Herbert primed to give footy “100 per cent” in 2024

WITH senior and state experience under his belt already, Kade Herbert has everything he needs to hit the ground running in 2024. Though, the 17-year-old also enters his top-age campaign with a unique advantage over most other AFL Draft hopefuls.

Having grown up in Bute on the Yorke Peninsula, about two hours away from Adelaide, Herbert moved to the city last year to complete his Year 12 studies at Henley High. He remains there after graduating, with plans on devoting everything to footy this year.

“I moved in with my older sister this year, living in Adelaide now,” he said. “Mum and dad are still back home so I try and see them as often as I can.

“I’ve deferred uni… hopefully I’ll pick that back up next year and just give footy 100 per cent to give it the best crack that I can, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

After training with the state Under 18 squad, Herbert will now complete the remainder of preseason with Woodville-West Torrens’ senior side ahead of the Eagles’ opening SANFL League fixture on March 29. The midfielder played five games at the level last year and is ready to build on it.

Having entered the League team through guidance from dual-premiership coach Jade Sheedy, Herbert’s next campaign will be played under incoming mentor Sam Jacobs. Along with the latter, there is plenty of former-AFL experience for the youngster to feed off.

“We have a couple of ex-AFL players that have come back and role models there that I’ll look up to,” Herbert said.

Herbert in action for South Australia in 2023 | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Josh Morris is back from Hawthorn and Nathan Barkla from Port… we’ve got Jimmy Rowe and obviously Joey Sinor, so there’s a couple of big names in there that have been at the club for a while. I look up to them and aspire to be like them.

Jake Comitogianni has helped me out in the wing there for a bit. He’s sitting out of footy this year with a couple concussion problems, but he’s got a coaching role that I’m sure he’ll help me with. I’m very grateful for him as well.”

With a high of 20 disposals, nine marks and five inside 50s in his last outing of the 2023 season, Herbert hardly looked out of place in the SANFL’s top flight. He has his sights set on making the grade in Round 1, and potentially more midfield minutes having cut his teeth elsewhere.

“I’d love to play inside mid again, he said. “But I’ll play my role for the Eagles’ League team and if it’s up forward or out in the wing, then I’m happy to do that. I enjoy playing everywhere and getting a bit of a go in each position.

“What I think I’m best at is my ball use and decision making. Then when I’m around the contest, my tackling pressure and the ability to cause turnovers or harass the attacking team… Something I’d like to improve on this year is definitely my athleticism.”

While he supports Hawthorn, Herbert looks up to Port Adelaide champion Travis Boak whom he shares a few footballing traits with. The country kid says he’s happy to move anywhere and would be “grateful” for the opportunity come draft time – though that’s a while away yet.

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