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SANFL experience strengthens squad

Max Phillips  January 14, 2016 2:36 PM

Adelaide 2015 - SANFL R14 v North Adelaide

Crows SANFL coach Heath Younie

The trials will be a really good opportunity to see some of those guys play up close. We’ll have a look at the new ones and get a feel of where they’re at.

Former SANFL players Scott Spriggs and Trent Heffernan will be among those eager to impress in the coming weeks as Adelaide continues to refine its 2016 SANFL development squad.

Spriggs played five League games with Glenelg in 2014 and also represented South Australia at the Australian Amateur Football Council U23 Carnival in Tasmania last year.

The hard-running midfielder, who is originally from North Ballarat and remains friends with both Crouch brothers, placed third overall in the Division Two SAAFL Association Medal count while playing for Scotch College Old Collegians.

Heffernan previously played two League games for Port Adelaide Magpies and was named South Australia’s best player in the team’s U23 representative win over Western Australia in 2014.

The Port Districts product won his second consecutive best and fairest award for the Division One club last year.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to add a couple of new players who have SANFL experience,” Head of Development Heath Younie said.

“Our program is a great avenue for past SANFL players seeking a return to the League football.”

The pair is among approximately 50 players from amateur and country clubs across the state vying to earn a place on Adelaide’s State League development roster. The group was selected from an initial pool of approximately 300 applicants in October, with 90 receiving invitations to train with the Club.

Adelaide will host three practice matches against amateur league clubs in the coming weeks ahead of the Club’s first official SANFL trial against Port Adelaide on February 27.

“It’s been a lengthy process, but a rewarding process,” Younie said.

“The trials will be a really good opportunity to see some of those guys play up close. We’ll have a look at the new ones and get a feel of where they’re at.

“Then we’ll be able to make some calls off the back of those initial trials.

“We’re hopeful to get that down to a squad of about 30 come the first SANFL trial against the Magpies.

“We’ve got a number of guys returning to the program and we’ll probably hold a few of those guys out who played SANFL footy with us last year.”

Dean Bailey Award winner Matthew Spencely, Echunga key defender Luke Carey, tough midfielder Charlie Molyneux and Noarlunga forward Nick Mott are among a list of familiar names retained on the Club’s SANFL development roster.

“We all saw last year that these guys can play at the level,” Younie said.

Adelaide’s first SANFL game for premiership points is against reigning premiers West Adelaide at City Mazda Stadium on Saturday, March 26.