When Jordon Boyle snapped two goals for the SANFL Crows during Saturday night’s qualifying final against Port Adelaide, he was living out a childhood dream.
The speedy midfielder has always strived to play at the highest level of football he can, so pulling on the tricolours for his first SANFL final was a moment he’ll never forget.
He toiled away for four years on Central Districts list, playing reserves and juniors footy for them.
But when he left the Bulldogs halfway through 2018 to join the SANFL Crows development squad, he finally got his opportunity.
He debuted in Round 13 last year and went on to play 17 games since then.
“It was a long time, I’ve grinded pretty hard,” Boyle said.
“This is not the conventional pathway to league footy and league finals, but it’s something I’ve always wanted.
“It’s a bit surreal, but I knew that if I kept putting the work in that I would get there.”
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On Saturday, Boyle kicked two important third-term goals to close the gap to only three points at the final break.
He also recorded 16 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and was named in the best players by Adelaide’s coaches.
While the Magpies overran the Crows in the final term, Boyle was stoked he got the chance to achieve one of his goals.
“It was pretty surreal, it was good to be able to chip in, play my role and impact the game and give us a chance in that third quarter,” he said.
“Being able to influence the contest was good, it was just seizing the moment which I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
“I love playing on the big stage and just embraced it really.”
The last 18 months have been invaluable for Boyle, who has not only been supported by the SANFL players and staff, but the wider Club.
“I’ve learned so much in the last 18 months and honestly, it has been that good for my footy,” Boyle said.
“The knowledge and the time that the coaches put into you, everyone has been fantastic.
“It’s been really clear and easy to develop under those guys, so I’m forever grateful for the time they’ve put into me.”
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Boyle and the Crows will take on Norwood in the first semi-final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The match is at 12.15pm, before the second semi-final between Glenelg and Port at 3.15pm.
Tickets to the double header are available here, with Crows Essential Members and Under-18s getting in for free.
The match will also be broadcast live on Channel 7 Adelaide from 12pm.