Several former Crows could feature in opposition colours when the 2016 SANFL premiership season kicks off this weekend.
Adelaide’s own SANFL team kicks off its season in a Saturday afternoon clash with reigning premiers West Adelaide at City Mazda Stadium.
Bloods captain and ex-Crow Chris Schmidt will lead the red and black out for his third season as skipper. Schmidt won the Jack Oatey Medal as best afield in West Adelaide’s SANFL Grand Final triumph last year. Adelaide’s 2009 leading goalkicker Jason Porplyzia could also line up against his former Club after a sublime 2015 where the veteran kicked 20 goals and polled 13 votes in last year’s Magarey Medal count.
Inaugural Crows Club Champion Mark Mickan will kick off West’s premiership defence from the coaches’ box.
Key forward Lewis Johnston is set to play his first official game for Norwood in Thursday night’s season-opener against Port Adelaide. Johnston booted 15 goals in eight games for Adelaide, including the Club’s final major at Football Park and its first at Adelaide Oval. Former Crows rookie Anthony Wilson has also returned to The Parade this season.
A host of former Crows are set to play in Easter Monday’s clash at Peter Motley Oval between Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens.
Fan favourite Jared Petrenko played 76 matches and booted 50 goals in six seasons at West Lakes, while Eagles captain Luke Thompson played 20 games, including two finals, after being selected with Adelaide’s first pick in the 2010 rookie draft. Jake von Bertouch was rookie-listed a year later but did not play a senior game.
Eagles coach Michael Godden is another former Crow who has landed at Oval Avenue. Godden was selected by Adelaide in the Club’s first-ever National Draft in 1992.
Brodie Martin returns to Unley after seven seasons and 38 games in the tri-colours. Fellow midfielder Aidan Riley will also represent the Double Blues in 2016 after notching 12 games in three injury-affected years with the Crows. Former rookies Jack Osborn and James Battersby are other familiar faces at Trimmer Terrace.
Sydney Swans premiership player Martin Mattner played his first 98 games for Adelaide and will begin his SANFL coaching career for Sturt over the Easter long weekend.
Ruckman James Sellar has re-joined junior club Glenelg after a six-year AFL career with Adelaide and Melbourne. Crows champion Tyson Edwards has also strengthened the Tigers’ football department over the offseason.
Former Crows rookie Alex Spina will be in action for North Adelaide on Friday night against Central District at My Money House Oval.
The SANFL held its Season Launch event on Tuesday morning with Adelaide’s Luke Carey and Heath Younie among the League’s captains and coaches in attendance.
SANFL IGA League Premiership Season – Round One
Thursday, March 24
Norwood v Port Adelaide at Coopers Stadium (7.40pm)
Friday, March 25
South Adelaide v Glenelg at Hickinbotham Oval (2.10pm)
Central District v North Adelaide at My Money House Oval (2.10pm)
Saturday, March 26
West Adelaide v Adelaide at City Mazda Stadium (2.10pm)
Monday, March 28
Sturt v Woodville-West Torrens at Peter Motley Oval (2.10pm)