NEAFL U22’s vs SANFL U20’s in Adelaide

The NEAFL Under-22s have a rare opportunity to catch the eye of AFL recruiters, when they take on the SANFL Under-20s on Saturday.

The competition’s rising stars will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former Broadbeach player, Dayne Zorko, who starred for the state senior side in 2011, before being drafted to the Brisbane Lions.

With players coming from both the Northern and Eastern Conferences to play in the side, they will have little time to get to know each other, training for the first time as a team on the eve of the match.

Under-22s coach, Shaun hart, said the limited preparation took control out of his hands a little in the lead-up to the match.

“I think in reality all I can do is tell them what, as an AFL reserves coach, recruiters look for in AFL players,” he said.

“I need to understand what they’re require to do in the particular role they’re going to do – and what recruiters will be looking for them to do in that role.”

Hart said he would be “going in blind” to the match, with little chance to study the opposition, but ultimately the game would boil down to effort.

“It’s hard to know what the players will bring,” he said.

“But every person has two arms and two legs and it will come down to the willingness of those guys to work and for their work rate to be at the level that a recruiter is looking for.”

With the spotlight on the youngsters of the competition on Saturday morning, Hart said he simply hoped they took advantage of the chance to make their case to AFL recruiters and test themselves against some of Australia’s top young footballers.

“I hope they put their best foot forward and that they get an understanding of what’s required in the in the next level of football,” he said.

“It will give them an understanding of how well they’re going.

“Alternatively, it may be a reality check…but it gives them an example of where they’re at in their football compared to other talented footballers.”

The NEAFL Under-22s take on the SANFL Under-20s at 11:45am Queensland time.

The match will be streamed live on the NEAFL website.

The Under-22 squad.

1.       Jesse Wallin      Morningside Agile and equipped with great pace, Wallin is a midfield/running defender who has produced consistent form for the Panthers this season.

2.       Jackson Starcevich  Morningside – One of the rising stars of the NEAFL Northern Conference. A mobile key position player and a member of the 2012 Under-18 Queensland Scorpions.

3.       Ryley Buntain    Morningside Tall defender/key position player, originally from Noosa Tigers. Has strong athleticism for his size and is on fire early this season.

4.       Dave Cummins Morningside Tall midfielder who, at 191cm and 82kg, has incredible athleticism for his size.

5.       Ben McNiece Morningside – Small forward with exceptional fitness. Had a breakout 2012 and has lifted his intensity even more this season.

6.       James Ives          Aspley Small midfielder, who has bounced back from an injury-marred 2012 to have a strong start to 2013 for the Hornets

7.       Josh Smith          Morningside  Queensland Under-18 representative in 2012. Great poise and game sense for such a young player.

8.       Edward Mallan Southport A courageous inside midfielder, with incredible goal sense. A tough, aggressive competitor.

9.       Fraser Thurlow  Labrador – Talented young ruckman, who has featured in state teams in the past.

10.   Blake Grewar    Redland NEAFL Northern Under-21 player in 2012. A medium-sized midfielder, who can take a good overhead mark.

11.   Adam Clarke      Labrador A clever, speedy midfielder with strong marking ability for his size.

12.   Jake Goldsmith Labrador  Rising star. Key forward player who had a breakout year in 2012 and is continuing in that vein this season.

13.   Mitch Brewer    Broadbeach A massive ruckman and 2012 under-21 representative. Continuing on from a good 2012, with a blistering start to the season.

14.   Patrick Heenan NT Thunder A clever half-back flanker, with exceptional ball skills.

15.   Ben Rioli              NT Thunder Another talented half-back flanker from the NT, with a strong football pedigree. Had a breakout 2012 and has continued that form this season.

16.   Shannon Rioli NT Thunder – Armed with lightning speed, Rioli brings an x-factor to matches. Incredibly dangerous in space and provides plenty of support to the Thunder forwards.

17.   Julian Lockwood              NT Thunder Key position player, who can switch forward, back or play in the ruck as required. A strong mark.

18.   Jordan Harper   Belconnen Belconnen junior playing on the wing/half-forward flank. Good decision-maker, with a massive engine.

19.   Nick Collins        Belconnen Versatile defender, generally playing on the half-back flank. Not afraid to take the game on and keeps going all day.

20.   Tim Barrett         Sydney University A dangerous small forward with the ability to switch into the midfield. Barrett has strong pace and good decision-making skills.

21.   Brent Macleod  Tuggeranong Decorated youngster and former Geelong Falcon. Vic Country senior representative in 2012 and best under-21 player at Australian Country Football Championships. An intelligent midfielder, who provides skills and leadership in the midfield/forward line.

22.   Trent Stubbs      Sydney Hills Eagles Versatile player, who runs through midfield and the half back or half-forward lines. A strong mark with good game sense.

23.   Kaine Stevens   Queanbeyan Super talent, taking out the best and fairest in the 2012 Tigers premiership side and was best on ground in the Eastern Conference Grand final. On-baller with excellent skills.

24.   Hayden Armstrong Eastlake 2011 NEAFL Eastern Rising star.  Strong key forward, with strong speed for his 197cm frame.

25.   Aaron Van den berg Ainslie Midfielder/half-back, with strong decision-making ability. Hard runner who works hard on and off the field.

Our Supporters