Across the 18 AFL clubs there is plenty of home grown South Australian talent – and we’ve analysed every AFL club’s list and their origins in South Australia.
As we plunge into the 2015 campaign, South Australian produced footballers will feature in every game (scroll down for the full list).
There is an average of just over six South Australian players per club and they account for more than 12 per cent of the AFL player population.
At Victorian clubs there are 51 South Australians, while 19 local talents have made their homes in the non-traditional AFL states of New South Wales and Queensland. Another 10 Croweaters play in the west. This leaves 31 playing in their foundation state.
Of this total of 110 players, 23 are yet to make their AFL debut, although a couple should achieve this during the opening rounds of the season.
At least 51 of this group couldn’t be classed as first choice “best 18” players at their respective clubs.
More local AFL coverage: InDaily’s weekly AFL column, Touch of the Fumbles, returns on Tuesday.
In the west, both club captains are South Australians: Fremantle’s Matthew Pavlich, the son of West Torrens footballer Mark from Henley, and in his inaugural year in charge of West Coast, Angaston lad Shannon Hurn, whose father William played 135 games with Central District, and grandfather Brian was a member of the 1963-64 Sheffield Shield win.
At the GWS Giants, two experienced footballers will debut wit the competition’s newest club: former South Adelaide player (originally from Goolwa) and a former captain of the Western Bulldogs Ryan Griffen, and former Lions best and fairest Joel Patfull, who started with Norwood in the SANFL.
The Giants also have a captain with SA origins – former North Adelaide defender Phil Davis.
As expected the two Adelaide clubs lead the way with local AFL talent. Post Adelaide have 17 former SA juniors on their list, with Crows close behind with 14.
The only other club in double figures for South Australians is Geelong, with 13. Their long-term recruiting manager Stephen Wells has been lauded for his ability to pick up quality talent, especially at the back end of the draft.
It should be noted that a number of senior playing group at the Power started their AFL careers interstate, despite being locals. These include Brad Ebert, Jack Hombsch, Jared Polec, Jay Schulz and Angus Monfries.
A pair of Adelaide senior players – Scott Thompson and Sam Jacobs – also played their first senior AFL football for Melbourne clubs.
On the other end of the scale, Richmond has the fewest number of South Australians with just two on their list: Shane Edwards, who has a three generation heritage in the SANFL, and Eagles’ lad Matthew McDonough.
Before the season started one soldier is already down, with the retirement of 2006 West Coast premiership player Beau Waters due to injury.
Footnote: the list below does not include a number of players that started their career (many at junior level) interstate and were drafted after stints in the SANFL.
Among these is Lee Spurr, who came from Queensland to the Ponderosa, and was a premiership player at Central District, before getting his chance in the top flight competition.
Steve Morris (West to Richmond), Joel Tippett (West to North Melbourne) and Tom Fields (South to Carlton) are others in recent times to use our state league to get a crack at the AFL.
There are also others like Eddie Betts, who played his first football at the great indigenous nursery, Mallee Park in Port Lincoln, and is a second generation Pecker, but is recognised by the AFL as starting his football in Templestowe, Victoria, before going through the Calder Cannons Under 18 TAC Cup program.
Sydney great Adam Goodes was born in Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula but grew up in Horsham and played for North Ballarat Under 18s.
South Australian AFL players – the full list
The codes refer to each player’s SANFL team. Scroll down to see the overall contribution of SANFL clubs to current AFL lists.
Adelaide (14) – Luke Brown (N), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (WWT), Mitchell Grigg (N), Sam Jacobs (WWT), Matthew Jaensch (St), Harrison Wigg (NA), Anthony Wilson (N), Matthew Wright (NA), Riley Knight (WWT), Rory Laird (WA), Brodie Martin (St), Keenan Ramsey (PA), Brodie Smith (WWT), Scott Thompson (PA)
Brisbane (4) – James Aish (N), Justin Clarke (NA), Sam Mayes (NA), Jack Redden (G)
Carlton (4) – Bryce Gibbs (G), Cameron Giles (WWT), Troy Menzel (CD), Cameron Wood (WA)
Collingwood (6) – Travis Varcoe (CD), Matt Scharenberg (G), Tim Broomhead (PA), Brodie Grundy (St), Levi Greenwood (PA), Ben Kennedy (G)
Essendon (3) – Jonathan Giles (CD), Adam Cooney (WA), Orizao Fantasia (N)
(Note – SA lads Jared Petrenko and Mitch Clisby – were added as top up players for the pre-season)
Fremantle (5) Jack Hannath (CD), Lachlan Neale (G), Matthew Pavlich (WWT), Danyle Pearce (St), Cameron Sutcliffe (WWT)
Geelong (13) Zac Bates (WA), Corey Enright (PA), Dean Gore (St), Cory Gregson (G), Brad Hartman (St), George Horlin-Smith (St), Andrew Mackie (G), Lincoln McCarthy (G), Daniel Menzel (CD), Jordan Murdoch (G), Tom Read (St), Jared Rivers (NA), Rhys Stanley (WA)
Gold Coast (7) – Keegan Brooksby (SA), Sam Day (St), Josh Glenn (CD), Daniel Gorringe (N), Sean Lemmens (PA), Tim Sumner(WWT), Seb Tape (G)
GWS Giants (3) – Ryan Griffen (SA), Joel Patfull (N), Phil Davis (NA)
Hawthorn (5) – Kaiden Brand (WA), Shaun Burgoyne (PA), Brian Lake (Harris) (WWT), Tim O’Brien (G), Paul Puopolo (N)
Melbourne (7) – Mark Jamar (NA), Alex Neal-Bullen (G), Billy Stretch (G), Jimmy Toumpas (WWT), Jack Trengove (St), Bernie Vince (WWT), Jack Viney (NA)
North Melbourne (5) – Trent Dumont (N), Sam Durdin (WA), Scott McMahon (WWT), Lindsay Thomas (PA), Brad McKenzie (St)
Port Adelaide (16) – Matthew Broadbent (WWT), Sam Colquhoun (CD), Kane Cornes (G), Brad Ebert (PA), Sam Gray (PA) , Hamish Hartlett (WA), Mitch Harvey (NA), Jack Hombsch (St), Tom Jonas (N) , Angus Monfries (St), Jared Polec (WWT), Jarrad Redden (WWT) , Jay Schulz(WWT), Johan Wagner (CD), Justin Westhoff (CD), Chad Wingard (St), Paul Stewart (WWT)
Richmond (2) – Shane Edwards (NA), Matt McDonough (WWT)
St Kilda (4) – Luke Dunstan (WWT), Sam Fisher (WA), Brodie Murdoch (G), Cam Shenton (N)
Sydney (3) – Heath Grundy (N), George Hewett (NA), James Rose (St)
West Coast (5) – Sam Butler (CD), Shannon Hurn (CD), Malcolm Karpany (WWT), Scott Lycett (PA), Beau Waters (WA) (retired during the pre-season)
Western Bulldogs (4) – Caleb Daniel (SA), Matt Fuller (N), Declan Hamilton (PA), Will Minson (N)
Codes – SANFL – (AFL personnel numbers)
St = Sturt – 15
WWT = Woodville West Torrens – 20
PA = Port Adelaide – 12
N = Norwood – 14
CD = Central District – 11
NA = North Adelaide – 11
WA = West Adelaide – 10
G = Glenelg – 15
SA = South Adelaide – 3
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