Scouting Notes: 2023 SANFL U18s – Preliminary Final

STURT won through to this year’s SANFL Under 18s Grand Final after comfortably accounting for Central District on Saturday. The Double Blues kept Centrals to a mere goal in each quarter, leading at every break to triumph by 45 points, 11.9 (75) to 4.6 (30) at X Convenience Oval.

After finishing the home-and-away season in second, the Bulldogs bowed out in straight sets while the fourth-ranked Double Blues progress to take on minor premier, South Adelaide. The decider is set to take place at Adelaide Oval on Saturday September 17, starting midday.

With a bunch of the state’s best talent afield, we took note of the top prospects with a particular focus on state representatives and recent combine invitees.

  • Team
  • Central District
  • Sturt


#13 Seb Wauer
Midfielder | 15/01/2005 | 184cm | 82kg

Stats: 26 disposals, 4 clearances, 7 inside 50s

Central’s leading ball winner in a losing effort, Wauer looked to add speed to the game with many of his possessions and brought great energy to the contest. He featured through the centre bounces and was clean in the opening exchanges, helping extract and drive the ball forward. Wauer seemed to come alive with ball in hand, with one of his best plays a running foray through the corridor during the final quarter before copping a knock to his shoulder.

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

Stats: 9 disposals, 3 marks, 2 inside 50s

One for the Bulldogs to get excited about next year, Nicholls capped off his campaign with a relatively steady outing after starting the match in fine form. It seemed he was Central’s centrepiece in the opening quarter, getting good separation on the lead to the top of attacking 50 before Liam Fawcett and Tallan Rosenzweig took over aerially.

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

Stats: 12 disposals, 8 marks, 6 tackles

Clunking a game-high four contested marks from eight overall, Fawcett was again Central’s spearhead but failed to translate his success to the scoreboard. He began to work into the game after quarter time, presenting up the ground and holding a series of strong grabs from front position. He went scoreless for the match though, having a checkside from the pocket go out of bounds and a set shot fall short among his chances.


William O’Brien (22 disposals, 11 marks) provided spurts of speed and dare in the midfield rotation, while Tom Giles (22 disposals, 11 marks, seven rebound 50s) was the main man in a bust defence. Elsewhere, Ethan Scholz was solid but state representative Trent Tattoli was kept relatively quiet having started in midfield.


#17 Declan Gladigau
Wing | 24/08/2005 | 180cm | 71kg

Stats: 14 disposals, 6 marks, 2 behinds

Gladigau was another player who worked into strong scoring positions without totally taking toll, registering two behinds from the wing. He started in lively fashion, leaning on his end-to-end running capacity to sneak out the back and snare his two opportunistic scores in the second quarter. Things dried up for him after that, but Connor Mills was prolific on the opposite wing.

#25 Loch Rawlinson
Forward | 01/06/2005 | 177cm | 71kg

Stats: 13 disposals, 6 marks, 3 goals

Booting a game-high three goals, Rawlinson again played the small forward role well and showed he could do so in a couple of different ways. He showcased his smarts to shark the ball off hands and do damage in small windows of opportunities, as highlighted by his second goal. Rawlinson’s other two majors were converted over the mark and he was lively inside 50, while also working hard to present up the field late on.

#27 Ned Atkinson
Midfielder | 31/07/2006 | 181cm | 79kg

Stats: 22 disposals, 18 marks, 2 goals

For a 181cm midfielder, racking up 18 marks is no mean feat but it’s exactly what Atkinson did on Saturday. The bottom-ager plucked one against two opponents to snare the first goal of the game and that set the tone for some gutsy efforts down the line, with Atkinson displaying a strong set of hands for his size. He was a little scrappy under pressure but bagged two majors from 22 touches, working hard to find the ball in all areas.

#30 Luca Slade
Midfielder | 11/03/2005 | 181cm | 72kg

Stats: 27 disposals, 7 marks, 3 tackles

Slade led all comers with 27 disposals in another resolute performance in Sturt’s midfield. The robust ball winner showcased more of his outside game, often playing the receiver and driving his legs in small spurts before delivering the ball by foot. He didn’t hit the scoreboard this time out but was reliable as usual and helped his side generate some momentum at the source.

#39 Henry Maerschel
Defender | 11/10/2005 | 189cm | 76kg

Stats: 19 disposals, 8 marks, 3 rebound 50s

They say attack is the best form of defence and Maerschel seems to thrive off that notion with his style of play. The rebound runner got on his bike to provide a constant outlet on the overlap and consistently took the game on, taking up aggressive positions in an attempt to advance the ball quickly. He was somewhat of a roamer down back and Sturt seemed to want the ball in his hands to spark transitional play.


Ted Newman was solid as ever down back, clunking 12 marks among his 25 disposals. Small wingman Connor Mills was busy on the outside, while the likes of Thomas McCourt, Kobee Dabinett, and Kobe McEntee all showed something with over 20 touches apiece. Ruckmen Fraser Greaves and Sam Waltham were also strong aerially.

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