Statewide Super League
13:36

Young Eagles ready to fly in Darwin

Eagles coach Jade Sheedy addresses his players ahead of Saturday night's clash with the NTFL in Darwin. Picture - Hannah Howard

By ZAC MILBANK

Woodville-West Torrens will field an inexperienced line-up for Saturday night’s clash with the NTFL All-Stars in Darwin.

Continuing the tradition of the SANFL premier tackling the Northern Territory’s representative side, the Eagles will have only seven premiership players take the field at TIO Stadium from 6.30pm.

Speaking on SANFL Radio, Eagles coach Jade Sheedy said a mixture of key players being injured and isolating within Covid protocols would open up plenty of opportunity for the club’s Reserves and U18 premiership stars to shine.

The Eagles’ Women’s side will have an ideal tune-up under new coach Narelle Smith against the NTFL’s best female players in the curtain-raiser from 4pm.

Sheedy said he was excited for the whole club to head north as both he and Smith mix the Men’s and Women’s programs together this weekend.

Brisbane Lions recruit Connor Ballenden will suit for the first time with the Eagles on Saturday night in Darwin.
Picture – Hannah Howard

Highly-rated teenage midfielder Adam D’Aloia can expect to have minutes inside the centre square as he pushes his claim for a regular League berth while athletic U18 premiership skipper Jordan Lukac will start in attack.

Brisbane Lions recruit Connor Ballenden will begin alongside Lukac in his first outing for the club while West Adelaide signing Mitch Duval will play in defence.

Fellow recruit Jarred Allmond is ruled out with a hamstring strain, while experienced pair Jesse Lonergan (calf) and Matthew Goldsworthy (hamstring) also have soft-tissue complaints.

Jack Oatey Medallist Jack Hayes (St Kilda) and Magarey Medallist James Tsitas (Gold Coast) won’t make the trip north as they are currently training with AFL clubs in the hope of being selected in the SSP before March 9.

Ruckman Seb Guilhaus, who played with Victor Harbor last season, will start at the first bounce in the absence of Jarrad Redden.

Sheedy said he was looking forward to players such as Zane Williams, Mitch Mead, Lachlan Hoile and NTFL experience Dane McFarlane having an early chance to impress in the preseason.

Ruckman Seb Guilhaus will make a return against the NTFL in Darwin. Picture – Hannah Howard.

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