Kuwarna SANFL Development Player Austin McDonald says a connection with the State League Skipper Jack Madgen is what led to him joining Club for its 2024 SANFL season.

McDonald, a Barossa local, made his League debut in the Club's clash against Norwood on Friday night but said the opportunity would not have been possible without Madgen's support.

The 20-year-old said an opportunity to don the Kuwarna guernsey in the State League was one he could not pass up.

“I was at Central District last year and then played a few games back at Barossa, with Jack Madgen being from the Barossa there was a connection there,” McDonald said.

“He reached out to me and asked if I wanted to explore coming to the Crows and I jumped at that opportunity and signed.”

McDonald, who collected eight disposals, one mark and one tackle during the match against the Redlegs, said it would be a night he would never forget.

“It was a surreal experience,” he said.

“It has been my goal to play league footy ever since joining the Crows, and even before that when I was a young kid.

“It’s the next best comp outside of the AFL, so to be able to play at that level was a dream come true.

“Playing under lights made it a bit more of a special occasion and a great opportunity to showcase what I can do and put my best foot forward.”

Before making his SANFL debut, McDonald had been playing for Barossa Districts in the Barossa Light and Gawler Football League and had also spent with Central District's under-18 and reserves sides,

“Before the game I wasn’t really nervous, I was more so excited to get out there and do my best for the team,” McDonald told AFC Media.

“The main difference was it was a lot quicker, the ball moves faster, the players move faster, but it was less physical compared to the Barossa league.

“I would love to keep playing, just getting a taste for it made me hungry to keep playing at that level.”

Kuwarna SANFL side will not play this weekend, due to a League bye.

Their next game will be against Sturt at Unley Oval on Saturday May 25, with the first bounce at 2:30pm.