2022 Rookie Me Central SANFL U18 Team of the Year
THE 2022 Rookie Me Central SANFL Under 18 Team of the Year has been announced, with each of the eight clubs represented in the competition’s best 22. Sturt midfielder and South Australian state representative Nick Sadler has been named captain, with North Adelaide on-baller and club captain James White his deputy.
Players must have played in 50 per cent or more games through the Under 18 home and away season, meaning the likes of Kobe Ryan, Adam D’Aloia, Mattaes Phillipou, Jakob Ryan, Archie Lovelock and Jake Walker all fell short of the games played criteria.
North Adelaide lead the charge with seven representatives, while Norwood and Glenelg each had four players make the side. We take you through the 22-man side, compiled by South Australian draft analysts Micah Hann and Tom Wyman.
B: Riley Verrall (Norwood) – Kyle Marshall (South Adelaide) – Shaun Bennier (North Adelaide)
HB: Logan Evans (Norwood) – Oscar Pearce (Woodville-West Torrens) – Hayden Brokensha (Glenelg)
Norwood is well-represented in defence by Riley Verrall and Logan Evans, who both showed their ability to play on bigger and smaller forwards, while also offering plenty of rebound out of the back half. Verrall was the second most prolific rebounder from defensive 50, while Evans had a top six finish in the same category, despite playing seven less games.
Kyle Marshall and Shaun Bennier enjoyed representative football at the National Championships this year, and cap of their seasons with selections in defence. Marshall’s size and athleticism make him a tough match up for most key forwards, while Bennier proved to be one of the more naturally gifted footballers in the league.
Hayden Brokensha held the fort for Glenelg while his college football teammates were on school duties, and bottom-ager Oscar Pearce takes his post at centre half-back after a strong season for the Eagles.
C: Trent Tattoli (Centrals) – James White (North Adelaide, vc) – Hughen Wissman (North Adelaide)
FOL: Alex Van Wyk (Norwood) – Billy Dowling (North Adelaide) – Ben Ridgway (Glenelg)
There’s a strong North Adelaide flavour through the midfield with James White, Hughen Wissman and Billy Dowling all featuring. White won more possessions than any other player at SANFL Under 18 level this season, and like Brokensha, held the fort while many of his teammates fulfilled school football commitments. The North Adelaide skipper takes the vice-captaincy in the Team of the Year.
Dowling collected an average of 31 disposals across a season which included a 44-disposal and four-goal game in Round 16. Wissman was one of North’s most consistent performers throughout the season, playing both inside and outside the contest.
Alex Van Wyk beats out some stiff competition to win the number one ruck role. His consistent season sees him edge out the highly rated Harry Barnett and Will Verrall. Bottom-agers Trent Tattoli and Ben Ridgway proved they’re ones to watch next year, capping off impressive seasons as two of competitions premier ball winners.
HF: Max Blacker (North Adelaide) – Oliver Dignan (North Adelaide) – Jaiden Magor (South Adelaide)
F: Tom Scully (West Adelaide) – Chad Reschke (Sturt) – Ashton Moir (Glenelg)
Jaiden Magor posted some of the most impressive stat lines throughout the season. He had 28 disposals and three goals against minor premiers Norwood in Round 7 and backed it up with 41 disposals and two goals against grand finalist Glenelg the following week. However it was his finish to the season that was perhaps most impressive, with the medium forward-midfielder kicking 11 goals across the last two games.
Bottom-ager Chad Reschke averaged four goals a game and was the runaway competition leader, finishing with 68 majors for the season. Tom Scully and Oliver Dignan took silver and bronze, with Scully’s first half of the season particularly impressive. The West Adelaide key forward kicked 20 goals in three weeks, from Rounds 2-4.
Max Blacker spent time through the midfield and across half forward, finishing the season with an average of 22 disposals and more than a goal a game. Ashton Moir cemented his position as one of the most exciting prospects to watch for the 2023 AFL draft, finishing with 30 goals from 10 games.
Nick Sadler (Sturt, c), Isaac Keeler (North Adelaide), Tyson Walls (Norwood), Jayden Davis (Glenelg)
After starting the season in the League side for Sturt, Nick Sadler returned to the Under 18 competition and proved to be one of the competitions classier ball movers. The South Australian vice-captain finished with an average of 24 disposals and a goal a game, and takes the captaincy in the Team of the Year.
Isaac Keeler proved his versatility throughout the season as a ruck-forward who can have an impact around the ground. His athleticism and natural football ability makes him an exciting talent to watch going into the 2022 AFL draft.
A strong leader for the minor premiers, Norwood’s Tyson Walls was super consistent throughout the season. The smaller midfielder had fewer than 20 disposals only once during the home and away season, finishing with 19 in round 5.
Jayden Davis proved to be too strong for the Under 18 competition. The over-ager played the first 10 games of the season and kicked three bags of five goals, before being promoted to Glenelg’s reserves side.