory at The Parade last year. This should give the Redlegs plenty of incentive to return serve against the Roosters, considering they managed a frustrating 1.10 (16) in the penultimate match of last season’s fixture.
The Redlegs will again have to play the waiting game in 2020, this time until Round 6 to play their opening home match of the season due to the redevelopment taking place at Woods Street. New coach Chris Howie is keen for Norwood to maintain its advantage at The Parade as it looks to qualify for its fourth finals series in succession. But gaining the premiership points won’t be easy, considering Eagles coach Tess Baxter is no stranger to the Norwood Oval herself, having been a part of the Redlegs’ program as a player and assistant coach.
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