The state SAPSASA football carnival was held from Monday, May 28, to Friday, June 1, at West Beach.
The Southern Fleurieu team played in Division 2 against other districts including Barossa, Mid South East, Tea Tree Gully and Southern Valley.
The side was coached by Brenton Roberts and the team manager was Jerry Blair and the boys played two games each day with one game on the Friday.
They won the first eight games, which set up a mini grand final against the only other undefeated side in Onkaparinga South. Unfortunately the boys went down by three goals.
The whole journey began with a lightning carnival at Encounter Bay where all schools from the Southern Fleurieu competed against each other and Eastern Fleurieu won it for the fourth year in row.
Try outs were then held for the next three weeks at Victor Harbor where 55 boys tried out for the final squad of 23. The last training for the final squad was held at Goolwa where guernseys, shorts and jackets were presented.
Coach Brenton Roberts said the side was not tall, but it was a strong running side that had versatility to play in varied positions throughout the week.
“The boys were a pleasure to coach and after being with each other for a whole week it was great to see their friendships grow, which I am sure will stay with them for years to come. The way they soaked up the information put to them is a credit to them all,” Brenton said.
“We had a few team mantras, which the boys carried through the whole week. First options, fast footy when out of defensive 50, make a contest, tackle pressure and second efforts.
“There is nothing more pleasing as a coach than to see the boys take instruction out on the field and then execute it to the best of their ability.”
Brenton said Jayden Heinze from Myponga was a stand out every game and Ryan Pearsons from Encounter Bay and Blake Rodrigues were also strong contributors .
“Three lads who have not been playing footy for long and caught the eye of South Adelaide representatives were Jamie Baxter from Encounter Bay, Anton Cantonarry from Victor Harbor and Jack Meaney from Goolwa. All improved so much as the week went on,” he said.
“The last game against Onkaparinga South was a tough encounter against a lot taller team, but this didn’t deter our boys from giving it a crack and were still right in it at half time. However, after losing two quality players to leg injuries the boys couldn’t quite sustain the pressure and Onkaparinga South kicked away in the third quarter.”
By finishing the week in the top two the likely scenario is that Southern Fleurieu will move up to Division 1 next year on a promotion/relegation system implemented by SAPSASA
“As coach I would like to thank the boys for their behaviour and sportsmanship all week, which credit must go to their families, school and footy clubs who they were representing.
“Having a group of boys like this makes my job so rewarding. A big thank you to Jerry Blair as team manager for all the behind the scene work that needed to be done.”