Across all 18 AFL clubs, no less than 103 players on 2017 lists have a heritage in South Australian football.
This means across the 815 listed footballers in our national football code, 12.5 per cent of the playing personnel come from our state.
There is also more than dozen players with a significant connection with this state and the Silver City of Broken Hill.
Among them are two pairs of siblings, Sydney’s George and the Power’s rookie listed Cameron Hewett from the Broughton Mundoora Eagles in the Northern Areas competition, along with the Central District pair of “miracle man” Daniel Menzel at Geelong, and his younger brother Troy, who is now at the Crows, after coming across from Carlton.
The two Adelaide-based clubs, as expected have 30 of the playing personal, but each of the other 16 clubs has at least one South Aussie in their ranks.
Both the West Coast Eagles and Geelong have eight Croweaters on their lists, while the Collingwood Magpies and Hawthorn each have seven.
Angaston lad Shannon Hurn at the West Coast Eagles is among the captains at the 18 AFL clubs, while Phil Davis is a co-captain with the newest franchise, the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Both Giants Ryan Griffen (at the Bulldogs) and Demon Jack Trengove have been former captains at the top level.
Griffen was a Bulldogs’ best and fairest, the Charlie Sutton Medallist twice as well, back in 2010 and 2013.
CMS Crows export Bernie Vince has won best and fairest awards at two clubs, initially in 2009 at the Crows and in 2015 at the Demons.
A Glenelg league footballer for two seasons before he was drafted Bryce Gibbs won the Blues John Nicholls Medal in 2014.
Lachie Neale, who gained the most possessions in the AFL during the 2016 minor round, won Fremantle’s Doig Medal by a significant 30 point margin.
Pocket rocket Caleb Daniel was a member the Western Bulldogs breakthrough flag last year and Eagle Sam Butler, 10 years earlier, back in 2006 are AFL premiership players.
So is Dylan Schoenmakers, after being a part of the Hawks success in 2015, after enduring the heart break of missing out the previous two years.
Travis Varcoe, when he was at the Cats before going across to the Magpies, experienced the euphoria of flag winning success in 2009 and 2011.
Andrew Mackie had enjoyed having three premiership medallions hung around his neck for the Cats – in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
After being collected by Hawthorn as a mature aged footballer from Norwood Paul Puopolo has three success flags in ’13,’14 and ’15.
Mallee Park junior Shaun Burgoyne has four titles, being a part of the Power inaugural flag back in 2004 and then the Hawks triple success from 2013 to 2015.
Interestingly despite playing the greater majority of their junior careers in South Australia, both Adelaide’s goal kicking small forward, Eddie Betts and Melbourne’s bulldozing captain Jack Viney are not listed by the AFL as SA footballers.
The South Australian footballers on AFL lists:
- Jonathan Beech (Barmera-Monash – RFL)
- Luke Brown (Tea Tree Gully – SAAFL)
- ameron Ellis –Yolmen (Flinders Park – SAAFL)
- Dean Gore (Hahndorf – Hills FL)
- Sam Jacobs (Ardrossan – YPFL)
- Ben Jarman (PHOS Camden - SAAFL)
- Riley Knight (South Clare – NEFL)
- Rory Laird (Kenilworth – SAAFL)
- Troy Menzel (Golden Grove – SAAFL)
- Wayne Milera (Ingle Farm – SAAFL)
- Brodie Smith (Henley – SAAFL)
- Scott Thompson (North Haven – SAAFL)
- Harrison Wigg (Broadview – SAAFL)
- Eddie Betts (Mallee Park – PLFL)
- Taylor Walker (North Broken Hill – BHFL)
- Jake Kelly (the son of Norwood footballer Craig Kelly who went to Collingwood and became a premiership defender)
- Matt Eagles (Paskeville – YPFL)
- Mitchell Hinge (Mundulla – KNTFL)
- Sam Mayes (Ports – SGFL)
- Josh Schache (his late father Laurence played league football with West Torrens and Sturt, and after stint with the Bears, Woodville West Torrens)
- Bryce Gibbs (Plympton – SAAFL)
- Kym Lebois (Koonibba – FWFL)
- Matthew Wright (Walkerville – SAAFL)
Sam Rowe (Rowe was recruited from SANFL club Norwood)
- James Aish (Payneham Norwood Union – SAAFL)
- Tim Broomhead (Port District – SAAFL),
- Levi Greenwood (North Whyalla – WFL)
- Brodie Grundy (Unley – SAAFL)
- Liam Mackie (Plympton – SAAFL)
- Matthew Scharenberg (PHOS Camden – SAAFL)
- Travis Varcoe (Smithfield – SAAFL)
Brayden Maynard (he is the son of twice Glenelg premiership winning midfielder from the 1980s, Peter).
- Sam Draper (Reynella – SFL)
- Orazio Fantasia (Payneham Norwood Union – SAAFL)
- Aaron Francis (Loxton North – RFL)
- Mason Redman (Millicent – WBFL)
- Hayden Skipworth (assistant coach is a Yorke Peninsula lad with a three generation connection on the leg)
- Kobe Murch (North Broken Hill)
- Brennan Cox (Woodville South – SAAFL)
- Lachlan Neale (Kybybolite – KNTFL)
- Danyle Pearce (Fitzroy – SAAFL)
- Cameron Sutcliffe (Kadina – YPFL)
- Lee Spurr (collected from Central District after playing in two premiership and another Grand Final)
- Michael Walters (the son of Michael Walters who played SANFL league football with Central District in the 1980s)
Geelong Cats (8)
- Cory Gregson (Plympton – SAAFL)
- Matthew Hayball (Roxby Downs – RDFL)
- George Horlin-Smith (Payneham Norwood Union – SAAFL)
- Andrew Mackie (Sacred Heart College)
- Lincoln McCarthy (Bordertown – KNTFL)
- Daniel Menzel (Golden Grove – SAAFL)
- Jordan Murdoch (Port MacDonnell – MSEFL)
- Rhys Stanley (Berri – RFL)
Gold Coast Suns (3)
- Keegan Brooksby (Mitcham Hawks – SAAFL)
- Sam Day (Mitcham Hawks – SAAFL)
- Sean Lemmens (Salisbury – SAAFL)
GWS Giants (3)
- Phil Davis (St Peter’s College)
- Ryan Griffen (Goolwa – GSFL)
- Joel Patfull (Magill Primary School Norwood - SANFL)*
- Isaac Cumming (North Broken Hill – BHFL)
- Dean Brogan (Port Adelaide premiership ruckman and NBL basketballer – is an assistant coach)
- Kaiden Brand (Berri – RFL)
- Shaun Burgoyne (Mallee Park – PLFL)
- Ryan Burton (PHOS Camden – SAAFL)
- Tim O’Brien (West Gambier – WBFL)
- Paul Puopolo (Hope Valley – SAAFL)
- Ryan Schoenmakers (Tea Tree Gully – SAAFL)
- Luke Surman (Rostrevor – SAAFL)
- Alastair Clarkson – (started his football at Kaniva (now called Kaniva- Leeor) – who are in the KNTFL and was a premiership coach at Central District before going to Hawthorn)
- Ben Kennedy (Brighton – SAAFL)
- Alex Neal-Bullen (Plympton – SAAFL)
- Billy Stretch (Henley – SAAFL)
- Jack Trengove (Kybybolite – KNTFL)
- Bernie Vince (CMS Crows – YPFL)
- Jack Viney (a Prince Alfred College student and an South Australian under 16s player, his father Todd is also a Sturt footballer with a rich extended family history in the SANFL)
North Melbourne (3)
- Trent Dumont (Golden Grove – SAAFL)
- Sam Durdin (East Murray – RIFL)
- Lindsay Thomas (Mallee Park – PLFL)
Port Adelaide (17)
- Riley Bonner (Goodwood – SAAFL)
- Matthew Broadbent (Henley – SAAFL)
- Brad Ebert (St Michael’s College)
- Sam Gray (Rudall – EEFL)
- Hamish Hartlett (Edwardstown – SAAFL)
- Cameron Hewett (Broughton Mundoora – NAFA)
- Jack Hombsch (Roxby Downs – RDFL)
- Emmanuel Irra (Sacred Heart College)
- Tom Jonas (Rostrevor College)
- Peter Ladhams (Modbury – SAAFL)
- Jarrod Lienert (Imperials – RMFL)
- Angus Monfries (Walkerville – SAAFL),
- Jared Polec (Seaton Ramblers – SAAFL)
- Will Snelling (Goodwood- SAAFL)
- Jimmy Toumpas (Flinders Park – SAAFL)
- Justin Westhoff (Tanunda – BLGFA)
- Chad Wingard (Imperials – RMFL)
- Shane Edwards (Golden Grove – SAAFL)
- Jack Grahan (Tea Tree Gully – SAAFL)
- Oleg Markov (Gepps Cross – SAAFL)
- Tyson Stengle (Portland – SAAFL)
St Kilda (1)
- Luke Dunstan (South Clare – NEFL)
Sydney Swans (6)
- Jordan Dawson (Robe – MSEFL)
- Heath Grundy (Modbury – SAAFL)
- Will Hayward (Walkerville – SAAFL)
- George Hewett (Broughton Mundoora – NAFA)
- Toby Pink (Tantanoola – MSEFL)
- James Rose (Scotch College)
West Coast (8)
- Matthew Allen (North Gambier – WBFL)
- Sam Butler (South Gawler – BLGFA)
- Jonathan Giles (Kapunda – BLGFA)
- Shannon Hurn (Angaston – BLGFA)
- Malcolm Karpany (Moonta – YPFL)
- Scott Lycett (Thevenard – FWFL)
- Luke Partington (Tumby Bay – SFFL)
- Jack Redden (Keith – KNTFL)
Willie Rioli (Tiwi Island talent, and member of the Rioli clan was drafted after two seasons on SANFL league football with Glenelg)
Western Bulldogs (4)
- Caleb Daniel (Edwardstown – SAAFL)
- Declan Hamilton (Gaza – SAAFL)
- Bailey Williams (Brighton – SAAFL)
- Lewis Young (Mitcham Hawks – SAAFL)
- BLGFA – Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association
- FWFL – Far West Football League
- GFFL – Great Flinders Football League
- GSFL – Great Southern Football league
- EEFL – Eastern Eyre Football League
- KNTFL – Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara Football League
- MSEFL – Mid south East Football League
- NAFA – Northern Areas Football Association
- NEFL – North Eastern Football League
- PLFL – Port Lincoln Football League
- RDFL – Roxby Downs Football League
- RIFL – Riverland Independent Football League
- RMFL – River Murray Football League
- RFL – Riverland Football League
- SAAFL – SA Amateur League
- SFFL – Southern Flinders Football League
- WBFL – Western Border Football League
- YPFL – Yorke Peninsula Football League