New Adelaide SANFL player Stephen Tahana isn’t a stranger to the State League, having lined up in 15 senior games for North Adelaide.

After stints in the VFL and with the amateur league, the now 25-year-old was keen to have another crack at the highest level of football in South Australia.

Unbeknown to Tahana, a link between one of his Gaza teammates and Adelaide SANFL Senior Coach Michael Godden was the link that he needed to return.

“Goddsy is good friends with Scott Lewis, who is a Woodville-West Torrens premiership midfielder and 200-gamer,” Tahana said.

“Scotty is an absolute legend and he’s been pumping me up to Goddsy, I’ve been playing alongside him at Gaza for the past two seasons.

“I really wanted to train and play in an elite environment with elite coaches and under that AFL mindset.

“Just being at the Club has given me the itch to further my footy, get better and get back to playing SANFL.”

“I really wanted to train and play in an elite environment with elite coaches.

The utility spent a season with Collingwood’s VFL side in 2017, before signing with Sandringham.

Then, when the coronavirus hit, Tahana moved back to SA and featured with Gepps Cross in the Adelaide Football League, before spending the past two seasons with Gaza.

Speaking to AFC Media, Tahana said he could add plenty of experience to a relatively young Crows SANFL side.

“I thought I’d try and test myself and move to Melbourne, but when Covid hit, I didn’t want to be stuck in lockdown, so I moved back to Adelaide,” Tahana said.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Goddsy, seeing the success he had at the Eagles and now with the Crows makes me want to play under him and get the best out of myself.

“I watched a few Crows (SANFL) games this season and I thought that maybe I could add a bit to the team, it’s going to be cool to put on the guernsey.”

Tahana joins new Adelaide SANFL recruits Blayne O’Loughlin and Hugh Haysman.

O’Loughlin, the nephew of Sydney Premiership player Michael O’Loughlin, joins as part of the SANFL Rookie Program, meaning will spend a year at West Lakes before returning to North Adelaide if not selected by an AFL club.

Haysman is a midfielder who played in West Adelaide’s 2015 SANFL premiership before joining Essendon’s VFL side, and spent the majority of last season with amateur league club St Peters Old Collegians.