SANFL U18s MOTR: Round 15 – South Adelaide vs. Central District

SOUTH Adelaide took out a crucial top five clash in the SANFL Under 18s competition, defeating Central District by 33 points on Sunday. The Panthers have now drawn level with the Bulldogs, as both sides jostle for ascendancy in the race for finals. Only three rounds remain before the postseason.

With the Under 16 and Under 18 National Championships both completed, South Australian representatives from across all age groups have filtered back into the SANFL grades. In our Round 15 featured game, we noted how each state squad member fared before a look around the grounds.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide
  • Central District


#10 Jack Delean
Small Forward | 181cm | 75kg | 15/04/2005

Delean was efficient in some ways but relatively wasteful in others, registering eight scoring shots from 12 disposals for a return of 4.4. The lively small forward was afforded too much time and space, taking a mile when given an inch to come to life and score in short spurts of brilliance. Delean slotted a trademark snap from the pocket among his four majors and drew free kicks inside 50, where he arguably did his best work. He ventured up the ground too, joining in at stoppages on the wing – albeit with limited impact.

#12 Phoenix Hargrave
Midfielder | 181cm | 83kg | 15/09/2006

A bottom-aged state Under 18 representative, Hargrave was his side’s top disposal winner with 25 touches and six clearances in a productive midfield outing. He mixed core strength with composure when navigating his way into attack, often completing his possessions by foot. Though his kicks weren’t always pin-point and fell short of the mark, Hargrave proved a key link player between the arcs and one who has a natural knack for finding the footy.

#23 Tom Wheaton
Midfielder | 190cm | 82kg | 14/11/2005

Notching a game-high eight clearances among his 24 disposals, Wheaton was typically strong around the ball but also accumulated on the outside. In the early stages, he tried to use his size to bustle out of tackles, but had better success when releasing by hand and using his teammates to advance the ball forward. The big bodied ball winner then got on the end of some attacking chains and measured his kicks better than when clearing from congestion.

#40 Taylor Goad
Ruck | 205cm | 90kg | 28/04/2005

Producing perhaps the most promising performance of anyone afield, Goad continues to do his draft stocks no harm. The improving 205cm ruck compiled 15 disposals, five marks and 19 hitouts, seeming to grow in confidence with each touch. His athleticism points towards strong upside, and Goad has begun to impose himself as an aerial outlet around the ground while adding a bit of polish to his follow-up efforts. He faded a little in the latter stages, but remains a serious prospect.


Bottom-aged forward Benny Barrett played a key hand in helping South Adelaide seal the result in term four. He ended up with two goals and laid eight tackles. Outside of Hargrave and Wheaton, Cohen Shortridge was the only other Panther to notch over 20 touches, while Jacob Sheean and Zak Keir held down the fort in defence. Meanwhile, 2007-born talent Cameron Woods made his debut back there.

Dyson Sharp made his Under 18s debut for Central District | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


#7 Trent Tattoli
Wing | 180cm | 70kg | 14/04/2005

Plying his trade out on the wing, Tattoli had little trouble ticking up the numbers to finish with 22 touches, six marks and four inside 50s. The hard running top-ager racked up most of his early possessions in slow play and was effective, albeit largely safe when going by foot. He lacked a genuine hurt factor at times, but snared a sharp snap goal and began to generate more outside run as the game opened up.

#33 Charlie Nicholls
Key Forward | 195cm | 77kg | 08/06/2006

It was a relatively quiet day for Nicholls, who made the state Under 18 squad as a bottom-ager but wasn’t called upon. Back in the SANFL grades, he played deep and clunked two contested marks for the day, also kicking a goal from three touches. His sole score came from one of those two grabs, as Nicholls rose in a pack before converting Centrals’ only second quarter goal.

#34 Dyson Sharp
Midfielder | 186cm | 84kg | 23/05/2007

South Australia’s Under 16 captain and the 2023 Kevin Sheehan Medal winner, Sharp naturally made the step up for his Under 18 debut on Sunday. The 2007-born talent hardly looked out of place in the midfield battle, digging in for 21 disposals and eight tackles. He often locked horns with sturdy top-ager, Wheaton, and held his own with strong clearance play and ample defensive effort. Sharp is well developed already and has natural ball winning nous which should make him a dominant player at this level for the next two years.

#39 Liam Fawcett
Key Forward | 197cm | 89kg | 22/04/2005

One of a few developing talls at Centrals’ disposal, Fawcett failed to hit the scoreboard after snaring multiple majors in five consecutive games. The 197cm forward works best as a marking target inside 50 and had a couple of chances on goal without being able to split the big sticks. Still, his hands were relatively clean when marking and his exposed form this year has been promising.


Defender Tom Giles had a big day out, racking up 13 rebound 50s from 23 disposals and 10 marks. Ruck-forward Jayden Matz was also prominent as the Bulldogs’ only multiple goal kicker, bagging two from 15 touches and five marks, while also winning 19 hitouts. Elsewhere, bottom-age wingman Beau Ryan was busy for his 19 disposals and six tackles.

>> Up the Grades: Bottom-ager earns senior SANFL berth


GLENELG kicked off the round with an 86-point thumping of West Adelaide on the road. The Bays dominated at one end of Hisense Stadium, booting a combined 14 goals to two in the first and third quarters to win 21.11 (137) to 8.3 (51) and remain in touch with the top four.

Carlton fans were buoyed by the numbers of 2024 father-son prospects Ben and Lucas Camporeale. The former kicked two goals from 32 disposals, while the latter had it 27 times. Ben Ridgway, Kallan Bevan, and Anders McShane were others who had plenty of the ball and hit the scoreboard.

In a low-scoring affair at Thebarton Oval, Sturt downed ladder leader Woodville-West Torrens by 23 points as both sides struggled to get their radars right. After a first half which yielded nine behinds, the Double Blues hit their stride to run out 5.17 (47) to 2.12 (24) victors.

Among the state representatives afield, Callum Fairall was the Eagles’ leading ball winner with 29 disposals and nine marks, while bottom-age talls Tom Luck and Tyler Welsh were restricted to one goal apiece in the slog. Midfielder Luca Slade (22 disposals, five tackles, one goal) was strong for Sturt.

The first Sunday fixture saw Norwood keep its slim finals hopes alive, while denting North Adelaide’s in a 42-point home victory. The Redlegs kicked away with four unanswered goals in the second term, before consolidating after half time to win 14.13 (97) to 7.13 (55).

Despite the result, no Redleg registered more than 19 touches. Allies representative Will Rowlands had 17, also booting 2.4 to be among the best afield. Jay Polkinghorne was outstanding with five goals, and Jacob Newton notched two. Jed Dignan (26 disposals, eight marks, six clearances) was among the more prominent Roosters, while Tom Tasker led all comers with 31 touches.

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