By ZAC MILBANK
Four of South Australia’s finest are set to line-up for Australia in a Gather Round exhibition match against Port Adelaide’s SANFL team at Mount Barker on Saturday evening.
Glenelg’s Ashton Moir, South Adelaide’s Jack Delean, North Adelaide’s Kane McAuliffe and West Adelaide’s Will Patton will don their nation’s colours at the Summit Oval from 4pm, at the conclusion of the North Melbourne v Brisbane Gather Round match.
The Croweater quartet are SANFL’s representatives in the 2023 AFL Academy, spending this week at a camp in Adelaide as they prepare to confront the Magpies at the picturesque Adelaide Hills venue.
Featuring 30 of Australia’s brightest prospects eligible for the 2023 AFL Draft, the Academy provides these players with an opportunity to participate in high performance and personal development programs to best prepare them for the transition from talent pathways into elite football programs.
High-flying forwards Moir and Delean, together with industrious midfielder McAuliffe and versatile utility Patton will not only have the opportunity to impress AFL scouts but also their Hostplus SANFL League coaches as they push their claims for senior selection in 2023.
They will be coached by Academy mentor and former Collingwood star Tarkyn Lockyer while playing alongside promising prospects such as Victoria Metro’s Nick Watson, Victoria Country’s Harley Reid and Tasmania’s Jack Callinan, the son of Central District premiership great Ian Callinan.
“It’s a great thrill to have the AFL Academy together in South Australia and experience the excitement of Gather Round,” Lockyer said.
“Those selected in the AFL Academy represent the future of the AFL and we are pleased to provide the opportunity for the players to represent Australia against Port Adelaide on Saturday.
“We are excited to see them put their talents on show in front of South Australian football fans.”
Port Adelaide will be eager to register its first victory under new coach Tyson Goldsack, having started the Hostplus SANFL League season with an 0-2 win-loss record.
Mature-age Magpies goalsneak Jed Hagan, recruited from East Fremantle to Alberton, will be keen to impress after missing out on selection in last year’s AFL Drafts.
The match between the AFL Academy and Port Adelaide SANFL will be available to watch live and free on the AFL website.
|Community Club/SANFL Club
|Central Augusta/North Adelaide