Big money in country.
Wednesday 27th February 2013 - By Ronny's Blog
I had to laugh
on Sunday when I read that some players found it easy to quit SANFL football to
go to the country and earn big money because they didn’t have to train up to 5
nights a week.
have played a season or two of SANFL but the country clubs are prepared to pay
them exorbitant amounts to play in their leagues.
I just found it
a slur on the vast majority of players in the SANFL who are prepared to train
hard to be the best they can be, whether it is to still get in the AFL, get
back in the AFL or just to play as high a competition as possible.
As I say these
players want to be the best they can be but society is increasingly rewarding
mediocrity or those that want to take the easy way out.
question where some people’s work ethic has gone or why young people aren’t
encouraged to be the best they can be.
I was also
disappointed to see where the likes of Jade Sheedy and Jeremy Clayton were
named as some who have left the SANFL to cash in on this exercise.
think these amounts of money ought to go to players like Sheedy and Clayton who
have paid their dues after a decade of trying to be the best they can.
They have given
great service to their clubs and league.
They will give
these country clubs there all and do deserve to be rewarded without having to
train as they have done for the past 10 or so years.
Meanwhile we do
need to be endeavoring to teach as well as have young people want to be the
best they can be, in whatever they choose to do.
I may have a
possible solution to this dilemma in the SANFL, but that can wait for another
Friday 18th January 2013 - By Ronny's Blog
We have been back to training post Christmas for about
a fortnight now and it is a good time to report to our supporters on the
progress of the squad.
After a pre Christmas program that focused on adding
some size we have been putting a little more into game movement and fitness as
well as maintain the work in the gym.
All of our recruits have been training with only
Roland AhChee a little limited due to having a shoulder operation 6 months ago,
but he is also ready to jump into full training.
We believe we have a squad that runs to about 30 to 35
who are all capable of being in our best team and that depth is something that
has taken us a few years to develop.
The other bonus at this time of year is that we have
our entire leadership group training with none of them being restricted as to
what they have been able to do.
As mentioned this depth can give us confidence to
cover the injuries, that occur to all clubs, better than we have been able to
do in the past.
Whilst we were disappointed to lose one or two of last
season’s contributors we think we have been able to overcome it with some good
Brett Eddy is a Key position forward who has played a
couple of seasons of state league with Collingwood’s VFL team.
Tom Fields is a tall defender from Labrador who can
match it with shorter forwards too and this gives our defence some more
security along with Jordan Taylor from the Murray Bushrangers who can play
forward or back.
He is 190 cms tall and can also play on shorter as
well as taller players.
These players as well as AhChee, Shannon Snook, John
McDonald and Brede Seccull who were at the club pre Christmas, can help to make
selection more competitive to improve our performances.
The hard work to make this happen is what waits for us
between now and the start of the season.
I hope to report with positivity our progress
Wednesday 9th January 2013 - By Ronny's Blog
Happy New Year to all of
our supporters and with the new year comes a new season as well as some new
comments by way of a blog.
In a couple of my previous
blogs I have spoken of our need to address the disparity in the zones for each club,
but in particular ours.
Recently we have seen a
change in the boundaries after a long process of discussions and consultations
with the clubs.
We are very appreciative
of the fact that the boundaries commission gave us a good hearing and have
afforded us a bit more to choose from in regard to available talent.
We do believe that
participation and socio-economic circumstances are associated.
As such it still needs to
be scrutinized more thoroughly when the time comes around again for the zones
to be reexamined.
As the available
information on it is speculative we do understand how hard it is to measure but
with improved data becoming available it is hoped the next changes will be more
For your information,
participation is decided by how many teams in the age groups of 10 years old to
19 years old, are playing Australian Football in each zone.
A number of 25 are
allocated to each team in assessing the amount of players used.
For example if a club have
100 teams in this age group playing in its zone, then that 40 are multiplied by
25 to obtain the participation number.
It is argued by some that
it can’t be used as an accurate guide because some boys play Saturdays and
This is true and a lot of
the Saturday involvement in the inner suburbs is with Independent Schools,
where is some cases, the level of coaching is of a higher quality because they are
often remunerated to do so.
This is one of the points
about socio-economic where coaches are mostly volunteers in these junior clubs.
These arguments do have
merit in regard to participation though as does the case with a lot of teams in
our zone where boys, and some girls, play both junior colts as well as senior
colts on the same day.
It is also worth noting too
that most country clubs in particular the ones with smaller populations would
have nowhere near 25 players participating in each grade.
Once again it is hoped the
more accurate information of player’s home addresses and participation that
will soon be programmed can give us as close to the right numbers involved in
each clubs zones.
Hopefully when this occurs
there can be no debate on participation.
Monday 15 October- By Ronny's Blog
After watching the finals
in the AFL series I observed that almost all of the times a kick went out of
bounds without anyone else touching the ball, the umpires awarded a free kick
to the opposition team of the kicker.
A few were questionable
but most were probably right.
It got me to thinking that
maybe the time was upon us that any kick that goes out of bounds without being
touched needs to be penalized whether it is on the full or not.
This would avoid any doubts,
which still occurs to the wrath of supporters and it would keep the game going
Should the ball be touched
first or as a result of a spoil it could still be thrown in but any deliberate
handball could still be penalized as it is now.
This would mean that the
boundary umpire could still do their duty but lessen the need throw it in as
I am sure it would
introduce a skill to handball into an opponent’s legs, to draw a free kick by
enterprising players, but that might add to the game a bit too.
I am also one who doesn’t
really want to change too many of the rules but just thought this might improve
the game a bit.
Wednesday 19 September - By Ronny's Blog
While we are disappointed not to be participating in this year’s finals series, it is also hoped that it will spark a big desire for our players to bounce back in 2013, after having a taste last season.
I watched with interest the form of all four teams in the opening round particularly after we had played 3 of them in our last month.
It is a special part of the football calendar and I would say the crowds to watch both games could be described as poor to say the least.
It got me to thinking that it might be time for the SANFL to consider home finals, especially when it is already done in the highest competition of our sport in the land.
I would be very confident that if one game was held at Prospect and another at Elizabeth at the weekend, then both venues would have had 6,000 to 7,000 fans there for each.
This was against the combined total of about the same for both games at AAMI stadium on Sunday.
The atmosphere at suburban grounds for these numbers would also be a lot better too I imagine.
I think that the Grand Final needs to be played at AAMI or in the near future Adelaide Oval, but for the other finals to be played at home grounds, I believe it would add interest, as well as incentive to finish higher up the ladder.
There would need to be a stipulation that all grounds are suitably resourced to account for the bigger numbers, but this may also provide clubs with a chance to better their facilities.
In closing I would also like to congratulate Joel Cross and Brad Symes on the Magarey medal wins.
It is especially pleasing to see Joel rewarded for another great year of football.
His consistency over 2 seasons has been outstanding with his win last year in the Knuckey Cup a reflection of this.
I am sure he will poll strongly again this year in the count which will be held next Thursday in the Peter Darley room.
Wednesday 5 September - By Ronny's Blog
I have just finished reading the recent Rucci rip which was titled SANFL Revamp.
I have to say there isn’t much I would disagree with in his article and it got me reflecting on the 2012 SANFL season.
It has been a season where the AFL players, in particular the Adelaide players, have had a significant impact on the competition.
Whether this is because the standard between the AFL and SANFL is increasing or that Adelaide has had an outstanding year, with both it’s on field performance or it’s injury toll, is hard to determine.
I would suspect it is both but some teams’ performances have been starkly different when certain players have been available to their respective teams.
Over the years I have been involved it was good to have some players come back to the SANFL but there were occasions when it didn’t work.
This time of year when the AFL players’ commitments were over was the most touchy, because some players wanted to come back and participate in finals, while others felt a little compelled to do so, without having their heart in it totally.
Others just said no which was more frustrating for the fans than the clubs, as most coaches had the policy of having them only if they really wanted to.
This time it is a little easier to chose as the Crows are still in the AFL finals and will want their players to be playing football to add to the competition for places.
It is good for the SANFL clubs in the finals who have Adelaide players and does add the extra interest as well as having these players in good form for a premiership assault.
We had Ricky Henderson guest for our reserves last weekend, so after seeing him first hand I think he will add to the Central campaign and Chris Knights will be important for the Eagles.
I cannot remember Chris playing a poor SANFL game in my time there and he has improved their game a lot when he has been with them this year too.
Luke Brown for Norwood, Lewis Johnston for North and Jarryd Lyons for Glenelg have been very good for them also, so if they play finals they will make life difficult for all opposition.
Port don’t have any Crows players but it will worth noting who they get back to play for them from the Power if they can sneak into the finals as well.
It also adds to the questions posed by Michelangelo and felt it was time to use one of his stories for my use this time.
Monday 6 August - By Ronny's Blog
A lot has been written about the merits of playing or not playing in the Foxtel Cup but all the reasons we chose to compete in the competition came to fruition for us.
The fact that we were able to play through a couple of byes was good, the chance to play several men who would not have probably been chosen for league selection at the time was good too and it also gave the whole club the opportunity to get away together to get to know each other better.
The fact that we didn’t win after the byes was no issue as we believe we did perform better, despite the losses, because of the improvement gained from playing against quality opposition, rather than not playing at all.
After our final Foxtel Cup game we went down to Glenelg by 3 points which was a lot better than we had performed post byes in the past.
The reason we didn’t have Liddle, Ainger, Wundke, Bass and Houlihan in the Port Melbourne game was because they were either injured or sore.
Garry Ayres suggested to me that he had a similar amount of his first picked not playing for the same reasons as well, so both clubs respected the competition as best they could.
The competition does need a little tinkering as the authorities have suggested with a game less being a priority, which we believe would make it more ideal too.
If we are asked to participate again there will be many things to consider as per our presence in it but for our intents and purposes we were glad we were involved.
The players loved the experience of playing at the MCG, the shorter quarters took a loss less toll on their bodies and all to a man they said they would rather do it than have a contrived training session to simulate a game.
It also promoted our club a little bit and that can’t be a bad thing.
Wednesday 18 July - By Ronny's Blog
The improvement of Mike Pyke, the player the Swans brought over from Canada, has certainly shown that if the person is willing someone can adjust to our game.
He is playing in the ruck and that may be a position that is easier to master than some of those played with more congestion but he has improved enormously.
We have seen Jim Stynes, Sean Wight, Tadhg Kennelly and other Irish players develop but they did have some sort of background by playing a similar code in Gaelic Football but Pike is from a rugby background.
Others with basketball as their sport before our game have also achieved success but not many rugby based players have broken into successful AFL careers.
At South we currently have our two ruckmen, Daniel Bass and Keegan Brooksby, who were basketballers before trying their hand at our football, as well as our assigned Crow rookie Ben Dowdell.
Emmanuel Irra who was born in Uganda and only started playing football 5 or 6 years ago, has also acclimatized to it but I can’t recall too many who started in rugby making a go of it until now.
Except for Richmond, the after the siren goal of Karmichael Hunt was great for everyone to witness too and he seems to be getting better all the time.
He actually played both Rugby League and Rugby Union before his change.
We now have the form of Israel Folau and his longevity in the game being questioned but he did show something in the ruck which may be a good option for him to make his way.
As I mentioned it may be easier for him to develop in the ruck rather than the tough position as a go to forward.
Whatever happens, it appears that all AFL clubs will continue to try and find players who are athletic with ball skills from other codes to bolster their lists.
It does add a bit of the extraordinary to our game that is for certain.
Wednesday 13 June - By Ronny's Blog
I sometimes frequent a local hotel on a Sunday afternoon with a few mates for 2 or 3 beers and the subject of football is probably what we talk about most.
This week the topic of North Melbourne’s on and off field plight was raised with these blokes, who are Eagles barrackers from a West Torrens background.
The question was asked as to whether North should have relocated to the Goldcoast and taken the financial incentive they were offered.
One of the Eagles supporters said they definitely should have gone because they would be financially great and the area could embrace them for their own to become a new heartland.
His reasoning was that if Torrens had of gone to the North Eastern suburbs when it was proposed in the 1980’s they would still exist in their own identity and wouldn’t have been forced to merge.
He believed Torrens would be a power now as North as well as Norwood have benefitted from the abundance of young players produced in this area since, which could have now been the nucleus for a strong West Torrens.
He is of Italian origin and equated it to being similar to his parents emigrating, which enabled them to prosper in a different more productive environment.
If they had of stayed in Italy, he said they would be very poor and struggling as are a lot of his relatives he visited on a recent holiday back there.
The other Eagles supporter however, said he is glad they had merged and stayed in the Western suburbs so he could follow them locally.
This and the fact they have become more successful in that time after not winning a final since 1954 as West Torrens was a comfort to him.
I guess being at South Adelaide now I was able to explain that although we have a lot of work to do, to have the area embrace us, we are here to stay and are secure financially because of the move to Noarlunga.
South certainly wouldn’t be around now if it had chosen to stay in the more inner Southern suburbs.
I also have the experience of being involved in a merger as the club that Torrens merged with was my old club Woodville so I understand the emotion of that too.
Sydney and Brisbane have enabled the old South Melbourne and Fitzroy clubs to be carried into the big league.
Both have won premierships too and it can be argued that neither would have happened had they stayed as they were, if they would have existed at all.
As the years go on the questions will always be asked but also as the years go on, business will probably supersede emotions.
Friday 18 May - By Ronny's Blog
I had heard a lot about the movie Moneyball and finally got a chance to watch it recently.
It has been suggested that Sydney have used it as a guide to their recruiting and no-one could argue with some of their recycled players.
It got me to think how it could be done in the SANFL and what sort of players it suits.
Certainly at South it is an issue because we don’t have the depth at junior level right now to compliment our senior squads.
In my time at Hickinbotham we have seen Wundke, Stribling, Daniel and a few others who have settled in at their new club.
They did compliment us in areas we were deficient.
At the Eagles when I was there we saw Grocke, Dabrowski, Cooper and several more do well but those mentioned did go into a team that had just played in two Grand Finals.
There were also a few who didn’t settle in as well at the Eagles though.
After the Eagles won the 2006 premiership, the club faced a bit of a dilemma.
It had recruited well for a number of years but with the flag come a new problem.
When you are a premiership player your stocks go up or the player certainly thinks they do.
The CEO, John Kantilaftis had inherited a salary cap problem in 2001 and certainly had no intention of testing the boundaries again.
The club wanted to keep its premiership players but it came at a price.
Some of the other players weren’t able to maintain their current contracts and left but the club also needed to add to the depth of the list without going over the cap.
As a result the club looked to other clubs for prospective league players who were possibly not getting a chance, but weren’t highly priced, because transfer fees do not jeopardize the salary cap.
As a result of a lot of injuries and an aging list over the next couple of seasons, these players were given a chance.
As I mentioned though, if they don’t go into an otherwise strong team, the player will struggle and that is what happened which was a lesson learned.
It also looked at a couple of bargain basement buys from interstate and this didn’t work for the same reasons.
The Moneyball theory does have some merit, particularly at a club who doesn’t have a lot junior depth, but you do need to be very selective and be fairly solid on field at league level.
You can also play good juniors, which was what occurred at the Eagles and it gives them a wonderful opportunity at senior football.
In the Eagles case, many of them have since gone on to play in a premiership or get drafted.
It is the best scenario on many fronts of course and we would love that to happen at South Adelaide too.
Respect for past.
Wednesday 2nd May - By Ronny's Blog
It was very pleasing to hear Peter Moody talk of the great history that South Australian has in regard to the countries horse racing past and why it was one of the reasons he brought Black Caviar to our city to compete for her 20th consecutive win.
As a young man I can remember horses like Manihi and Tobin Bronze competing in the countries big races, as well as Rain Lover winning two Melbourne Cups.
Bart Cummings and Colin Hayes were also two of the biggest trainers in the country and they were based in this state.
Moody quite rightly said he hoped having his horse race here would give the industry in this state a much needed boost.
The state does have a great history in horse racing but it also has a great history in Australian football.
When the AFL was formed all the Melbourne clubs retained their history and as such people like John Nichols, Ted Whitten Bob Skilton and many, many more great players maintained their status.
In South Australia though, all of our past champions were put into a smaller bag as only SANFL players.
Even when Port Adelaide went into the AFL as a club there was no recognition of Bob Quinn or Fos Williams or John Cahill or Russell Ebert as past premiership players or 100 game players in regard to their VFL compatriots.
There are many people who wouldn’t mind if the SANFL just went away in fact, but I wonder how much thinking has gone into how the SANFL will be run in future years.
I have not heard of any strategic plan as to how the next 10 or 20 years will look for SANFL clubs or their supporters.
I have read the SA Football Commissions plan but it doesn’t discuss the SANFL competition.
It talks of the Adelaide Oval precinct and the AFL clubs, which is very exciting as well a terrific for the sport, but it merely scratches the surface on what we can expect local football to look like.
If you don’t think it won’t disappear, you only have to look at how the horse racing industry has virtually disintegrated in South Australia to understand that if too many people are ambivalent about our planning, the future may be bleak.
Wednesday 28th April - By Ronny's Blog
I was wondering about which areas have had the most success in regard to premierships but in a general sense of which areas North or South of Adelaide have had the most.
I don’t have stats on the population spread in Adelaide but how would we split the city in North and South?
By drawing a line through the middle of Adelaide at Grote / Wakefield street and their continued paths west along Sir Donald Bradman drive and then east down Kensington road to the hills it might give us a guide.
When the competition was firstly consisted of 8 teams after Glenelgs’ introduction we had them, South, Sturt and West all based south of this line.
The other side of the street had West Torrens, Port Adelaide, North Adelaide and
Norwood’s home grounds, all located in the north.
In this period before the introduction of Central and Woodville the Northern clubs provided 56 premierships to the Southern clubs tally of 24.
The North has therefore won 70% of the titles in this period.
From 1964 we have added both Central and Woodville, to the North and whilst it can mean that the number of clubs from the North has increased it can also mean the talent has been diluted too.
We also saw the merger of two of the Northern clubs into one in this time too.
Anyway since 1964 the Northern clubs has won 35 further flags to the South 13.
The 35 premierships in this period now represent 73% of all Grand Finals won.
So although 2 or 1 more teams were added to the Northern side of Adelaide since 1964, the premiership imbalance has remained the same.
Why is it so?
It is not a West or East thing which could be seen as a blue collar and white collar thing.
Generally both ends seem to have an even share of higher and lower income suburbs as well as business and industrial areas.
I certainly can’t explain it but the figures are far too one sided to be pure co-incidence I would think.
Is Home ground an advantage?
Wednesday 4 April - By Ronny's Blog
At the season opening this year which was held at the Adelaide Town Hall, I was asked about Hickinbotham Oval becoming a fortress for us and how we need to be making it difficult for any opposition to win.
Don’t get me wrong, we would love for this to develop, but recent events suggest that playing home or away doesn’t seem to matter as much as it is thought, or in our case anyway.
Last season the form started off in this manner with the first 6 games being 3 home wins and 3 away losses.
Then we had a series of 5 weeks where won once, drew and lost at home as well as 2 losses away.
For the remaining 9 games we actually lost 4 home and 1 away but were able to win 4 away games, the last at the Parade meant we were able to sneak into the final series.
This season has started in the same form with a loss at home and a win away.
I haven’t looked at other clubs form home or away but it does seem that all teams are better equipped to handle the challenge of performing away from the comforts of home.
Norwood winning at Elizabeth for the first time in a long time and South winning at Prospect for the first time in 9 attempts probably reinforces this train of thought.
My answer to the question was that I didn’t necessarily subscribe to this theory of playing at home being a huge advantage, which is backed up by this recent trend, but having said all that, it would make life a lot easier if we were to win more of our home games.
Second Time Around
Wednesday 28 March - By Ronny's Blog
I have always felt that the SANFL offers players who aren’t necessarily getting opportunities at one club the chance to try somewhere else.
Most clubs get it right but sometimes a club has a hole to fill, another has a glut of this type and as such it is in the player’s best interest to change.
I am a bit wary when a player will come to us because “the coach has it in for me” or “he played me out of position” or the problem is someone else’s.
However, if we believe a player has something and he admits that he was given every chance, or injury prevented him from playing more, or in other words he is honest about not making it, we will often give him a chance, provided he conforms to team ethos.
I think Michael Wundke and Nathan Daniel are a good case in point.
Michael was playing seconds but he knew that North Adelaide had several forwards who were up and running and this were preventing him from playing senior football.
It was just a chance to get an opportunity in a club who had a place for him.
Nathan had the same problem at the Eagles with their strong on ball brigade.
Both men never once offered excuses for not playing more senior football at their respective clubs.
We are hoping that Xavier Watson and Todd Pfeifer, who were in the same boat as Wundke and Daniel, will come on for us as well.
There are reasons that players don’t break into senior football on a consistent basis, but if the player has talent, really wants to make it, is genuine in improvement and they won’t cost an arm or a leg, then we are one club who can accommodate.
I am sure there are many other similar situations and as I said, the way the league is run, gives a player every chance the second time around, which no-one would begrudge.
Wednesday 21 March - By Ronny's Blog
Congratulations to Michael Godden on his selection as State Coach.
I am sure he will do a very good job and is obviously as honored as the players will be in representing the state.
The state games offer a different dimension now however with the introduction of the Foxtel Cup and as such, players who may be in both, will need to be managed with a lot more scrutiny I believe.
The new format of having the Tasmanians and two Northern teams representing their regions will mean that we are to play State Football every year from now on. Hopefully it doesn’t dilute the value of State representation and the developing leagues are more than competitive.
I would like to finish with a comment following some of the reaction to my blog on zones.
Firstly it is amazing that supporters of the higher advantaged zones, due to larger participation, still find a way to justify their glut of choices.
It looked like it happened in 1929 too.
The argument of doubling up as a reason for ignoring participation falls very flat. For instance low populated country towns or suburbs always have players who play two underage games or underage and then senior football on the same day.
Clubs like Yankalilla, Langhorne Creek, Myponga- Sellicks ,Mount Compass, Hackham, and Aldinga in our zone all suffer this fate.
Some of the larger clubs even have to do it on occasion too.
In fact on Kangaroo Island we regularly see players who triple up for games on the same day at their 5 clubs.
We are adjacent to 3 clubs where players zoned to us would play at clubs in other zones and vice versa, so that argument is irrelevant as well.
We have also seen that the proximity of some of our country players being 45 minutes away, as is the case of Victor Harbor or Strathalbyn, become a curse as much as it is seen as convenient.
These players don’t relocate to Noarlunga but choose to commute which also leads to residue, with the players from the island having an even more arduous experience.
It needs to be remembered that I coached for 12 years at a club who is actually middle of the road as far as participation goes.
In terms of the talent pool at South and the Eagles the difference is chalk and cheese though.
I can also assure people that the identification and development of players at South Adelaide is very similar now.
The quality of a zone is not measured heavily by the league teams as recruiting can help to build a strong team, although this takes its toll too.
It is predominantly measured by the results of the reserves, under 18 and under 16 teams as well as players being drafted.
All of which the Eagles are second to none in comparisons over along period.
Look, we don’t want an advantage, just common sense and an equal portion.
If wanting equality is winging then I am happy to be branded a winger.
Has anything changed?
Wednesday 14 March - By Ronny's Blog
During the week I went to my pigeon hole at work and in it was an interesting article about zones and population of clubs in the SANFL sent to me by a long time supporter.
Just for your reminder the current system is based on population via the census, although it is stated that it ought to be based on population and participation of male youths between 13 and 18 in the clubs zone.
The recent participation stats say that South is last with only 60 teams from clubs or schools.
For your information this is the list in order of participation.
Glenelg 112 teams from clubs or schools.
Central 62 &
The article I spoke of in my pigeon hole was from the News dated February 28, 1929 & it read.
SOUTH OFFICIALS INDIGNANT
REJECTION OF CLAIM FOR LARGER AREA
Will consider withdrawal from league
“ By its decision the South Australian National Football League has sacfificed South Adelaide” said J.L. Kay. ( secretary of South)
He was referring to the league having rejected a recommendation of a committee to give South more territory.
South have the smallest area, the smallest population and the smallest number of residential dwellings of any district according to Mr. Kay.
Officials will consider seriously whether the club will withdraw from the league.
Interesting statistics showing the territory allotted to each league club, the respective population and dwellings, and the area of vacant land available for expansion were placed by South before the committee which considered the question of the redistribution of districts.
The statistics are as follows.
Population Dwellings Area in acres Vacant land in acres.
Sturt 58, 362 13,823 17,797 11,280
Norwood 54, 971 12,874 15,080 11, 430
Port 45, 727 11,181 13,432 8,332
Torrens 44, 726 8,117 8,673 5,132
North 40,187 10,030 5,156 2,610
Glenelg 24, 144 5,635 16, 740 12,513
West 23, 216 5,760 7,587 5,500
South 21,580 4,803 1,263 150
( This was before Central and Woodville came in but there are many similarities. )
This was further reported.
“ I have it on good authority that Sturt was prepared to make the sacrifice, provided Norwood were. The latter club, however, would only voluntarily concede their portion on condition that South handed back to them Kent Town and Hackney, areas transferred to South seven years ago and having a population of nearly 5,000 people. Thus Norwood would have shown a profit on the transaction.
In the circumstances it was voted upon, and for some obscure reason the league delegates decided that South Adelaide must continue to struggle against the odds. There is just a possibility that something may be done for the city team when the new league executive assumes control after the annual meeting on Monday march 18.
I have no hesitation in saying that the majority of football followers would like to see South Adelaide given better treatment by the league.
Followers of football were astounded when it became known that the league had declined to rearrange the football areas.
The officials of South Adelaide Club concerned are more than astounded. So keenly do they feel what they term the injustice of the controlling body that it is likely that the committee will convene a meeting of members with a view to discussing the disbandment of the club.”
In conclusion Mr. Kay said: “Is there any incentive for officials and players to fight on under such overwhelming odds year after year when the serious position of the club, after having been placed at length before the controllers of the game in this state, is treated with apparent indifference.”
The zones did not change until much later and South didn’t disband of course but it is obvious who was running the competition in those days despite a “New league executive “ which was probably the equivalent of the current Commission.
Although it was from 1929, has anything really changed?
Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
Wednesday 22 February - By Ronny's Blog
It seems the AFL experiment of having 3 teams play each other at the same venue on the same night is gaining favor.
Perhaps in the first year it was a little confusing for the general public to embrace, but this year it appears to have been favorably accepted.
With our competition having 9 teams, there is no reason we couldn’t have a similar format to start our season off either.
To have 3 teams grouped to play over a couple of periods at a time could easily be done in the SANFL pre season too.
It would be a great night out, particularly at a venue that provides lighting as a starter to normal trials or even a prevue one week before the start of the official program.
This might be a full dress rehearsal for the home and away after all the other trials have been done.
Either way it is all done in about 3 hours and 3 sets of supporters get to see their team go around.
There ought to be no shortage of grounds available with Thebarton also having its lights up graded to be a possible venue now as well.
Wednesday 8 February - By Ronny's Blog
Hello to everyone and welcome to another on coming football season.
I have been asked to start some blogging to kick the year off and I thought I would start with a topical subject to get things going.
The question of our two AFL clubs having reserves teams in the SANFL is being raised again and it has also led to some interesting conversations around the traps.
As I mentioned last year, I personally don’t have a problem with it as long as it doesn’t compromise the SANFL competition.
It is a difficult to imagine how it can’t be compromised in some way though.
One way it wouldn’t be however is to have the AFL reserves play in the SANFL reserves competition.
Obviously the standard won’t be as high as they would wish but they are primarily about development and the SANFL reserves competition is very much a development grade.
The AFL clubs have no problem with their players fronting up in the reserves when their allocated team has the bye and it would give them total control of their list if they were in charge of all their players.
They would have to find about 12 to 16 players to form a top up squad but that would be easy.
Many amateur or country players would love to get involved in an AFL club but still be connected to the local club if not required at any time.
Another positive would be that the SANFL lists would be divided into 8 clubs instead of 9, which ought to mean the lists and reserves lists in particular, would be stronger, resulting in a better competition too.
This higher profile for the reserves would make it more appealing to stay in the SANFL system as well, which has to be a good thing, rather than losing a lot of players to amateur or country football for money and less commitment.
This thinking might enable clubs to pay a little more to the reserves players as a result of this compromise too which would also help to improve the level.
There are a few logistical problems like a different draw for the reserves but these are minor compared to the alternatives.
It would bring a different complexion to our league without clubs worrying about any drastic changes to their current format.
Wednesday 30 November - By Ronny's Blog
It is now official that we are participating in the Foxtel Cup.
We are not yet sure of the draw but it will mean we may play up to 4 more games per season.
There are several reasons that we will play in the competition but many clubs chose not to, so I would like to let you know our reasons.
Firstly we don’t believe it will harm our chances of winning the SANFL premiership.
It would be presumptuous for us to be worrying about that right now anyway and while we will be setting goals to play in finals, to suggest it compromises this is not our belief.
Claremont and Williamstown actually played in both of their respective competitions Grand Final’s last year, which suggests management is the key to how a club performs at the end of the season.
We are a young group and will gain a lot of benefits from playing more football.
The possible travel and time together may also be a valuable experience for us.
There is the club exposure that is also something for us to consider, which may let interstate people who haven’t heard of us become acquainted too.
While it will be a case of testing the water we aren’t compelled to play our best team in each of these games and it will be an opportunity to blood our young players at a higher level, or others in different positions to which they normally play.
Another positive is our poor results after a bye and while we are in the running we won’t all need to miss a weekend, but choose some who may benefit from a game off, which may assist in us performing better the week after a bye as well.
The Foxtel Cup also gives us a chance to compare our players to others from different leagues and to observe how they go about it.
It may be a learning experience for the coaches too.
There is a risk of injury but I think the good outweighs the bad, so we are keen to be amongst it with management, as I mentioned, being the largest concern.
It will also be good to see us play on HD TV from the new LED that I got from the Cathie Peters Good Guys at Noarlunga.
I am sure Cathie, Wayne and their staff will give any of our supporters who want to view our games on Foxtel, the very best of service to purchase a quality television as well.
I can recommend it.
Tuesday 20 September - By Ronny's Blog
As a football club we are currently experiencing our best season since 2006 which was the best since 1991.
As such a few people have disregarded our need for the boundaries to be re-examined and more than that dramatically changed.
It is all well and good saying our league team has played so well that we don’t need the zones to be adjusted, but a close look at the facts means that this good season on the field is masking the reality.
On Sunday against Glenelg in the elimination final of our 21 on field personel, we had 16 recruits, one father son who lives in Mitcham and 4 players who have come through our local areas.
In fact one has come over from the Cove Football Club which is in the Glenelg zone.
Two are our captain Nick Murphy and vice captain Brad Crabb but the other two are a young man who is very much undersized for this level but getting a chance because of his endeavour and another 17 year old who is just starting to understand what the game is all about.
We had a reserves team who won 4 games, an under 18 team who won 2 games and an under 16 team who won one game.
This is the true reflection of how the zone is performing.
It is not the league team where we are able to recruit to enhance our chances that indicates our health but will now also be curtailed, now the 8 man import rule has been introduced.
As it is we have 7 imports already on our list which means if we can get any imports, only one can be added to our group.
This week we face the challenge of the Eagles in a semi final to determine if we proceed further into the final series.
We have an injury and a suspension to overcome which will further stretch our depth.
I have no doubt the players we pick to replace them will give there all and we will continue to fight on but some decision makers do not truly understand our plight or are just happy to ignore them.
We had our after match at the Tonsley Hotel on Sunday night, where Phil Brooksby and Shane Butler, past defenders who combined about 600 games, joined us.
Perhaps I needed to ask if they were available.
They wouldn’t be imports.
Thursday 15 September - By Ronny's Blog
As a young man I had a fascination for the breeding of thoroughbred horses and their pedigrees.
I haven’t looked at it for many years but there was always a pattern with winning pedigrees.
Since I first started following the Australian Football, which was predominantly SANFL in the sixties, I have been a little fascinated in game styles and their origins.
It wasn’t the same as a horses bloodlines but there was some correlation.
During this period it was either the Williams style or the Oatey style that was successful with other teams mixing and matching to get the right mix.
Since then there has been a bit of a legacy from these men, in regard to football coaching and I thought it might be worthy of a blog.
There was the Port dynasty of course with Fos Williams, Geoff Motley, then John Cahill followed by Williams’ son Stephen.
Motley coached at North for a while then people like Harold McDonald, Peter Obst, Alan Greer as well as a sprinkling of others coached elsewhere as well, but none, including the Williams’ and Cahill had success anywhere else but Port.
The eras of Jack Oatey, who had success previously with premierships at Norwood as well as Grand Finals with West Adelaide ended with 7 Premierships at Sturt.
Protegies of Oatey were his son Robert at Norwood, Daryl Hicks at Central, John Halbert at Glenelg then Sturt, Mick Nunan at North, Bruce Winter at the Eagles and Neil Craig at Norwood then the Crows as well as many others.
Nunan won two premierships at North and Winter one at the Eagles but this lineage didn’t have the same success as their teacher or the one produced by the Williams line, although the few premierships were achieved away from their original homes.
I have to say I believe the feat of Oatey surpassed that of Fos Williams or John Cahill for a couple of reasons.
Firstly Oatey was able to have success at Norwood and West Adelaide but he was also able to drag a club off the bottom, as Sturt were when he took over.
As mentioned the Port Adelaide coaches were unable to achieve success anywhere away from Alberton.
In the Port Adelaide case we had a club who reportedly paid their players the best of any club in Australia in the 50’s and 60’s.
They also had a supporter base of about 40% of the football public and as such were able to draw on a lot larger resources than other clubs.
It is also worth noting that it was before zones, salary caps or import rules.
During this period from the war to about 1990, which saw the introduction of the Adelaide Football club, we had a couple of ex Richmond players in Mike Patterson and Neil Balme coach a couple of premierships each.
Bob Hammond who played under Motley and Patterson at North also coached a couple of flags for Norwood in the seventies.
All of these men would have had some influence from their coaches I am sure, and I will get to the Victorian influence in a moment, but it was primarily an Oatey or Williams influence I witnessed, with the exception of Neil Kerley.
Kerley coached premierships at West twice, South and Glenelg.
Kerley played under Oatey at Sturt and would have had some influence from him but speaking to him and a few other people I reckoned he was a bit of an own man, who probably took a bit of Oatey and Williams as well as his own with footy philosophies.
Graham Cornes who was coached by Kerley also had success in 1985 and 1986 with Glenelg.
The modern times are dominated by Central of course and it is worth asking who influenced them.
Central have said that they used the Port Adelaide model as a guide, more from the management of players than game style but it has been mentioned.
The premiership coaches at Central are Peter Jonas, Alastair Clarkson and Roy Laird.
Jonas says he was influenced strongly by Alan Stewart as much with standards as with his footy but when he went into the VFL as it was then, he came just after Ron Barassi had left North Melbourne.
His first coach was Malcolm Blight, who he was also to be runner for in the 1997 premiership at the Crows and then Barry Cable.
He had John Kennedy for a time too but Blight and Cable were from the Barassi era.
Alastair Clarkson had John Kennedy as a coach at North Melbourne as well but then there was Wayne Schimmelbusch followed by Denis Pagan as his coaches.
Both were from the Barassi reign also but Clarkson said Pagan had the most influence on him.
Ron Barassi’s great influence was Norm Smith who coached Melbourne when they dominated the 50’s and 60’s in the VFL.
I am not sure who Lairds greatest influences were but you would think both Jonas and Clarkson had something to do with it.
Whoever they were did a pretty good job though but the Barassi name has bobbed up in this pedigree a few times.
I don’t want to compare competitions pre AFL and post AFL but when you consider that Central have achieved this success in a period of zones and salary caps it is of consequence.
There are many ideas on football both from past times to the modern era, but for a baby boomer like myself the names of Williams, Oatey and Barassi have held the most dominance.
They have certainly all had some impact on most of the premierships I have witnessed.
When the honeymoon is over
Wednesdsay 31 August - By Ronny's Blog
I was slightly amused when I read last week from a several people that the Crows should pick Mark Bickley as their next coach because the players were playing for him.
That was before last week, so it must mean now, they weren’t playing for him in the last quarter against Richmond.
I believe that neither is right but it is interesting that popularity is thought of as a reason for success.
Mark Thompson, Mick Malthouse, Kevin Sheedy, Leigh Matthews, Malcom Blight and Denis Pagan are all multiple premiership winning coaches from the past two decades but another thing they have in common was that their players wouldn’t necessarily have been playing for them during their tenures.
All had reputations of being tough on players but the playing group would have respected what they stood for and would have been sold on their game plan before worrying about whether they were good blokes or not.
I guess this one of the reasons I am not too sold on the caretaker role at the end of a season.
A temporary coach hasn’t had much of an impact on the players but can free them up which can give a false impression of what coaching actually is.
When this honeymoon is over, the game will fall over quickly if there is no substance to the way the coach goes about it, no matter how popular he is.
I mentioned in a previous blog that trying to please everyone will ultimately result in pleasing no-one and this is very much the case with coaching.
Hard decisions have to be made and it is often a decision about a person a coach may like or respect that must be done despite how tough it may be.
I would think that most weeks in the SANFL there would be 21 reserves players who would not feel particular compelled to buy the senior coach a beer after the game.
Coaching is anything but a popularity contest.
I am sure the Crows would be aware of this too but I am also sure that if and when Mark Bickley does get a senior coaching job he will be able to make these decisions.
He does appear to have substance about the way he goes about it.
He doesn’t appear to be someone who is worried about public perception either and would probably be amused at the comments from outside too.
Wednesdsay 17th August - By Ronny's Blog
The saga at Port Adelaide has taken many different turns and has become something that a lot of people have an opinion on.
After a blog last year where I spoke of traditional rivals, I received this from a man who read it and wished to make a comment.
He is obviously a passionate Port supporter and while it was sent over a year ago it probably has more relevance now than it did then.
Here it is.
“I don’t care about the traditional rivals of Port Adelaide.
This was from the SANFL and we have to look ahead of this era.
For the betterment of the Port Adelaide Football Club and football in South Australia there can only be one Port Adelaide in one competition.
We will never be able to sustain two clubs.
There isn't enough to go around and it's not our problem if the SANFL competition isn't the same without us.
It's up to the other 8 clubs to make the SANFL work.
We just have to make the one club as powerful as it once was.
We only need to have one traditional rival now anyway and that is the Adelaide Football Club.
I think most people are missing the point on Port Adelaide too.
The reason we were chosen as the club that went into the AFL, was as a single identity we were too strong and successful for the other clubs.
We had large resources and it was us versus them.
Those resources need to be pooled again to drive one campaign.
I think it was sad that Port Adelaide wasn't allowed to go into the AFL in 1997 as one club with the strength, tradition and unity we had developed over the 100 plus years it was in the SANFL competition.
That was what earned us the right to join the AFL.
It has been divided and lessened as a result of the decision not to go in as one team from one club.
Port Adelaide doesn't need the burden of an SANFL arm diluting our brand but we have that in the present form.
Port Adelaide in the SANFL isn't the same as it was and it is weakening the Port Adelaide brand.
Even with one club managing both, the SANFL link would still be a drain.
As one club in one competition, I am sure we would again be strong enough to succeed in the AFL.
It would be good if that tradition could be recognised now if we go as one team again and every player who has represented Port Adelaide is afforded some part of our history.
There is a new generation of supporters who don’t recognise Port Adelaide as the Magpies but as the Power anyway.
In fact for the betterment of South Australian football all Port supporters really need to get behind the AFL club as well as introducing new supporters to our club.
As far as traditional rivals goes, Port Adelaide was the traditional rival of all clubs and this was the reason we were picked to enter the AFL in the first place.
Every SANFL club has either beaten or been beaten by Port in a Grand Final.
As for the SANFL not being as strong without Port, this is not our problem.
Ports problem is becoming a force in the AFL.
It will make football in this state stronger when we are a force again.
The Adelaide Football club is now our traditional rival.
It is up to the remaining 8 clubs to make the SANFL work.
Let us just be Port Adelaide in the AFL with all our resources going toward this.”
As I mentioned it is interesting to reflect on, after what has transformed in those past 12 months.
One thing that was told to me once was that if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no-one.
I wonder if the decision makers in regard to Port Adelaide have tried to please too many at the expense of what is most important?
A year of blow-outs
Monday 8th August - By Ronny's Blog
I have to say I have been a bit concerned about the blow outs in AFL football for a while now but on the weekend it became a subject of a lot of commentary.
Saying it is cyclical, when we have had a system of socialism in our sport for a long time, is a bit much to swallow.
The AFL has had the draft and salary cap for over 20 years now, which was meant to be about equalization.
It meant when you were successful the players demanded more as a result.
As there was a salary cap they either got more and other players suffered, or they didn’t get more, so then left for greener pastures.
Either way it then led to the club not being a strong as it was.
The draft also meant that the clubs that finished at the bottom were allowed to pick the better players earlier in their selections, which then assumed they would be stronger in the near future.
This needed to have meant that Melbourne, Richmond and Fremantle would now be enjoying success, but they find themselves in the bottom half of the ladder still.
It would also mean that Port Adelaide and Brisbane, who have had lean times of late, ought to be emerging, but they also find themselves down the ladder with little light at the end of the tunnel.
All of us can understand the Gold Coast having some large losses, but it is thought that they will be pretty strong in a couple of seasons, which may well mean that they will apply their own thrashings to poorly prepared teams.
I can appreciate that some clubs have better recruiting managers and better coaching but I don’t buy that they are better to the tune of 100 plus points consistently.
As the system has been operating for over 2 decades, it has to be said that some clubs just haven’t got it right, which is a concern for the future of these clubs at the elite level.
Are there enough good players in the country to provide 18 clubs competitive lists or the supporters the value to part with their hard earned to see the best performances?
Football supporters come from varied backgrounds but almost all of them know when they aren’t getting satisfaction from the games they view.
There are plenty of people paid to make the correct decisions and we all hope for the sake of the game that they can.
I am sure the powers to be will wait a little while before making any hasty decisions and rightly so, but I am also sure that it is giving some concern to these people as well.
The good news for us involved in the SANFL is that our competition has been very competitive this season.
When the bottom club ventures to the top clubs ground, which has been a fortress for over a decade, then runs them to the end, it suggests that no club can take another easily.
Especially when in the previous round the bottom club defeated the top club.
Let’s hope that this uncertainty in results culminates in an exciting finish to the season and continues for many seasons to come.
When is the right time?
Thursday 28th July - By Ronny's Blog
The recent happenings of Neil Craig have led to many opinions on whether it was the right thing to do or not.
I am not talking about the decision but when he has decided to vacate.
I must say I am not sure if resigning immediately was in the best interests of the players or Mark Bickley or Neil himself.
If Craig had of announced that he wasn’t going to coach next year but would like to coach the team for the remainder of the season, would this have been to the detriment of anyone involved?
Would it have not allowed the club to actively and openly search for a new coach?
It would have allowed him to finish a part of what he started though and didn’t he deserve that?
It would also have meant he could have been given an honorable farewell and if we are to believe he had the support of the players, they could have finished his tenure off by showing him as much with some spirited efforts.
If the club wanted to try some things, as they have stated, I am sure Craig would have been receptive to these ideas occurring, but it does put a lot of pressure on Mark Bickley now.
Do these new ideas compromise what Bickley may have wanted to do?
This is probably a reason as to why he hasn’t committed to saying he really wants the job.
Last year we saw the Mark Williams era end sadly and Matthew Primus became a caretaker coach who ultimately took over, but did this cloud the decision process of the club because he won a few games?
Bickley now can become a leading candidate by winning several games, ( they have Richmond, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Port to come which are all winnable ) but will this give the people who decide a false impression.
If they lose the bulk of them it won’t help him either but would it be his fault.
The reality is that Port last year and the Crows this year have had the majority of their football influenced by their long term coaches and any quick changes are cosmetic.
It also questions the playing group if they can lift for a few games for a new face.
As I mentioned I am not convinced that it does too much on the positive except give the press a lot more to comment on.
Having experienced something similar I think the less the disruptions and distractions the players have the better because even though they can’t play finals, winning is still important for a variety of reasons.
It is an opportunity for Mark but I am also not sure I would like to be in his shoes although I do wish him all the best.
Just something to think about
Monday 4th July - By Ronny's Blog
The first thing I would like to say is that neither I nor the South Adelaide Football Club has ever endorsed having the two AFL clubs with reserves in the SANFL competition.
All that has been said is, it is worth investigating as an option and if the clubs can put a viable proposal together there should be an open mind toward debating it.
Some parts of a recent blog were put forward for an article in the Advertiser but I would recommend that the entire article be read before anyone forms an opinion on what was written and what I write is not necessarily the thoughts of the SAFC.
The fact that our competition needs to never be compromised is paramount though and has been emphasized by the AFL clubs but it is difficult to imagine how having Port and the Crows reserves teams in the current format can be done without diluting the standard somehow.
Imagine though if the Adelaide Football Club were to have their own zone and were able to develop young footballers the same way all the other 8 SANFL clubs and the Port Adelaide Football Club are able to.
Then they could develop young boys into under 13, 14 and 15 squads.
From this they could have an under 16 team in the SANFL competition as well as an under 18 team participate which then produces a senior list for reserves and a top up squad to play league football at SANFL level.
As the two AFL clubs would have the bulk of their SANFL league team come from their AFL senior and rookie lists, the top up players would have to come under a reduced salary cap regulation which raises a few questions.
Would Adelaide be able to afford to manage separate SANFL teams as well as their AFL club?
Port Adelaide is currently doing just that.
Would the SANFL clubs be prepared to divide the zones into 10 rather than 9?
There were 10 zones before the advent of the Adelaide Football Club and it may even the disparity in the zones as they are now.
Could the Adelaide football club develop the burgeoning North Eastern area around Golden Grove, ironically the zone that West Torrens controlled at the time of the Crows birth and a birth which also forced their merger with Woodville, but is now an emerging as a huge talent pool.
Once again it is just something to think about.
Friday 17th June - By Ronny's Blog
Last year I wrote about past players and what sort of an impact they can have on football clubs.
A lot of past players forget that they weren’t always good and that in their time it wasn’t as perfect as they would like it to be portrayed.
The administration in their time wasn’t always right or the coaches they had didn’t always get it spot on either.
It is good to have past players come to the club and help out in a positive way though.
The week before last we had Peter Darley come to the game to toss the coin against Glenelg for the Darley Carey cup.
As the game ended in a draw, Glenelg got to keep it, as they had it in their possession before the game.
Peter looked terrific in his gold coat.
The week leading up to the game we also had the pleasure after training of several past players putting on soup for the players as they come off the ground.
In fact it was the second time this year that Phil and Rod Parsons, John Gordon, Steve Minnis and Gary Mousley took time out to look after the present day players.
The boys loved it too.
To have past South players show that amount of interest and take the time to put the soup on as well as mingle with all the players was great.
The soup was good too.
I would like to thank you all for helping out on behalf of all the players and officials.
It is greatly appreciated and it is amazing how the good little things that happen in football clubs can help amount to something good happening in a big way.
This has and always will be one of the great things about our game as well as all that get involved to help.
The game is very much built on people who volunteer their time for the greater benefit of the club.
I was also very impressed with how the current players felt about it too.
Thanks again to Phil, Rod, John, Steve and Gary.
Obstacles that confront young players
Wednesday 8th June - By Ronny's Blog
Some of the obstacles that confront young players around 17 are being presented at this time of year.
There is year 12 for many of them and then there is their want to play football.
The football side of it can further be complicated if they are good enough to be in a representative squad and it can be made even more testing if they go to a college who asks that they play for the school as well.
Added to the really very good player is that he may be good enough to play league football at an SANFL club too.
At South we have a player who fits all of these categories but in Emmanuel Irra’s circumstance is the further unique fact that he comes from a foreign background.
Emmanuel was born and raised in Uganda and has only been in Australia for about 5 or 6 years.
He is a very talented young man who has embraced our game and such is his passion that he has been able to grasp the game, with all of its strange nuisances, to now have many talent scouts around the country speaking glowingly about him.
He is in the state under 18 program, he is playing league football and he goes to Sacred Heart College, who require him to play on occasion as well.
Emmanuel is a very sensible young man who seems to be taking it all in his stride but you often wonder if it isn’t too much some time.
Of course all involved like him to be involved with them too but we are certainly very conscious of what he has to overcome.
This got me to thinking if anything about his commitment could be changed, as with anyone in the same situation in fact.
One idea I had was if the state representative games could be held in March before the other football seasons start, both club and school, would it help alleviate the load?
If the squads were picked in October after the football season and then from November the players participated in a pre season of representative football, incorporating game plan, fitness, strength etc. it could culminate in a month of football in March.
The games could be used as curtain raisers to the NAB cup, the players would be up and running without a lot of games where they may be carrying injury from, as well as the weather allowing the players to perform at their best.
All the players could then go back to their clubs or schools after the carnival and it could take a bit of pressure off of them.
They may be able to concentrate on their schooling a little better as well.
All the coaches of the underage squads would be able to watch the players’ progress in club or school football for the rest of the season to select their squads for the following program then.
I am not sure if it would work for all involved but it would allow the player to concentrate on one less thing for a time.
It is always hard at anytime to serve more than one master but for a 17 year old boy it must be very hard, especially one who has come into a strange culture.
Of course the 17 year old boys want to do it all though.
Wednesday 18th May - By Ronny's Blog
It may cause a bit of a ruckus with some people but I happen to agree with what happened to Jack Trengove in regard to his suspension.
He is a ball player so hopefully it can be a lesson to him and others although he did say he wouldn’t change the way he tackles.
When a player has his arms pinned in the tackle he is very vulnerable in that his head has no protection, nor can he brace himself before he hits the ground.
It causes a form of whiplash when the head hits the ground.
Many players do receive concussions in this manner and the powers to be have every right to try to eradicate this form of tackling.
There is a way to tackle safely and legally so we should be endeavoring to do so all of the time.
I have mentioned this to our players and as a coach I feel we have a duty of care to teach this way.
I would hate to be a player, or coach a player, who inflicted some form of mental trauma on a player, especially if it could have been avoided.
The head is and ought to remain sacrosanct.
We had an incident recently against Central where one of our players tackled this way, which wasn’t penalized and should have been, but our player was warned at the time not to tackle this way.
I am also against any contact to the head and didn’t disagree with the recent report of Adam Cockshell.
I have no doubt Adam was going for the ball but he is a big man and must be more careful around the head region as it is a lot harder for the bigger blokes to stop or adjust mid stream.
The player did continue to play which was good to see.
I have spoken to Adam and we are very supportive of him but he is aware of my thoughts.
As a coach I will continue to ask our players to tackle legally and keep away from heavy contact to the head.
The sling or second movement tackle is a means of hurting the head and needs to be outlawed.
In saying all of this I am also even more against players deliberately spearing themselves into opposition players to get a head high free kick.
It is dangerous and irresponsible.
There are some umpires who are aware of it but there are also some who don’t see the game that well who continue to reward this tactic.
It was good to see Neil Sachse comment recently on this practice and he expressed his want for players not to perform this act.
This also needs to be outlawed in our game as an unsuspecting player may have to live with the thought that he accidentally caused a permanent injury to an opponent.
None of us can be happy with a head or neck injury that could hinder a player’s future.
Wednesday 11th May - By Ronny's Blog
The want of our AFL clubs to have a reserves team in the SANFL continues to be raised and for what it is worth I don’t have a problem with it.
I don’t actually think it will have a detrimental effect on our competition.
As long as the AFL clubs can guarantee the integrity of the competition I think it might even add to the interest in the SANFL.
It will bring with it added expense though but Port Adelaide spends about 1.3 million putting its own SANFL club on the ground, with all of its grades, but I haven’t heard anyone suggest this would be a good way for that club to cut costs.
Another train of thought is for the SANFL clubs to do away with their reserves teams and have the players not selected in senior SANFL teams then play for an aligned amateur league club to reduce costs.
Or better put, to allow the AFL clubs to reduce dividends to the SANFL clubs, to allow for the money saved in putting reserves on the field.
It costs around $ 60,000 to field a reserves team on the ground ( $540,000 for 9 clubs ) and it has been projected to be around $300,000 ( $600,000 for two AFL clubs ) to put an AFL reserves team in the SANFL.
I suppose this is the argument as one would offset the other.
The interesting point though is that the AFL clubs want to have a reserves team to maintain control, development or whatever it is called on their players.
This is fair enough too, but the people who are asking for this change are also quite happy for the SANFL clubs to lose the same control of their players by having them go to amateur clubs all over the suburbs.
The phrase double standard immediately comes to mind.
The other thing I would like to raise is why no-one has questioned why only one AFL club in the established football states of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia has its own development zone.
Friday 28th April - By Ronny's Blog
As the South Adelaide coach I am aware that the blog I do is generally about a message to our supporters or what has significance to us.
This time I would like to take the opportunity in my blog to congratulate a man I coached for many years on a very great achievement for him and his club.
Justin Cicollella last week surpassed Gavin Colville, a terrific player and team man himself, as the man who has played the most league games for the Woodville West Torrens Football Club.
Justin won the 2010 club champion, his third, which adds to his achievement, as often a player in his twilight years tends to offer more of a cameo role.
Justin polled quite well in Magarey medal voting over the years too but for a variety of reasons never received the individual award he was more than deserving of.
I am very comfortable to suggest the role he was asked to play in the team and the way we wanted the game played was the most significant reason he didn’t.
Justin might not have always agreed with what we wanted but he was prepared to play his role.
This is also testament to his character and his want for the team to be successful, as he experienced in 2006 when he led the club to the Premiership, ironically in place of the injured Colville.
I would like to think we are also building a team that is more determined for team success over individual glories.
We have a very good core group of young men who have made tremendous improvement already in understanding the needs for the team over self, so this added to their football ability being on the up too, makes for some exciting times.
Quest to improve
Monday 18th April - By Ronny's Blog
After the last blog where I asked the question of why we haven’t had more than one player drafted from the Great Southern football league, the club has embarked on a quest to improve it.
Initially we had a meeting with the President and Secretary of the GSFL, Gordon Tonkin and Kevin Curran, to discuss this and other matters pertaining to both parties.
Now, we are currently meeting all the relevant people at all GSFL clubs, to work through a way to improve these figures and improve relationships with the clubs too.
Some of the things mentioned are travel, game duration and amount of boys some clubs have.
All aren’t insurmountable but we will continue to work through the issues.
We are about to start the under 13, 14 and 15 development squads.
With the under 13’s and under 14’s both country and metropolitan boys all train together at Hickinbotham Oval on Wednesday nights.
In the under 15’s, the country boys under Ben Princi, train at country venues and the metro under 15’s train at Hickinbotham as well with Adam Jeffries in charge, both on Wednesday nights too.
One of the questions we will ask the clubs is if they believe the under 13 and under 14 program can be split too, with country and metro trainings.
This may help with travelling issues as well as having more players possibly participate.
This, as well as other matters will be discussed in these meetings.
Hopefully we can find a way to better participation and then performance from our zone players.
I will keep everyone informed of any initiatives developed because our early underage results are far from what we need for future success.
Tuesday 22nd March - By Ronny's Blog
South Adelaide has a total of 23 junior clubs in our zone which is broken down into 10 from the GSFL, 7 from the SFL , 5 in the KIFL and one in the Hills league.
In the 17 years we have been at Noarlunga, 10 players have been drafted from the SFL and one from the KIFL.
It was brought to my attention that Ryan Griffen was the only player from the Great Southern Football League to be drafted in that time.
In fact we have only Sean Beath, Tom Johnson ( who haven’t played league yet), Jacob Crate, Tarak Redigolo, Curtis Perrey and Nick Murphy who are from this region on our senior list.
This represents only about 12% of our squad where other clubs look to have about 25% to 30% of their list from their country zones.
These are interesting stats that beg the question why, so I have done a little research.
The Great Southern Football League is one of the really strong mature age competitions in the state and has some fantastic history.
It is a country league that attracts a lot of people from all over the state to play too.
It is a country league, but many people commute into the city and suburbs to work because of the proximity of many of these towns that make up the competition.
Does this mean that many of the young players don’t come to the city to live as a result of this proximity and commute but don’t get enough exposure to the programs of a league club because of compromises in attending all sessions?
In my experience with the Eagles the boys all came to Adelaide to live from the country zones to improve their football.
The players from the West Coast, the Riverland, the North and the South East all come to the city to get involved with their SANFL clubs too.
It helped them focus on their football and took away the stress of travelling.
Does the driving from the Southcoast to Noarlunga wear them out and cause a drop off in interest if their goals haven’t been reached soon enough?
Another interesting figure is game time and participation.
In games like Soccer and Ice Hockey, studies have suggested it takes about 10,000 hours of contact time to master the games skills.
In junior competitions like Metro West and Metro South where they play from under 16 ‘s to under 10’s on a Sunday and have a lot of players drafted, the playing times are a lot longer than they enjoy in the Great Southern Football League Junior grades.
For example the Sunday leagues play 4 x 10 minutes quarters in under 10 compared to 2 x 15 minute halves in the GSL.
The under 12’s are 4 x 14 minutes compared to 4 x 10, the under 14’s are 4 x 18 in the metro leagues as against 2 x 10 and 2 x 15 in the GSL under 14.5’s.
Metro leagues have an under 16’s of 4 x 20 minutes but the GSL’s next junior grade is and under 17.5 which has 2 x 15 minutes and 2 x 20 minute quarters.
All of these grades are played without time on added.
Just in these grades a lone the metro players have an extra 58 minutes of football on a weekend and that is before another group of boys play an extra 80 minutes when involved in under 18 competitions at School, amateur level or SANFL level around the metropolitan area.
I understand that all of these grades have to be completed on the one day which means they have to be shortened as a result but as a parent of a young player in the GSFL I would be concerned about the exposure to the game my son was getting.
Are the young players progress’ being stifled because of shorter game times?
I am not 100% sure of the answer but I know South Adelaide and our zone leagues will be meeting to improve the development of young players as well improving participation rates, which will ultimately lead to more players from the Fleurieu Peninsula being drafted.
I would hope we would all love to see that.
Local boys help lead the way
Wednesday 16th March - By Ronny's Blog
We have been talking recently about a lot of the players who have come through the underage dropping out of SANFL for a number of reasons but of more importance is the fact that a lot of local boys have continued.
I would like to bring you up to date with who they are and how they are going.
Two local players Sam Richman and Andrew Carter, who both broke into senior ranks in 2010 have both done all of the pre season again.
In an ideal world both players would have had a season or two developing in the reserves but we weren’t able to afford this, so hopefully they take advantage of the early chances given to them.
Sam is from Christies Beach football club and Andrew is from the Noarlunga football club which must give those clubs a great deal of pride, as both of the boys are consistent with their preparation.
They are a little bit bigger and fitter again which should give them more confidence, so I am sure they would like to build on their debutant seasons now.
Nick Murphy, who is from Strathalbyn, has also built on his standout season last year too, so much so that we regard him high enough to be awarded the club captaincy.
It does speak volumes for his qualities especially as it is really only his 3rd year of league football and he is only 21 years of age.
Brad Crabb from Western Districts on Kangaroo Island has also evolved into a fine leader and we have given him the responsibility to be vice captain of the club.
The fact that both players are products of the junior grades is terrific as well but more importantly they are the right type of people to be leading the on field section of the club.
Their football seems to have gone to a higher level too which is another significant factor.
Another to come through the ranks is Curtis Perrey who was halted last year with injury before working his way back into the senior team right at the end.
Curtis is from Langhorne Creek and I understand has shown a lot of potential but hadn’t really cemented his place.
Certainly there were good signs early last year but he has done everything right in the pre season this year and we are expecting further improvement from him too.
Tarak Redigolo has been around a while after coming to the club from McLaren, but I believe he has become a better player over the summer too with a more decisive mindset that has helped him be more direct in his play.
Jake Veide has been very impressive this pre season in improving his skills, strength and endurance, so when we find the ideal position for this Port Noarlunga product I am sure he will consolidate into a fine SANFL player.
He is working well between half forward and the wing at the moment so we think it is somewhere in this area.
Others to impress at training so far are Tom Johnson from Langhorne Creek also, Sean Beath from Willunga, Rhys McKay, Todd McKay and Chris Black all from Port Noarlunga, Emmanuel Irra from Sacred Heart college, Jarrad Bollenhagen from Reynella, Scott Hunt from Aldinga, Zac Cameron from McLaren.
Several father son players Keegan Brooksby, son of Phil, Tom Butler son of Shane and Daniel Treven, son of Darren have had complete programs as well.
They could not have done any better than they have done, so I am sure their best football will come to the surface now that their preparation has been as good as it has.
Unfortunately one local boy from Willunga has not been able to continue the steps forward he took last season.
Jacob Crate broke his ankle attempting to improve his fitness over the Christmas break but such is his diligence that when he is ready to run again I am sure he won’t be far away from playing.
It was a real shame as Jacob had a very good 2010 and we were all excited about the improvement he could take to become one of the premier defenders in this competition.
Of course we have other players training with us and while they might not all be high profile recruits I am sure several of them will take the next step to becoming quality players for the club as indicated by how they have prepared.
As always though, the proof will be in the results.
My coaching team
Thursday 3rd March - By Ronny's Blog
With the trial games about to start this week, I would just like to inform everyone about the other coaches and their roles for 2011.
Firstly Tony Burgess will be coaching the forward line and Mark Jeffries will again coach the defenders.
Both men have built good relationships with their respective group of players and hopefully they can now progress their players even further still.
Tony also coached the reserves last year but this season will be concentrating just on his line.
Shane Reardon will be working with the leadership group again as well as overseeing the work load of all players on match day.
As I mentioned Tony Burgess won’t be coaching the reserves but we are happy to have Terry Hutton coach this grade and it will in fact be his sole role for us.
We felt that the job was especially important with regard to the amount of time needed to develop our very young personnel and with Terry we have the ideal person.
He has a lot of experience with underage players having coached the Eagles under 17 or under 18 teams for the past 7 seasons.
In fact had Terry been allowed to play all of his available team in 2010 he could have gone a lot further than third.
In the last reserves final the Eagles promoted several under 18 players and they weren’t allowed to go back to face a Glenelg team who had a couple of players who hadn’t played a lot of underage football.
They had played league or reserves throughout the season but were allowed to play in this game.
It goes back to some common sense which was discussed in a previous blog about qualification.
I still don’t understand why the 5 game rule used with AFL player qualifications can’t be used universally with all the SANFL grades, which would allow us to see the best playing in finals for their clubs, if they have had a considerable contribution to their seasons.
Anyway back to Terry.
He has been influential in a lot of young players going on to play AFL.
I am sure there are many people who helped several Eagle players get recently drafted but Terry has had a very significant impact on all of their development.
This year has seen his protégées Brodie Smith, Jared Polec, Jake Von Bertouch, Josh Growden and Jarrod Harding all move on to AFL clubs.
Before that Terry had a hand in Byron Sumner, Jared Petrenko, Sam Jacobs, Christian Bock, Chris Hall, Scott McMahon, Matthew Broadbent and Jarred Redden all being in AFL systems after his tutoring.
Add to this names like Matthew Goldsworthy, Angus Rowntree, Jarrad Allmond, Lee Staple, Stuart Hill, Travis Lane, Zac Fitzgerald and Sam Heinjus who are all playing league football now for the Eagles after being coached by Terry and you see why we are very happy for him to be working with our young players now.
We believe Terry will provide a terrific bridge for young players from Jason Torneys under 18 teams to the reserves and possibly going back as well.
He will be assisted by Adam Jeffries with the reserves who is also our under 15 coach.
Our under 16 team is being coached by past player Troy Jacques who was an assistant to the reserves last season.
Terry Jeffries is our Physical performance manager again and is being assisted by Chris Kershaw to compliment all our coaching positions.
Now we need to transfer this stability on to the playing field.
We can see the end of the pre season tunnel now and everyone is keen to have the games begin.
Make the playing field a lot more even
Monday 14th February - By Ronny's Blog
As we all know now, the Port Adelaide saga has been brought to a head with their one club campaign being accepted.
I have been asked a fair few times my thoughts on it, especially as I had been quoted by a journalist a couple of times in his desire to get his point across.
For those that actually read my entire blog, you will be aware that I only proposed a couple of ideas for discussion and didn’t endorse anything.
As it happens what ended up occurring was nothing like any of the ideas I had suggested for debate anyway.
It seems that the objective was to assist in making the Power financially viable, which is fair enough, so hopefully having to support all the Magpie teams as well doesn’t burden them too much.
Anyhow we move on now and our own agenda is to get a fair share of the available players participating in football.
It has been documented that we are well down the list in numbers who are participating in our zone for Australian football in the 9 to 18 year old age group.
In fact we are a long last and the club is embarking on a campaign to make the playing field a lot more even.
I hope our club gets as much of a hearing as the Port people got, when our plight is raised with the SANFL commission.
It is important for the future of the club as we are fighting against the odds and while it continues our struggle continues.
It has been easy for a lot of people who are ignorant to the facts, or don’t want to see our side of the argument, dismiss what is real, so that is one of several causes we are currently fighting.
Many people say how important it is that South Adelaide is successful and competitive but the reality is that they all feel this way as long as their patch is not disturbed.
This was probably the same mindset some influential people had when some of our boundaries were taken away initially, but for us to get ahead we need an even slice of the available pie.
I know our Board and CEO are working overtime on this matter and will not settle for anything less than a fair outcome, so it will be interesting indeed to see what transforms.
Another blog that had a small part of it taken to make a large headline was my most recent one.
I encourage all of you to read the entire article as only a very small part of it was concerning local leagues.
For those that did read it, you will have noted that the SFL or GSFL was not mentioned once as it was about local leagues in general.
In fact players have left us to play as far away as the West Coast of South Australia to country Victoria.
I didn’t mention any particular clubs either but I will say “If the cap fits wear it.”
Happy Valley and Cove did say quite correctly that they encourage their players to be the best they can but neither club is in our zone interestingly, which does highlight the perception that suburbs South of Darlington are part of the South Adelaide recruiting area.
The main point was however to challenge all players in “our” zone to be the best they can.
That was the main theme of the article and we will continue to do that at South Adelaide.
Tuesday 1st February - By Ronny's Blog
I ran into a person recently who was aware that I was coaching South Adelaide and she spoke to me about her experiences in the area.
This lady is someone who has worked in the community with young people both around Noarlunga as well as around Elizabeth and what she had to say was quite interesting.
I had mentioned that there were a lot of young players who at the age of 18 or 19 dropped out of the SANFL to go back to local football or just do nothing.
She understood what I was talking about and said that in the Northern areas a lot of young people drop out of disciplines too but more because of a lack of support or direction from their families.
They have a harder edge from the North she said but when they decide they want to do something they do it with a passion and successfully.
In the South however, young people drop out, predominantly because of laziness.
They have support to a degree but find it preferable to go to the beach, go out drinking or just hang around doing very little.
The families tend not to interfere and are more about apathy than anything, with all parties suffering from just not caring enough.
She suggested that most that started their football at South Adelaide do have a want to play league football, but those that fell away just didn’t want to pay the price to do so.
We have many who do want to pay that price though and I mentioned that I wasn’t prepared to spend too much time on those that didn’t want it enough, preferring to put all my energies into the ones who want to do everything they get to get there.
I expected a rebuttal from this person, who is community minded, but to my surprise she said that is exactly what I should be doing.
She said I could spend a lot of time trying to change them, but for all but a very small minority, they will always choose the easy way out.
It has to be the players choice to make it happen.
It is a shame of course but young people like Jake Veide, Jacob Crate, Curtis Perrey, Nick Murphy, Andrew Carter, Sam Richman, Sean Beath, Brad Crabb, Tom Johnson, Tom Butler, Rhys McKay, Todd McKay, Chris Black, Emmanuel Irra, Zac Cameron, Alex Moyle, Jarrad Bollenhagen, Keegan Brooksby and others in our zone who want to make it, deserve our attention because they have the required attitudes.
I have seen the standard of football in local competitions and it has to be said that anyone who wants to play football, would only play in these competitions if they aren’t good enough or don’t want to do the work required to play in the SANFL.
That is what these competitions are for of course, but it is disappointing that some of the local clubs entice players back using the less commitment and a few dollars as a carrot, rather than encourage them to be the best they can.
As I said though, we will continue to promote an environment where those who really want to be the best they can will get a great opportunity.
I can assure everyone that anyone who has the ability to play senior football and wants to do everything they can to make it, will make it.
All they need to have is honesty in all their endeavors.
It is no co-incidence that commitment and character in life parallels footballs needs too.
Closing in on season 2011
Wednesday 5th January - By Ronny's Blog
We are about to start our post Christmas program which includes work on skills, game play, strength and conditioning.
It is an exciting time of the year where there is now light at the end of the pre season tunnel, with regard to playing, after a long time away from the competitive aspect that we really actually train for.
We did have an unfortunate moment with Jacob Crate falling while running on the beach over the break.
It was a significant fall in fact and Jacob will miss about 4 to 5 months with a broken ankle as a result of his accident.
This comes on top of Alex Splitt having to miss the entire season with a severe back injury and James Turner taking extended leave because of his chronic knee problems.
Apart from the obvious loss of three good players, it is further disappointing because all three are local players, with a terrific attitude to the game and they really want to be the best players they can be.
There have been far too many players come through the club in the past that haven’t had the same attitude as these men and we will continue to encourage those who want to make it at this level.
It is a setback but I am sure Jacob, James and Alex will bounce back despite having time on the sidelines.
All of this is off set to a degree with the news that we have recruited a young man from the Geelong Falcons, Brent McLeod, who is keen to play in the SANFL and further enhance his chances to be drafted.
We also chose Cameron O’Shea from the Power to play for us when he is not required for Port, so he and Brent are welcomed into our club.
Cameron is a similar type to Jacob Crate and Brent to Alex Splitt as it happens, even down to the red hair, so hopefully both men can help to fill the gaps left by their injuries.
Just for the record we had Ben Warren, Tom Caudle, Lee Schmidt and Tom Carroll retire at the completion of the season.
Nick McKenna and Taylor Whitford have both chosen to return to Tasmania for personal reasons which is disappointing, as both still had their best football ahead of them, but we respect their decisions.
The next couple of months will be demanding for the whole group and it is hoped I can deliver some good news about the progress of our new recruits as well as those who have come out to test themselves at the club.
Along with them we have several players just out of the underage and some still eligible who are training too, who hope to replace those retired, moving on or injured as well.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, we will continue to encourage those who want to do the hard work required to play at this level as well as those who really want to play at our football club and make the necessary sacrifices to do so.
Wednesday 8th December - By Ronny's Blog
As I have reported in previous blogs, the club has been active in programs in primary schools and also a program to support young men who don’t have a male role model in their lives.
The primary school program is called “Panthers be your best” and it consists of education in lifestyle and diet for children under 12 with senior players going to local Primary schools to spread the word.
The “Southern made man” program is where senior players mentor a young man without a father figure in their life and it can be a bit of training in the gym or on the track, having a chat, attending matches, going out bowling or just spending some time with these boys to give some assistance to their every day happenings.
Both programs have been very well supported and appreciated by all involved but we are currently undergoing a review into another possible support group that the club sees as necessary to improve our young players locally.
We have some players who are well supported by parents and their local coaches, which invariably see these young men thrive in the environment currently supplied by the South Adelaide Football club.
However we have far too many young men encouraged to be just average and no encouragement is given to them by mentors to work to achieve, avoid the pitfalls of underage drinking and generally be better people in the community.
In fact some of these environments encourage them to stay in their junior clubs rather than try to be the best they can be and they turn a blind eye to them being inebriated even though it is against the law.
It means that not enough of our talented juniors are getting to the levels they can be and as such not being given the chance to fulfill their dreams.
As I said we are looking at a program where we can all get around the young people in our community to help and support them to be the best they can be in whatever they choose to pursue.
We are still working to be respected part of the Southern community because although the club was formed in 1876, it is really only 15 years old in the sense that we came to the region in 1995.
We still have to have the area embrace us and we want to be seen as a club that doesn’t ignore those needing help or throwing our hands in the air when it gets too hard.
We have been criticized for not doing enough to help young people but from my observations in the short time I have been at the club, there are a lot of people who find it easier to criticize than help alleviate the problem.
These people want the club to do everything for them but don’t want to extend themselves at all when it is inconvenient to them.
There is an issue in our area but ignoring it will only see it grow, as will not doing a thing to buck the trend.
The rest of the football community is ignorant to what goes on over the hill too.
As such the club is also making the SANFL more aware of what is happening in the Southern areas, as I am sure they too didn’t know how it actually is.
I for one, was a person who thought South had this wonderful zone that wasn’t being developed to its potential.
In the past 12 months or so I have certainly become more aware of the plight of our zone and the work that is needed to see the area flourish.
Parent and coaching support is a great first base to get to in regard to encouraging players to look after themselves, then working to their optimum to be the best they can be.
Our zone can be a fertile recruiting area but it will take a lot more help from all concerned to make it happen.
It is just not the responsibility of the South Adelaide Football Club.
I have seen how the pride of a club or area can expand because of the great deeds of their sons and brothers.
The Fleurieu can be better than any other area if there is real want.
In finishing this blog I would like to congratulate Tom Caudle on his decision to go back and play for Noarlunga, his junior club, after his retirement from league football.
Tom was a respected player and well liked at our club.
In the short time I got to know him, I was impressed by his commitment and loyalty.
I am sure he was courted by a lot of clubs and was probably offered a lot more money than he would be getting at Noarlunga.
Tom has chosen to go back to the club that gave him a start though and to give something back to them, which is great.
Pre Season begins
Tuesday 23rd November - By Ronny's Blog
As we are into our pre Christmas preparation period it is a good time to inform you of where we are in the form of a blog I think.
We actually started our program on October the 18th with 3 sessions per week primarily around a strength component but also adding a little conditioning as well as some skill work too.
This was done because of a need to improve strength throughout the squad but also to make sure when we started our full training on November the 17th the players had some base behind them.
Another by product of this was to allow some young men the opportunity to try out and see if they were capable of playing in the SANFL.
All up we had about a dozen new people train for the month and from that we have invited 6 to continue training.
It is unfortunate that the players not asked to go on had to be released because they showed a real desire to play at the level and for our club.
We have decided on a policy however that if we didn’t think they could play league football it was in everyone’s interest to inform them and not be seen to waste anyone’s time.
In the past it has probably been ok to allow all players to try out but in the case of our club when this occurred, far too many of our juniors coming out of underage didn’t get an opportunity and were lost to other competitions of football.
We see the reserves as a grade that needs to be used for league players back from injury, league players to return to form or young players who we think might eventually play senior football.
We don’t see it as a grade for very good players who aren’t quite up to the level of SANFL league and would much rather see them playing local football.
We do encourage all players that have tried out at the club to go back to their junior clubs and are disappointed when this doesn’t happen.
It is not something we enjoy seeing, when a player goes off to another league just for financial gain, but it is part of the mindset unfortunately.
We do want them to put something back into the clubs that gave them a chance and hopefully they have enjoyed the experience of training at a league club.
It is often a setback to not go on but the reality is that not everyone will make it and it is our ambition to make all clubs in the zone a better environment due to each players experiences.
The club certainly wishes all of these players the best in the future and we thank them for their efforts.
We have recruited some new players and are still in negotiations with several others so I look forward to informing you of all our recruits when this is completed.
City of Adelaide
Thursday 14th October - By Ronny's Blog
Recently the Kingstonians, who are a strong coterie group associated with the club, had a wonderful day at the races and I was lucky enough to be invited.
With the spring carnival in full swing in Melbourne and the footy finals also being played in that city, the last few weeks have been jam packed with sporting highlights.
It got me thinking how we could do something similar in Adelaide with our finals and incorporate some horse racing as well.
In many ways Adelaide is a mini Melbourne.
We have similar sporting interests, similar diverse cultures in our populations as well as similar interests in the arts and entertainment likes.
There are just less of all of it in Adelaide.
The weather is not too different, albeit a bit warmer in Adelaide but it has a small river running through the middle of both and neither has a large water way or harbor nearby.
I like the idea of turning the city precinct into more of an entertainment area with Cafes and eatery facilities on the banks of the Torrens being a feature when football goes to the city.
It just isn’t as big as or need to be as big as what they have in Melbourne.
One thing I have wondered about with our unique football culture is utilizing the late finish of the SANFL season with something else to promote the long weekend in October to tourists.
For example if the State government, SANFL and the SAJC were to get together to promote the weekend with races on the Saturday as well as Monday and the SANFL Grand Final on the Sunday it would make for a terrific few days of South Australian sport.
I know the Adelaide Cup has moved from May to March but suppose the Cup were held on the Monday following the first Saturday in October, with a race like the SA Oaks as well as a few other feature races.
On the Saturday the SA Derby and Goodwood handicap could be run with some other feature races.
Sandwiched between these days would be the SANFL Grand final on the Sunday.
The Government would need to get involved to make sure the Adelaide Cup holiday was always on this Monday.
The races could be as a lead up to the rich Victorian spring carnivals and be made into a mini spring carnival of our own with winners of these races being able to qualify for the big races in Victoria.
The amount of people it would bring to Adelaide for a few days to see the races and football would bring a lot of benefits to the whole community.
We could leave the Autumn to the car race and other horse races that are promoted then too, with the Labour day holiday celebrated then as well to coincide with this.
More people would be made aware of some of our cities qualities too.
For example over the weekend of our last game we had a few of our interstate players have their parents over.
One of the comments of one parent is worth repeating and highlights how unique our competition is in particular.
All of the interstate parents love the standard, passion and tradition of our competition as well as how the SANFL is played.
The comment made was that our game is like what the old VFL used to be like with the suburban feel and how the game is played.
I found that interesting.
I don’t really mind being behind the times sometimes, as perhaps Adelaide is in many ways, but we can use this to our advantage too.
We can also capitalize on consolidating our programs to incorporate some of the events to attract people here.
Wednesday 22nd September - By Ronny's Blog
Congratulations to Strathalbyn and Reynella on winning their respective leagues premierships.
It was good to have Reynella and David Earl win for the zone as well as acknowledge what a great team Willunga have been.
To make such a contest of the game after coming from the elimination final just shows what the club is made of but it was also good to see Strathalbyn bounce back from a close defeat in 2009, which shows resilience too.
Our junior team manager, Alex Burrowes notes that more than half of the Reynella, Strathalbyn and Willunga teams have played at South Adelaide and that it also gratifying.
We really enjoy the fact that players who have been here go back to the junior clubs after their league careers have completed and hopefully they are better for the experience, as well as imparting that experience to others.
This is what our club and our relationship with the junior clubs needs to be.
It is hoped we can further foster this two way relationship and we all can still celebrate if the players become a Michael Doughty or a Brendan Lade or a Ryan Griffin too.
While congratulating people it would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of Nick Liddle’s win in the Knuckey Cup.
Nick had a very consistent year of high quality to win the award but the runners up Andrew Horne and Nick Murphy also played well throughout.
For Nick Murphy to win the Star Search award was great for him, his family, the club and his junior club, Strathalbyn too.
Everyone can be proud of him as well as his speech to receive the award at the Magarey Medal.
Many people have spoken of his maturity and leadership qualities shown by the way he spoke, as well as his words.
It is our want to produce many more Nick Murphy’s in the next generation of footballers who come to improve themselves at the South Adelaide Football club.
I look forward to helping to make that goal happen too.
Patience & Perseverance
Wednesday 25th August - By Ronny's Blog
A lot has been written about our zone and our thoughts that the boundaries need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Even if the zones are changed immediately the impact from these changes takes several years to take hold, but we still see it as a necessity to happen quickly.
The thing that has been most noticeable is that a lot of people aren’t aware of where we actually have our aligned players allocated from.
A lot of these people are those with high profiles in our state with regard to football and who I would have imagined would be aware of our plight.
I have been told by numerous people, many from the group above, that we have this great area to develop players, but when I mention that this suburb or that suburb is not in our zone they are amazed.
There is the perception that all of Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park,Aberfoyle park, Happy Valley, Flagstaff Hill, Trott Park, Lonsdale and Reynella are in the South Adelaide recruiting grounds.
It is also thought that the club has done a terrible job of fostering players from these places when only a small part of these suburbs are ours.
The club is willing to take some responsibility for some of the mistakes of the past and is continually trying to improve our lot, but the participation rates that have been published give a far more accurate account of the facts.
Until that is changed we will keep working to get better with the resources we do have though.
We have witnessed many more junior games in our zones this year than in previous seasons, as well as attending all of the country representative games, where a lot of the Southern Football league and Great Southern Football league players have participated.
We are actively out and about looking at players in our zones as well as other junior competitions in the state, to ascertain whether they can play at the level.
We are also looking interstate at prospective recruits for 2011.
The good thing about our club at the moment is that it is a place where young men who want to train hard and want to play league football, will be given a chance.
We only want those people who want to play for the right reasons and who can improve our football club however.
We have made a lot of positive steps already that may not be apparent at the moment, but will be bear fruit in the future.
Our policies won’t change in the rush for instant success though.
We are still sticking to our mantra of patience and perseverance.
Follow your dream
Wednesday 18th August - By Ronny's Blog
I spoke over some previous blogs of parents who can be a bit over zealous with their support for their children at the football club.
I suggested that it can be a hard thing to step back and allow the people who are entrusted with their roles to do their jobs without interference.
It can be a difficult thing to do but is usually the best policy for all the reasons I mentioned in the previous columns.
On the other side of the coin there are also parents who are quite ambivalent or just can’t be bothered supporting their sons at all.
We have recently had the under 15 carnival over the July school holidays where the players from our country and metropolitan zones represented the club against all the other SANFL clubs.
It is a terrific little round robin competition that leads into a more serious under 16 program next year where the boys from both teams combine to play for our under 16 team.
Previous to this are our development squads where the whole under 13, whole under 14 and under 15 metropolitan players identified as our best, have a 9 to 10 week development program of skill based exercises.
This is also a very good time to further identify talent and enhance it with our programs, with the players invited out by South Adelaide to participate.
Unfortunately we are at the whim of the parents to support the players to get to these once a week sessions but the ones that do are getting a lot of benefit from the effort.
We have received a lot of positive feedback from the parents about how it has improved their boys when they have played, both for us and their junior club.
We have also received a lot of feedback from these parents and clubs about the other parents who haven’t encouraged their sons to come out as well.
This is extremely disappointing and the majority of it is because the parents couldn’t or wouldn’t take the boys to these sessions.
We do understand that some parents can’t get the boys to the program but because it is an elite program, the players are participating with the other better players in the zone, and as such we are encouraging them strongly to get involved any way they can.
They are being identified as being good, as well as training with the better players too.
A lot of the parents suggested that they would be prepared to take the boys along with their own children, which suggests a little more effort is needed as well as better communication.
I know from past experience that the boys love to be a part of these programs if they get the support from their parents.
It is a rare thing for a young man who has been flattered by being asked to train with his better peers not to want to be involved.
With a little more effort a lot of people can benefit.
Australian Football offers a lot of opportunities now.
It has always offered a lot of opportunities in fact but one of the major benefits is to be in a healthy environment of disciple and achievement.
Surely this is reason enough to encourage your children to be a part of it.
Then a lot of other things can be found to enhance the experience as well.
I know as a parent that I would not want to be responsible for not allowing my son to follow his dream.
Stirring the pot
Wednesday 11th August - By Ronny's Blog
Last week I spoke about parent support as well as past players having a say without being involved in the every day goings on at the football club.
I mentioned the old saying about being seen but not heard.
Another old saying is a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The internet is a wonderful resource but it can also be damaging when used in the wrong manner as we have all become aware of.
I tend not to read any of the chat lines because most are anonymous and any credibility is lost when people need to hide behind a pseudonym to communicate.
Occasionally someone will bring to my attention something that is said however and while it adds to discussion, most of it is inaccurate, it's mischievous or it is a person with a private agenda using the forum to press their case.
I am amazed at some of the information these people have which makes me think it is often a disgruntled parent, an ex player who couldn't make the grade but now wants to be disruptive, or someone in a support role who isn’t in it for the right reasons.
Once again as it is anonymous it doesn't hold much weight but if a person wants to write to me with their correct name, address and a home phone number I will almost always get back to you.
I would rather tell it as I see it and won't try to appease any detractors with fluffy propaganda.
Our club has had its share of problems in the past with people who are only happy if something is going wrong, so we are keen to be as transparent as possible and to keep our supporters in the frame.
It is the true supporters we want to please however and I have to say I have had few problems at South Adelaide compared to my previous experiences.
It is great to have support but it just has to be for the right reasons.
We really do want the entire club to be united.
Stability & Support
Wednesday 4th August - By Ronny's Blog
I mentioned the other week about how a good club has a base of stability and good management.
It is vital but not always achievable.
The demise of most clubs is when there is no stability and people involved have their own agendas rather than those of the football club.
Egos can get in the way of the wider picture.
This results in factions where too many people are pulling the rope in different directions.
The importance of stability can never be too strongly pushed.
Port Adelaide had Fos Williams and Bob McLean reside for many years in their golden era.
Sturt had Ray Kutcher and Jack Oatey hold the fort at Unley in their winning times then Wally Miller was the Norwood CEO when they didn’t miss the finals as well as winning two premierships for the 11 years Neil Balme coached them.
Now we have had Kris Grant and Roy Laird in charge of probably the most successful period in SANFL history.
I am sure they have all had their problems over the years but their strong leadership would have made the waters smooth when it got a bit rough.
I mentioned personal agendas before and this can certainly dismantle weaker clubs if left unattended.
There is an old saying about kids being seen and not heard bit.
In football clubs it can also apply to anyone who won’t toe the party line but is also a problem when parents and past players get involved for the wrong reasons too.
It is extremely important for players to have the support of their parents but it is equally as important that they are aware of how they support their boys.
When parents want to help out I become quickly suspicious because I am yet to see a parent stay on in a support role when their son has left a club.
I have seen more problems stem from parents who are only aware of their own offspring than any other section and if a person happens to be a parent as well as a past player, then you can probably multiply the problem 4 fold.
We as parents want to see the best for our children but we are often the worst people to judge because our emotions make our judgements clouded.
As far as past players go, unfortunately the older we get the better we were, the better it was done in our time and the people who do it now have no idea.
When they are combined it makes for a very shaky cocktail.
Football clubs need positive support but sometimes well meaning people don’t actually assist when it isn’t the clubs welfare they are really worried about.
The season so far
Thursday 29th July - By Ronny's Blog
With us being ¾ quarters of the way through our season, I thought I would bring you up to date with our thoughts on where we sit.
I don’t want to compare our performances this season to the past few although statistically we are in front in regard to quarters won and our percentage.
The reason I don’t want to delve into it too much is that this season is alot different to what has happened in the past for a start.
This year has been one to move on the group of people who can’t or won’t take us forward and to develop those I think can take us forward.
I also have a better idea of who we need to bring in to improve us as well as those we still have who can take us upward.
The other reason I think it is unfair to compare is that I have never experienced a season where so much, mostly out of our control, has gone pear shaped.
I have been very, very impressed with how the whole club has worked to overcome this adversity and the players in particular have stayed up for it.
This gives me a lot of confidence about the mental strength of the group at the moment.
Unfortunately we have had some significant long term injuries to players we believe will make a difference.
Josh Thewlis, Daniel Talia, Mitch Sandery, Alex Splitt, Josh Taylor, Curtis Perrey, Kenn Campbell and Daniel Bass are all players who would have been very good contributors this season but have missed the vast majority of games.
The good news is that they become virtually 8 new recruits for us for 2011.
We have also had about the same amount of injured players from the reserves which has meant we have dug into our underage resources to cover spots as well.
There have been about 8 players who chose to leave once the season started too.
This did cut into our depth as well and disappointingly left us short, but I have said that if anyone doesn’t want to commit to our program we are better off without them.
Next year we will be making sure those that start with us are aware of the need to finish their commitment though.
It has been good to blood many young players, albeit before their time, but it has meant that we have not necessarily had the pressure from below that competitive teams need for their senior group to perform on a regular basis.
Ideally these players will come back fitter and stronger, to add to our depth in all grades next year too.
One of the real plusses for us has been the emergence of young players like Sam Richman, Andrew Carter, Todd McKay and Campbell into our league ranks.
Added to this, the consolidation into league footballers of Brad Crabb, Jacob Crate, Nick Murphy and Perrey, before his injury, is good for the club.
We would like to see Tarak Redigolo, Jake Veide, Peter Rolfe, Nathan Lyons, Taylor Whitford, Tom Carroll, Nick McKenna and Splitt make the same improvement next year too.
Of course we have been well served by our quality recruits as well.
Adam Cockshell from last year, Guy O’Keefe, Nick Liddle, Andrew Horne and Xavier Gotch have all been terrific for us.
We have been lucky to add such good recruits as well as the right type of person into our club.
We are on the hunt now to compliment what we have.
Recruiting will be critical again and it is no secret that as with most clubs, we see the need to add a couple of more mature people in to our midfield, as well as improving the key forward and defensive positions.
It won’t be easy to find the right type of players needed but we will be leaving no stone unturned to do so.
With what we have, with what we will get back from injury and with what we hope to have, it is quite an exciting prospect.
To play consistent, strong, winning football is the difficult task for us as well but I am extremely positive about what can be achieved at South Adelaide in the next few seasons of football.
We still have 5 games to complete the 2010 season though and it our intention to finish off strongly.
We hope to create as much havoc for the opposition clubs as we can and build some impetus toward next year.
PS - Please Note:
“ I have been contacted by Sam Elliott who has expressed his disappointment at being portrayed the way he was in our recent Newsletter.
Sam assures me his intention was to stop playing to get over his injuries and then felt that he could still play at a lower level with less of a work load.
He doesn’t want to be seen as letting the club down or taking the easy way out and wants our supporters to know that.
He would like to think he could play league football if his body were capable of handling the heavy training involved.
At the moment he believes that is not possible and as such is playing at Strathalbyn in the Great Southern league which is his junior club.”
No price no prize
Wednesday 21st July - By Ronny's Blog
There has been some conjecture about the merits of the import rule that will come in next season.
The rule states that a club is only allowed to have 8 imports on their list.
An import is any player who has come from a recognised state league.
The state leagues are the SANFL, the WAFL, the VFL, the TAC cup, the QAFL, the TSFL, the SFL and ACT AFL leagues.
A player is deemed as local if he has played in this competition for a minimum of 3 consecutive seasons.
The situation at South now is that we wish to recruit because we need to and we can, but we already have 7 imports on our list.
These boys are all young and have been recent introductions to the club.
Most other clubs have more imports but because they qualify as locals after 3 years they are excempt.
We are currently operating at about 75% of our salary cap and will probably go even below that.
We can and will have to recruit from other SANFL clubs to improve our list because we will be unable to go to the state leagues to get better players.
It has been established that our zone is very bare of local boys participating in football compared to all of the other clubs.
Even if our zone was fruitful it would still take years to get boys up to SANFL standard.
We will continue to work our zone to improve our players and work to improve our zone but that will take time.
As such it only amplifies the problem we have if we can’t recruit and recruit from other state leagues in particular.
We are able to recruit from other SANFL clubs but will need to offer very generous packages to entice the right type of player to our club.
The other clubs will have to offer them better deals in defence or let them go.
Either way the other clubs lose; firstly by losing their player or secondly by having to pay above normal to keep them.
The clubs can’t keep all of them if they are to abide by the salary cap, but maybe this is a way to spread the better players amongst all of the clubs.
Is this the reason we need a salary cap and an import rule?
One of the arguments for the import rule is that it allows junior talent to come through.
I can assure everyone that the talent comes through; in fact there are no talented players who don’t get an opportunity if they want it.
There is a rule in place that says that any player under 18 must stay in the under 18 competition until the championships start, which means that all of the talent available is playing at that level.
The under 18 competition also plays 22 a team to allow more to participate.
The import rule does weaken the SANFL competition.
The SANFL is a competition that provides an opportunity, as good as any other competition too, for players to be drafted but it isn’t the primary concern of clubs.
Everyone wants the SANFL to be the best competition outside of the AFL but there are more and more reasons it is being inhibited.
It appears some want their prize but don’t want to pay a price for it.
Tough times for new clubs
Wednesday 14th July - By Ronny's Blog
I couldn’t help but wonder how hard it is going to be for the Greater Western Sydney to establish itself.
The Gold Coast club will find it difficult enough but they do have the benefit of a local Australian Football Club in its proximity as well as many ex pat Southern state people who follow the game, now residing there.
They have also had an AFL club play out of the Gold Coast in the past too.
Having come from a series of clubs who were relatively new to a competition I do have some understanding of how tough it can be to get a foothold in.
My first league club was Woodville who were introduced to the SANFL in 1964.
My first season was 1979, so it had only been in the competition for 15 years then and there was always a feel we were working against it.
The club was formed because the league wanted a club, Central District, to represent the new Elizabeth area and they didn’t want to have a bye each week.
We all know the irony of that now.
Central were in a position to grow with the community but Woodville was sandwiched between two clubs, West Torrens and Port Adelaide, who at the time were strongly supported clubs, as well as being very established in the Western Suburbs.
It is recognised now that it wasn’t the best decision but I wonder how one of the two was able to survive and prosper but the other couldn’t after Woodville was introduced.
It was always going to be hard to gather new support for another club on that side of Adelaide as well with Glenelg and West Adelaide also on the Western side of the city.
The club had a very loyal but small following and I have many good memories playing for Woodville.
The next club I was involved with was then the newly merged club, after Woodville and West Torrens decided to come together following the introduction of the Adelaide Football Club.
It was a battle to find financial and general support in the area too, something that the old Port Adelaide struggled with once the Power was born.
Playing resources were not a problem with this club initially, as for a short period there were two of each but after some early success, including a Premiership in 1993, the club had some down years both on and off the field.
The club did consolidate though due to good management and stability which without is usually the downfall of most clubs.
It has become financially secure and has also played finals in 10 of the last 11 years but there were some tenuous times.
I am now involved with South Adelaide which is a traditional club having been formed in 1876.
I believe it is still new in many ways though.
It started as an inner city club playing at Adelaide Oval, then became a suburban club still playing at Adelaide Oval, to finally become an outer suburban club, playing at its own home ground for the first time, in 1995.
In this regard I think the club is new, in that it has only been at Noarlunga for 15 years.
The difference between South and many other clubs is that when we moved to our current location we didn’t have the majority of people living here who grew up barracking for South Adelaide because of any geographic relationship.
The older South supporters were those who had always supported the club from around the city or from around the newly founded St. Marys suburbs and a lot of these people still support South Adelaide which is great.
Central had the benefit of the club and its support base growing together though.
South Adelaide moved into an area where families living in Reynella, Morphett Vale, Christies Beach, Port Noarlunga or Noarlunga and other nearby suburbs had grown up barracking for other SANFL clubs.
Most of these connections went back decades too.
Then we had the added problem of people who only knew of the Crows and had no affiliation at all with the traditions of the SANFL, not embracing us either.
We are busy with junior development programs as well as promotions around the club and the support is beginning to come through, but it will probably take another generation of young people growing up in our zones for them to fully identify with South as their local club.
It is an exciting prospect for us of course but it is not going to happen quickly.
In Western Sydney where they have little idea of Australian Football, no past supporter base, many completely different cultures and having to start from scratch it will be significantly harder.
It makes the job here at South look a lot less daunting in comparison though I must say.
Southern Man Made
Wednesday 7th July - By Ronny's Blog
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about our program in primary schools “Panthers Be Your Best” which has involved some of our senior players.
We also have a program called “Southern Man Made”, which is in conjunction with the Hackham West Community Centre.
A host of our senior players mentor young boys between 12 and 16 who come from single mother families or from lower socio economic environments.
This is done on Monday nights and involves befriending the young men, working in the gym, having a kick with them or just adding a male role model figure to their lives.
The players enjoy the relationships as do the boys but it is also greatly appreciated by the mothers.
It has been brought about by statistics that show the Southern Area has the highest amount of single mother families in the state and our Marketing Manager Andrew Osborn, who is also a past club champion, wanted to instigate a program to help improve the situation.
It may not result in any more players but the fact that the club does want the community to be better is a sign of how important the club wants it to be in the local area.
At the very least we will gain some good supporters.
Just on our junior program we have been excited by how the under 13, 14 and 15 boys have embraced the way we did it this year.
The under 15 program didn’t change too much except for the Great Southern squad and our under 15 championships squad being incorporated.
These players will get to test themselves against other SANFL clubs in the July school holidays.
The under 13 and 14 groups did a lot more actual drilling with an emphasis on the technique we require all of our players at South Adelaide to adopt.
We went away from playing too many games for the reason mentioned above but as I have talked about before, we don’t want to take away from the games the boys play at their local clubs.
The seasons are pretty full on for the age of the players and there is not a lot to gain from them playing too many games for us as well.
We just want them to apply the skill techniques we teach, with the game plans the local coaches want and then see their development evolve when they get to 15 or 16 years of age.
We do see the need to have a very sound technique for skills like taking the ball high or low, handballing, kicking and tackling as paramount for when the stakes get higher.
We hope that all of our junior players, as well as their coaches in our zones, also understand and embrace this as well, for the future development of our talent.
Port Adelaide and Crows in SANFL?
Wednesday 30th June - By Ronny's Blog
With the recent money given to Port Adelaide the question has again been asked why Port Adelaide cannot have their own team in the SANFL, as Collingwood and Geelong do in the VFL, to help consolidate the club as well as cut costs.
I assume this would be as the Magpies and for the club to be operated by one management only.
Of course if Port had their own team, then the Crows would want a team of their own in the competition as well.
I have previously mentioned in a blog of the situation in the VFL and how it did dilute the passion as well as the tribal feel but maybe the SANFL has a stronger base due to its history, especially with Port being such a strong part of that history.
As a result it could possibly cater for the two AFL clubs participating in the SANFL without jeopardizing the quality of the league.
This thinking has been brought about too because of the Magpies tenuous hold on survival.
The idea of them representing the Power in the SANFL would also be to have them survive in some form.
The cost of producing an extra team would be an issue but the AFL clubs would get total control of their players’ development.
The SANFL teams wouldn’t be disrupted by the AFL players coming and going either.
The AFL clubs would need to have a small salary cap to pay top up players as Collingwood and Geelong do.
The SANFL would then be divided up by the 8 clubs which means that the zones would need to be changed but the resources would only need to be divided by 8 instead of 9.
As a result of one less club it would mean a large group of registered players would be available to compliment the standard too.
The AFL clubs may have an alignment with an amateur club for those that weren’t needed if their stocks were up as well.
It would also get rid of the weekly bye and it would then mean of course that Port Adelaide could become one club again.
This would make Port Adelaide a lot better off financially which would more than offset any added expenses required to put out another team, although it may be different for Adelaide.
It would mean that the reserves, under 18 and under 16 draw would be a little different from the league draw but it could be arranged as there wouldn’t be a bye as mentioned.
It may put further interest in the SANFL competition with two AFL clubs having their players going around each week, especially for Adelaide supporters who didn’t follow an SANFL club before their birth.
The SANFL clubs would certainly be attractive to more interstate players though if the clubs didn’t have AFL players coming in and out of their teams.
I don’t imagine too many Port people would have to change that much but the Crows supporters who have allegiances in the SANFL may need to make a choice or have two choices.
It may also be a case for curtain raisers to the AFL games coming back when the SANFL clubs play the AFL affiliated teams as away games too.
I am sure there are other benefits and also other problems but it is something to be considered, especially as there is so much emotion involved in the whole Port Adelaide situation.
Young Talent need to be dedicated to SAFC programs
Wednesday 23rd June - By Ronny's Blog
I was interested to read about a concerning trend regarding obesity and a lack of open space in the suburbs, for children to play that was published in Saturdays Advertiser.
The thing that was interesting to me was that we have started a program this year in the Primary Schools in our zone called "Panthers be your Best".
It is about promoting the benefits of lifestyle and general good health of course but it also stresses the need for young players to be in good shape as well as talented when they come to Hickinbotham Oval to further their football careers.
The SANFL controls what is done in primary schools with their programs but we want to do whatever we can too.
We certainly want to have a stronger profile amongst our young people in the area, particularly those schools that don't have a strong football participation rate, but we also want the young men to understand that coming to our junior programs is not a come and try situation now.
From my observations this has not been the case in the past where a lot of junior clubs, as well as parents, expect South Adelaide to whip the boys into shape and improve their skills.
This needs to be done away from any elite program in fact, with regard to lifestyle education, skill improvement and discipline from parents as well as their junior coaches.
Then these best players in the zone come together to train at South Adelaide as the best of their age group, not as I mentioned, a free for all.
They are then streamlined into quality training with their peers to be the best they can be.
Our development squads are seen as paramount to our success as can be shown by having our Football Manager, a Director, who is a 300 game player at South as well as the Senior Coach coaching the under 13 and 14 squads.
We don’t want to tell the junior clubs how to conduct their programs or coaching at all though.
What we do ask from their club though is that any player who does come to South Adelaide understands that he must be completely serious and dedicated to the SAFC programs if he wants to be involved.
It actually suits nobody to have players who aren’t up to the standard of training or aren’t dedicated to the task, being involved in elite squads.
The best thing we can do as a club is tell the young men who aren’t good enough, for whatever reason, where they need to improve, give feedback to their junior coaches and monitor their progress.
This will be our policy but it will take a while to educate all of the parents and junior coaches.
Most are pretty good but one example highlights the work we still need to do.
During the pre season , a young boy who was overweight and unfit tried out for the under 16 squad.
He couldn’t complete a simple 1500 metre fitness test and needed medical treatment in fact.
He probably needed to be told there and then that he wasn’t up to the task but was given the chance to improve.
He continued to train, but his condition didn’t get any better and was told what he needed to do to play at this level, as a lot of other young men did who had to improve.
This information was also passed on to his junior coach.
Our junior football manger Alex Burrowes received an email from his father, who is also an official of a leading Southern Football league club, shortly after.
If you thought it was a thank you for the medical attention he received you need to think again.
The email mentioned how disappointed he was with the manner his son was cut and he went on to say “my son is getting on with training after his nasty SAFC experience. I will endeavour to work with you as secretary of my football club but in all honesty my support for South Adelaide will be through necessity”.
It is disappointing from our clubs point of view that people think this way but this is another thing that can be eliminated when young boys who aren’t up to the standard, for whatever reason, don’t get subjected to this pressure.
Hopefully the “Panthers be your best” program can help in shortcutting some of the necessities players need to establish before participating in our elite programs, as well as improving the overall health of young people in the South.
Wednesday 16th June - By Ronny's Blog
With all the discussion about a new stadium or developing the Adelaide Oval for the AFL and International cricket it does offer some interesting options.
As I understand it one of the reasons that the AFL wants football to be moved from AAMI is because it is getting a bit antiquated, it is a cold unwelcome stadium, it isn’t central and attendances are reducing due to all of these reasons.
Adelaide Oval is a very central location but one of the issues is the amount of car parking available and South Australians are historically people who like to travel by car.
AAMI stadium had always been accessible by car and not many people travel there by public transport because only buses get close to the ground.
A new stadium could be built close to the city but at a huge cost and would we get enough activities there to justify the cost.
It would need to be somewhere that has trains, trams and buses close by as well as enough car parking for the thousands of people who will still want to drive there themselves.
Another thing that is extremely important is that the SANFL requires total control, as it has at AAMI, in order to allow profits to keep Australian football equitable in this state.
With all of this happening, I found it interesting to hear that the Western Sydney Football Club will be using an up graded Showgrounds at Homebush, as their home ground until the time comes that their crowds would get so big, they would have to move to the Olympic Stadium.
This of course, got me thinking why it couldn’t be done at our own show grounds at Wayville.
It is next to the city, making it a central location, it has hundred of acres to park on the South parklands, trains, trams and buses all go directly past it, as well as already having a lot of entertaining facilities in place.
It probably caters for double a football crowd on any day in show time.
The show is held in football season which would need to be addressed, but if it can be done in Sydney I imagine it could be done here as well.
If the SANFL and the people that run the show can work together then it may be a viable option.
A new stadium at Wayville could possibly be a state of the art, enclosed stadium used for football for 6 months and many other activities in the other 6 months too, which could be the envy of everyone.
It certainly wouldn’t lay dormant for 6 months of the year.
This might be the plan B that everyone speaks about.
Being a South Adelaide Footballer
Wednesday 9th June - By Ronny's Blog
There has been a bit of reaction from the blog I posted a couple of weeks ago that referred to our zone and how we believe it needs to be improved.
I will repeat that most of what happens in regard to success is up to the club with developing and recruiting well, but we also need to have an even playing field with regard to available talent.
The last time the club played in finals was 2006 and from that group only Ben Warren who is a local product, Josh Thewlis and Michael Handby who were recruited, remain from that list.
Several have retired but most of them have left.
It can be said that it was the clubs fault that they left and part of that may be true but more truth surrounds the fact that those who left probably weren't the type of players that stay through tough times.
As such they were never going to be Premiership players at our club anyway.
Not one of them has gone on to play in a premiership with anyone since by the way.
One of the things we are trying to promote at the moment is for young footballers to come to South Adelaide to become a better person, become a better player and help to make the club a better place.
There are a lot of ex players going around in the local Southern and Great Southern competition, which is good, but did they leave as better players or better people and did they make South Adelaide a better place.
Several of these players have seen it as the fault of the club that they weren’t successful and left with sour tastes in their mouths.
This in unfortunate because they were given an opportunity and as the results showed they weren't able to play at the level, or successfully anyway, but such has been the culture of the Football Club, that they thought the club owed them something.
In another context it can be explained this way.
The value of a league game at Central District has been a lot more than the value of a league game at South Adelaide (about half if we use the win loss ratio as a guide) but do the players only want to play for half of what the Central players are getting?
You know the answer.
The club is in a better position if this type of player does leave though, because we don't want or need the mindset of people who ask, what's in it for me and how much will I get, before wanting to be a reason the club is more successful.
What we do need are people who want to play at the club to become better people, better footballers and make the club a better place for themselves as well as the hundreds of young people who will follow their footsteps at the South Adelaide Football Club.
I am sure they will be rewarded in many other ways when this goal is achieved, as well as financially.
We also want these players to promote the club in the zone and tell others how they can better themselves by coming to Hickinbotham Oval as is the case with several players coming through at the moment.
I would say that Port Noarlunga is proud of Jake Veide, Willunga is proud of Jacob Crate, Langhorne Creek is proud of Ben Warren and Curtis Perrey, Western Districts is proud of Brad Crabb, Strathalbyn is proud of Nick Murphy, McLaren is proud of Tarak Redigolo, Reynella is proud of Alex Splitt, Morphett Vale is proud of Tom Carroll, as well as many other evolving young footballers in the zone making their junior clubs proud.
Port Noarlunga would be further proud too with Chris Black and Todd McKay both in the under 16 state squad.
These are the type of people we want at the club and who are proud to be South Adelaide footballers.
The type who do come to the club to become better players, learn about life and want to make it a terrific environment to be at, without first concerning themselves with what's in it for them.
These are the people who will make it a great place to come to in the future too.
We all want to be looked after and to be important but we are first custodians of the present in order to make the club something all of the young people in the South zone will aspire to be a part of in the future.
Being a South Adelaide footballer will then have a far stronger image in the football community as well as in the Southern area too.
There are a lot of negative people who try to put obstacles in the way of making this happen, but we will continue to find men and women in the zone who are prepared to do everything they can to get the club to where it needs to be.
Wednesday 2nd June - By Ronny's Blog
The football budget last weekend highlighted leadership within all the clubs and I read with interest what some of the other clubs thought about leadership, as well as the personnel they had in the club.
This year we have appointed Ben Warren as captain, Michael Handby as vice captain and Brad Crabb as their deputy.
All 3 are learning a lot about the demands and responsibility of leadership but none of them had any leading roles as leaders previous to this season.
You see the clubs that have been playing in finals in recent seasons and you realize how many players the top of the ladder clubs have that display leadership skills, as well as having many who have played well over 100 games at this level.
We have started to evolve the leaders with some teaching programs that we hope will help our future and without naming the other half dozen or so players involved, I can tell you that they range in age from 20 to 22.
None of them have played more than 20 games either which only amplifies the situation at our club, where we will take a while to build the experience of our prospective future leaders.
All of them have shown us that they will be good players, as well as good leaders in the coming years however and some of the experience they are getting in this competition now is invaluable.
In the last 3 weeks we have played the top 3 teams from last year and we have witnessed firsthand the quality of strong leadership when the game is up for grabs or their team needs to make a charge.
Ben Nelson, Jade Sheedy, Luke Crane, Jonathan Giles, John Hinge, Tristan Gum, Josh Cubillo, Ben Kane, Todd Grima, Luke Panozzo, Trevor Cranston, Matthew Bode, Ty Allen, Rory Kirkby, Byron Murphy, Ben Mules, Heath Lawry, Ian Callinan, Brad Symes, Andrew Hayes, Heath Lawrie, Scott Dutschke, Paul Thomas, Jason McKenzie, Chris Gowans, James Gowans and Adam Switala just know what to do when it matters.
I would imagine that you could pick a pretty good team out of that lot and the amount of games played, as well as finals is quite imposing in this list too.
It will be good to be able to name some of our players with the same reverence as those from the leagues present leading clubs in a few years and added to that some winning finals experience too.
Perhaps there needs to be a review of our zone
Wednesday 26th May - By Ronny's Blog
Last week I wrote about the fact that South had moved to survive and that several other clubs have had the opportunity to move also, but have stayed to take their chances in their current homes.
In the early 1990’s South Adelaide lost several of its heartland areas to West Adelaide and Glenelg even though these suburbs proximity is a lot closer to Noarlunga than their inherited clubs.
The argument was about youth numbers in the areas but I am not sure the numbers of young people and the numbers of young people who play football is paralleled.
I was handed some interesting data about what other clubs have produced and what South has produced in that time in regard to wins, losses as well as players drafted to the AFL.
In the period 2000 to 2009 South won a total of 62 home and away games which was last of the clubs.
This compares to Central with 157, Eagles with 134 and Sturt with 120.
In all grades, League, Reserves, under 19 and under 17, South won a total of 293 games.
The leader in all games is Central with 470 but it is the underage that has most significance in this time.
From 2000 to 2009 the underage of West Adelaide, who is top of the list, has won a total of 235 games compared with South winning 164 which is at the bottom with Norwood.
I acknowledge winning programs are not all about zones of course but in regard to players drafted, which is significantly about zones, South had only 4 drafted in this time.
West had 19 players drafted, Glenelg 16, Central 15 and North as well as the Eagles had 13 each.
South does fall way behind in regard to participation at Auskick as well as participation of young men playing football in our entire zone.
Combined with games won as well as players drafted it would suggest that South has been a little short changed in the fertility of the zone it has kept and lost.
I have spoken to the hierachy of our club about how the juniors coming through rank in comparison to what I had experienced at the Eagles.
It is interesting that the Eagles are about average with games won and players drafted but I can see an obvious difference between the two clubs in regard to our talent pool in the underage grades.
As I mentioned these things are not all about talent pools and we have to do a lot more at identifying talent, then developing it, but these statistics would suggest we haven’t got the better of the zoning deals, particularly when the club did display the courage to relocate in order to better itself.
We are working hard with our underage program with our Football manager, Neill Sharpe and myself taking first hand roles in the under 13 and under 14 squads.
We will continue to try to get it happening but perhaps there needs to be a review of our zone too.
Wednesday 19th May - By Ronny's Blog
Over the weekend I watched a documentary on urban sprawl in highly populated countries.
It was mostly about Europe and Asia but most of the comment was why are some people happy to move away to outer suburbs or the country to prosper but many like to stay in the cities to their financial detriment.
The reasons most of these people gave for staying in the cities were that the community they were in and the friendships, as well as families they had, were more important than living comfortably in outer areas.
It was all about the bigger contact with more people that you get in the cities but not in far reaching communities.
As with most things that go through my mind I eventually got around to equate it to football.
In the SANFL all of the clubs found their roots from the inner city or near city suburbs.
Port Adelaide was the most distance anyone had to go to with West Adelaide and South Adelaide actually forming in the city square mile.
It took many years for the game to spread with Central District joining the league in the late 50’s and starting their club at Elizabeth to begin the sprawl.
South Adelaide then went to Noarlunga, after facing a possible demise in 1990, to start to become financially viable rather than trying to survive as a close to the city club.
There were many people that wanted West Torrens to relocate to their metropolitan zone in the outer North Eastern suburbs when they were dying in the eighties.
As we know they chose to merge, stay close to the city and survive with a semi identity.
North Adelaide and Norwood are grateful they did because a lot of their current players have come from these areas but it makes you wonder what it would have been like if they did move.
It has recently been spoken of Sturt moving to their zone at Mt. Barker in order to take advantage of the burgeoning hills populations, after suffering several seasons of doing it tough.
This would be a big move emotionally of course, as Sturt does have a lot of history around the inner South Eastern suburbs, but desperate people will often do anything to survive.
This emotion is what stops the people in Europe and Asia moving away from the cities.
How far out do clubs go to make it happen is also a question to be asked?
Would it be possible for a SANFL club to survive on the West coast or in the South East?
In the South Adelaide case the community at Noarlunga is really beginning to embrace the football club after 15 years.
We still get our original city supporters following the club too with the Kingstonian vice presidents being a great example of past city supporters still embracing the club.
A recent function held at the Richmond Hotel in Rundle Mall by the Kingstonians to honor the leading forwards from the clubs past was extremely well attended.
On Saturday 8th May the premiership players of 1964 celebrated their reunion at Noarlunga for the first time they have been doing it too.
It does show that you can take a club out of the city but you can’t take the entire city out of the club, with traditions, old and new being able to be carried on.
Whatever people think, the move to Noarlunga has meant that the South Adelaide Football Club survived and that is a good thing.
Club hopeful for new members!
Wednesday 12th May - By Ronny's Blog
On Wednesday we woke to the news that Charles Kingston, who was state Premier in the 1890’s, had illegitimately fathered several children, despite having no children from his marriage.
It has no particular interest for most people but at South Adelaide, Charles Kingston is significant as the man who founded the club in 1876 when he was just a player.
As mentioned he was the Premier but also held portfolios of Attorney General, Chief Secretary and later the Minister of Trade in the Federal Parliament.
He was also a Queens Councilor and President of South for 27 years after his playing days.
Charles Cameron Kingston was recognized as a colorful character who was often ostracized by the establishment of the time for his extracurricular activities.
He was indeed a man who kept busy, so it makes you wonder where he found time for anything else doesn’t it?
There was no television of course.
He was also a person who didn’t much concern himself for what other people thought but I wonder how he would have got on in today’s society where any similar behavior would have been severely put under the microscope.
Tiger Woods is one person who would have liked to be around over 100 years ago I am sure.
In our sport we have seen many players condemned for a lot less than Kingston appears to have done and you would think he wouldn’t have risen to Premier today if his private life was revealed, would he?
I have been lucky to spend some time recently with Alan Hickinbotham and Peter Alexander who are both great historians as well as passionate South Adelaide supporters.
They have both told me some great stories of past characters from the clubs past and as we were founded in 1876, making us the second oldest current club, you can imagine that over those 136 years, some fantastic tales have been translated through the generations.
There have been dozens of extremely charismatic people involved I am sure but I doubt if any could match the life of Kingston himself.
The best part of the story was that his genetic family has been able to find solace in knowing where they have come from as well as Kingston’s known family members recognizing the additions to the lineage.
It seems to be a good ending and as John Bannon mentioned the man who started it would glean some satisfaction in knowing he was still causing a stir.
I would hope that now it has been confirmed they are descendants of the founder of the South Adelaide Football Club that they would now become Panther supporters and members.
Rivalry Round - What should it be?
Wednesday 5th May - By Ronny's Blog
Last Anzac Day I ventured along to the Parade in the evening to watch the round 5 game between Norwood and Port as we were playing the Magpies in round 6.
Our Football Manager, Neill Sharpe who is from Melbourne, asked if this was the biggest rivalry in the competition.
I thought about it for a while and then replied that I believed Port had a rivalry against all of the clubs, not just Norwood.
With another Showdown in rivalry round behind us it has brought about the thoughts of the rivalry round in the SANFL and who are the traditional rivals in our league.
I will start by being controversial and suggest that the Port Magpies don't need to be involved in the SANFL rivalry round.
Before anyone gets hysterical and believes that I must be mad to consider a rivalry round without Port, let me explain.
Firstly as I have mentioned, I think that Port has been the traditional rival of every club in the SANFL.
They have had the most Grand Final wins and losses against all of the other clubs.
Their success is actually why they were chosen as the club to represent the state as our second AFL club and rightly so.
They had been the most successful SANFL club by a long way up to their entry in 1996 to the AFL.
Just for the record, since the Second World War up to 1996, Port Adelaide had played in 31 of a possible 51 Grand Finals.
They have won or lost against Norwood 5 times, North Adelaide 5 times, West Adelaide 5 times, Sturt 5 times, Glenelg 5 times, South Adelaide twice, Central District twice and West Torrens or Woodville-West Torrens twice.
It does reinforce that no-one in particular has been Ports traditional rival in the SANFL but everyone has.
That is one reason I believe the Magpies need to have a bye when it is the SANFL rivalry round.
Another reason is that Port Adelaide probably want and need the Adelaide Crows to be their only traditional rival anyway.
Perhaps when the weekend the Power has its home ground showdown is the ideal time to have the SANFL rivalry round on the day it is not played.
It begs the question then who are the other traditional rivals?
We will all have our thoughts but it is most likely something for the league or the statisticians to work out.
Congratulations to Ben Warren
Wednesday 28th April - By Ronny's Blog
The article in Saturdays advertiser by Rebecca Wilson was both emotional and pertinent I felt in view of the Melbourne Storm salary cap rorting as well as many other rorts that occur.
It is always the fans that suffer when people put their own interests before the welfare of the game or the welfare of the club.
The young man she spoke of who has the integrity of the game at heart, the respect of his team mates and respect for himself is like a lot of sports fans who are looking for role models at the highest level but have been let down by people breaking the rules.
I know in my time at the Eagles when the club was beaten in 4 Grand finals a lot of people wanted the club to find a way to get more and better players to the club in order to win a Premiership.
Thankfully men like Les Stevens and John Kantilaftis had the bigger picture in mind and didn’t allow this to happen.
I am not sure more money could have bought better recruits than Leigh Treeby, Luke Powell, Paul Lindsay, Luke Jarrad, Brad Dabrowski, Joe Pedler, Mark McKenzie and Adam Grocke anyway, who were ultimately rewarded with a Premiership the right way.
Too often the people who do try to cheat a system and are subsequently found out, leave a club worse off but are not always brought to account.
They leave their position anyway and show that they didn’t have the interests of the game at heart by no longer being involved once their own needs haven’t been gratified.
I guess a lot of the reason for this is the trust that is broken and no-one wants to employ them either.
The fans are the people that make sport so emotional and subjective.
They are also the people that all of us involved have to answer to morally and I would think that to have their respect is the most rewarding thing that we need fulfilled.
I am sure the lad in the article just wants to be proud of his heroes.
In the ideal world we would love to think sport is the most pure form of contesting but the chase for rewards often makes people take short cuts.
It is up to all of us involved to make sure our fans do have something to be proud of when they support us and not have a sour taste to put up with.
I would like to end with my congratulations for Ben Warren who will play his 150th game for the club this week.
Ben is a man of integrity who has played passionately for our club and deserves all the accolades he will get.
He is also a man that can be used safely as a good role model for any young man wanting someone to emulate.
Good luck Ben.
What do you reckon?
Wednesday 21st April - By Ronny's Blog
I was interested to see a couple of AFL clubs change their strip to make it easier to distinguish for the public which was good to see and further to one of my earlier blogs.
Firstly North Melbourne wore their white shorts and predominantly white Guernsey against The West Coast in Melbourne.
Then West Coast returned the favor with a mainly white strip against the Essendon black Guernsey and shorts in Perth.
Finally Geelong had white shorts on for their game against Port in Geelong allowing the Power to have their back in black uniform to be used.
It was all good and made for an easy look at the game.
Just on that I went to see the Eagles play Sturt and with their Gold Guernsey it provided a great contrast to the Sturt light blue and once again made it easy to pick up the difference in the teams.
I am sure all supporters were able to pick the game up easier.
A thing that has come up a few times this season is the problem with a defending player taking a mark or given a free kick close to goal.
What happens sometimes is the player goes through a different line to bring it back in and is either told to go back to do it again or a point is awarded.
An idea I had and mentioned at a coaches meeting was to have a dotted line put on the ground from the top of the square which went squarely to the boundary line on both sides.
This would mean that if a free kick or mark was taken by a defender the forward standing the mark would automatically come back to that line to stand the mark.
This would allow the player to play on in any direction as well as give the kicker a bit more room in those situations close to the point post where it can be a bit confining.
The umpire tends to try to get the player back, sometimes successfully, sometimes not but it general it takes a little time.
In this situation the man on the mark has to come back straight away and wouldn’t cause any delay.
It doesn’t require a rule change but for a little bit of chalk could help to avoid confusion as well as allowing the game to flow a little.
What do you reckon?
AFL clubs and their obligations to SANFL clubs and vice versa
Wednesday 14th April - By Ronny's Blog
The David Rodan situation at Norwood last week has given rise to the issues that affect SANFL clubs with how they manage the AFL players assigned to them again.
It is not the fault of the Power in this situation as they did stipulate how much time Rodan could play and Norwood chose to play him, but other examples have compromised the clubs in the past.
In Melbourne we have clubs like Collingwood and Geelong having their own VFL teams, which means they can use their players anyway they wish.
What we have here though are clubs who can’t play all of their players because of injury or not having enough on their list, needing to bring in top up players from local competitions.
This does dilute the competition and as some of the VFL players in the SANFL now can attest to, make the standard quite poor as well as having very little crowd participation.
The VFL clubs who are aligned are made up predominantly of AFL players who tend to look after their own self interests rather than those of the team and often the VFL players in the squad are used sparingly or not at all.
The better VFL clubs are those that can manage the AFL and VFL players best and promote some passion amongst them.
We also have in the same competition two clubs, Port Melbourne and Frankston, who are completely stand alone with no AFL allegiance.
As you can understand there is little tribal or suburban rivalry, certainly nothing compared to the SANFL anyway and its structure is nothing at all like our own.
Our competition is the envy of all state leagues with its rich history, traditions and rivalries.
The strong passionate crowd support is a feature of the SANFL competition too.
We have some people who would like to see that disappear for the sake of a few interests from the AFL clubs but the people who know in the AFL hierarchy understand how lucky we are to have a competition where the players can go back and be fully tested.
The question to be asked I guess is; would we like to have a situation where the two Adelaide AFL clubs have their own teams and can manage them totally?
They would run the risk of having them weakened significantly when injuries occur.
(Could you imagine the Crows team at the moment if they had 12 to 14 suburban footballers in their SANFL team) but would have total control.
Or do we want a competition as we have, with the AFL players topping up the SANFL lists, albeit predominantly under the SANFL clubs whims, but adding to the spectacle?
The other point to consider in these days of heavy budgeting, is the cost that the AFL clubs would have if they had to provide a team in the SANFL as well as the AFL on a weekly basis.
The topic is quite a talking point at the moment with the Port Magpies fighting for survival too of course, but I know what type of competition I would prefer, having been to several underwhelming VFL games in recent times.
I still remember seeing South play Sturt in the 1966 in front of over 15,000 people at Unley.
For the odd occasion that someone is put out because of the circumstances in our town, I reckon it is far preferable to anything else that may happen and continues to make us unique.
That is my opinion anyway and I reckon a lot of other people like the chance to barrack for their AFL club as well as their SANFL team which would be jeopardized if we were to change too.
Night football at Noarlunga
Wednesday 7th April - By Ronny's Blog
After the success of West Adelaide’s venture into night football and the enjoyment of playing at Norwood the night before Easter it has brought about the idea of night football at Noarlunga.
Central District have used it to attract more crowds, Glenelg are looking to install lights and the Eagles are wanting to use an upgraded Thebarton oval for night football.
Would the people come to Noarlunga (Hickinbotham Oval) at night?
Ben Kavenagh believes so and what he wants is to work around the local football in the South zones to attract people who can’t necessarily come to Saturday games.
This and the fact the club could program around AFL games does allow flexibility in providing a draw.
The possibility of the whole Fluerieu community embracing the club and facilities is appealing too which would allow for other projects beside football to take advantage of the lighting.
Underage football, especially in school holidays could also take advantage of playing under lights, which frees up families as well.
With the Friday night games and as was the case last week the Thursday night games, the players are afforded the luxury of most of the weekend off.
There are times of course like the middle of winter when it wouldn’t be so attractive but this is no different to any of the grounds.
People tend not to go to any night games in June and July but on the milder nights it is a very attractive medium.
The atmosphere and spectacle at Norwood last week was first class which is a credit to the Norwood football Club for the show they put on.
As I mentioned, Ben is extremely keen for the club to have the extra option and I wish him well in his endeavors to bring them to the community.
If it gets more young players with their families active and along to local football it can do nothing but good I would have thought.
Colour of Shorts
Wednesday 31st March - By Ronny's Blog
I was sitting at home on Friday night watching the Geelong v Essendon game and was a little confused by the short selection of the clubs.
I understand that the home team is meant to get the choice of colours but in the example we had perhaps the league needs to step in.
It was probably Geelongs home game but what we had was Essendon, who’s colours are red and black, wearing white shorts but Geelong who have white as one of their colours wearing navy shorts.
I then went through the SANFL teams and thought some common sense can be used here too.
For example if South were to play Glenelg at home why would it be expected that we have blue shorts on and Glenelg be expected to have white when it is not one of their colours.
It is different if Glenelg are playing West for instance where it is expected that some-one ( the away club) would need wear white shorts or an alternative.
The English premier league has it compulsory for a contrast between the teams.
With the game getting quicker and quicker it becomes even harder to differentiate between the players in the congestion.
I know the league has more important things to worry about perhaps but it would be a benefit to supporters I would have thought.
It gives us something to talk about anyway.
Just another thought
Wednesday 24th March - By Ronny's Blog
It was pleasing to see the SANFL change the qualifying rules for AFL listed affiliated players.
It was previously only 3 games that were required to be played by AFL listed players in the SANFL season but has been extended now to 5 games qualification.
The 3 games were easily reached in the past especially if one of them was when the player was named as an emergency after playing at local level the week before.
Often a player was in the SANFL for a few games early but then stayed in the AFL for the rest of the season.
In these situations the players didn’t have a real impact on their clubs season as well as then not feeling comfortable to get a game ahead of someone who did contribute a lot for the year.
I believe a nice balance has been met and if someone gets 5 games in for their local club, they then have put something substantial to that clubs finals drive.
Perhaps this simple rule of 5 games qualification could be brought in for all the other grades when assessing who is eligible for finals in grades below league level.
As it stands now there are a lot of grey areas with who can or can’t play and then clubs can still apply for a player to participate, even if he hasn’t met the SANFL conditions, but has extenuating circumstances.
The 5 games is a good example of a player who has made a decent contribution to the team’s grade regardless of how they finished the season.
As with the AFL rule it becomes cut and dry.
I have received some interesting feedback about last week’s blog especially from other SANFL clubs who agree it can inhibit a player’s progress if they aren’t allowed to perform at a higher grade.
Maybe 5 can be the magic number.
We could have a maximum of 5 players who are overage, able to come back into the under 18’s at any one time and conversely a maximum of 5 who are able to play higher at any one time.
Just another thought
Just a thought
Wednesday 17th March - By Ronny's Blog
I spent Sunday afternoon watching our underage players trial against Port at Alberton and it got me thinking about the rule regarding those that are eligible to play under 18's.
As it stands any player who is in this category cannot play higher, unless he has already played league football or 5 reserves games, until about the beginning of June.
This is when the under 18 championships start and effectively about half way through the home and away season.
As the players are under 17 or less the year before when they would need to qualify, the reality of it happening, unless it is deliberately manufactured, is at high odds.
To manufacture this would certainly compromise the value of league football.
One of the advantages of underage boys playing higher was that they competed against men who aided their development and we could see how they stood up at the higher level.
Prospective Championship players would also benefit from playing at the higher level against men in preparation for their state campaigns.
The rule now means that often players are competing at reserves level who are not up to it because better underage footballers are not allowed to.
This can then compromise the value of reserves football.
What would happen when the players are available then, is that all the good performers will play higher if a club has decided that they are better than those that have been playing reserves or league.
The remainder of the under 18 competition would then become compromised.
In fact a team that was top at the half way mark of the season may fall away and miss the finals completely if a club chooses to promote its best players and bring its best under 16’s up in to their under 18 team.
I am beginning to think there needs to be a better way.
We have a situation in the under 18 competition where up to 6 overage players are allowed to play down at any one time.
Perhaps a good compromise may be that up to a certain number of under 18 players are able to play up at any one time too.
This would be for the full season and avoid any confusion which would benefit all involved as against the present rule which benefits only a few.
It would also make all grades competitive for the whole season and compromise none.
Just a thought.
Wednesday 10th March - By Ronny's Blog
I am sure most of you would be aware that Ben Warren has been appointed captain of the South Adelaide Football Club for season 2010.
It is a most popular decision amongst the supporters I have spoken to as well.
I guess that is a reflection of the service that Ben has given the club as well as his obvious talents as a footballer.
There are many other things that attracted the match committee to Ben’s qualities and we believe that the responsibility of the role will see Ben evolve in these areas now.
He will be well supported by two other quality players in Michael Handby and Brad Crabb.
The recent weekend was a chance for us to play 4 solid quarters in an internal trial too and we have now had some decent football leading into the real season.
This week we play Port Magpies at home in a trial which will get us a little bit more ready for round 1.
It appears Port had a good trial against Sturt and I am sure they will want to acquit themselves very well regardless of it being a trial or not.
It will be good for our players to play under more intensity also.
Just as a side note, we had one team in our traditional navy and white play against a team that was predominantly white.
There has been a lot of talk about alternative Guernsey’s and on the surface it is probably a good idea.
One of the problems that arise from this is that for us or any other club to have mainly white as an alternative, we strongly clash with the umpires, who have publically stated they will not change from their traditional white.
We are asked to be aware of umpires of course but to have a white alternative strip it would make it very difficult if the umpires persisted in staying in their current uniform.
The other thing we have to have happen at South is a change in the constitution for any change to occur in our current Guernsey too.
All of it is thought provoking but it makes for interesting discussion doesn’t it?
Hickinbotham Oval to become a fortress
Wednesday 3rd March - By Ronny's Blog
There are only a few clubs that are able to enjoy their ground and facilities all year round.
Some are restricted by having cricket or baseball on the ovals right up to the beginning of the football season.
It is a refreshing change to have the ability to use our ground, gym (etc) and then to be able to play trial games at home as well.
In the 15 full seasons that we have been at Noarlunga there is only one year, ( 2006 ) that we have won more than we have lost at home.
Not by coincidence it was also the only year that the club has played in finals since developing Hickinbotham Oval, which goes to prove how important winning games on your home ground is, if we want to be participating in the major round.
As you can also imagine we need to make our ground a real fortress as well as developing a group that can sustain winning performances.
With the rule regarding interstate players ( which will be restricted to 8 ) coming in next year the importance of raising home grown footballers becomes critical.
The year 2006, I saw 19 of the 21 players who were involved in finals come from interstate or other clubs.
This was proved to be unsustainable at the time and is even more impossible with the new regulations.
With a facility that is ours all year round and with the need to produce more from our zone we really have to make Hickinbotham Oval the place that the best young footballers want to call home, then forge their trade, to fulfill their dreams, like young men have never totally done before.
I know the club is continually looking to improve the ground as well as its surroundings to become far and away the best of its kind in the SANFL.
It is something we will all be proud of and will then make it a privilege to be associated with the South Adelaide Football Club.
Meanwhile I will enjoy the luxury of coaching and the players will also enjoy that same privilege of having our ground all year round.
Leadership group decided
Wednesday 24th February - By Ronny's Blog
Continuing our family theme of last week we are glad to announce that our Football Manager and his partner Mirrelle are proud to announce the safe, healthy arrival of Chloe Louise Janna.
No problems were encountered but Neill assures me he will be back on board for the Eagles’ trial.
We have decided on a smaller leadership group for the on coming season and it will consist of Ben Warren, Michael Handby and Brad Crabb.
We hope to announce the respective leadership roles for these players shortly to enable the rest of the group to take on board who will fill the positions.
As always the position of captain and his deputies comes with it the responsibility to the whole football club as well as the privilege to fulfill the roles.
The decision to have these guys fill the leadership roles was taken after considerable thought and deliberation.
The same thought and deliberation will be taken to nominate the final positions as well.
I know that all 3 men will undertake the responsibility I mentioned with a lot of energy in any position they fill.
I hope to see as many of our supporters as possible to the trial game on Saturday.
The players selected for the senior squad will come from the players who are fit, ready to go and have had a thorough pre season.
With this being the case it will give us a good base to promote those that get to a good fitness level as well as good performances in the reserves when an opportunity at in the league team arises.
I know from past experience that the team that represents us in the first trial of the year will have little resemblance to the team in our last game of the year.
Those that do play this week will get first crack at it though and as many learned experts will tell you, “ The rest is up to the players”.
The 2010 football season is getting close.
Trials a close
Wednesday 17th February 2010 - By Ronny's Blog
The season is getting close when we start picking teams for the first trial.
This will be on the 27th February against the Eagles at Hickinbotham Oval and after weeks and weeks of training without a goal at the end of the week the players are certainly keen to start competing again.
On the 6th of March we will be having an internal trial for our supporters to get to know the new players in the group.
We then round off our preparation with games against Port and Norwood leading up to round 1 against Sturt which is also at Hickinbotham Oval.
As mentioned we have put together some teams in the past week and the good thing is that there is plenty of competition for places in the team.
Each week recently, the players who have been in rehab have started to ease their way back into full scale training which is also making selection a bit more difficult.
All good things I would have thought though.
Since Christmas Ben Warren has been wed and it will be interesting to see if the stability of marriage has a positive effect on Ben’s football.
Our strength and rehabilitation coach Terry Jeffries also announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child.
With the playing group predominantly single and without children we hope some family examples can rub off so little panthers start hitting the ground for the future.
First things first though.
The football is nearly upon us.
Bring on Season 2010
Wednesday 27th January 2010 - By Ronny's Blog
Happy New Year to all South Adelaide supporters.
I am sure we are all excited about a new football season approaching and as I write, it is under 5 weeks until we play the Eagles in a trial game at Hickinbotham Oval.
We have come a fair way since we resumed training for 2010 in early November 2009.
In this time we have had Nick Liddle, Andrew Horne, Dylan Joyce, Xavier Gotch, Guy O’Keefe, Taylor Whitford, Sam Livingston, Shane Gaston and Kade Klemke all relocate in Adelaide.
All the boys have settled into the club, our training and the lifestyle well.
We have also had Josh Taylor come to our club from Port Adelaide where he played senior football in 2008, after a season in the amateurs.
The recruits have come along nicely but equally important is the local players who we are looking to develop and improve the group significantly.
I have been extremely impressed with the application of most of the home grown products and as I mentioned we feel the most improvement for us can come from within.
This is the process we want to take in the future and while we did recruit those mentioned, the focus in future years will be selective recruiting, then bring on the boys who have grown up in the club.
Tom Caudle, Brad Crabb, Jacob Crate, Jake Veide, Tom Butler, Michael Leonard, Nick Murphy, Curtis Perrey, Neil Reeve, Alex Splitt, James Turner, Dylan Williams, Daniel Trevena and Tarak Redigolo have not missed a beat and I am sure our supporters who have followed them through the grades would be keen to see them succeed as league footballers.
We also have had a sprinkling of underage players training with us and Nathan Pelle, Andrew Carter, Aaron Moules and Rhys McKay have benefitted from the program.
Others like Eli Horrocks, Sean Beath, Luke Bowd, Tyson Davis-Neale and Tom Johnson who are just out of the under 18’s will be looking to cement their places in the squad after solid preparations too.
We have had some setbacks too but it is good to see Peter Rolfe, Jack Kennedy-Hunt and Keegan Brooksby getting closer to playing condition after pre season interruptions.
Adam Cockshell, Mitch Sandery, Nick McKenna, Nathan Lyons and Lee Schmidt are benefitting from a full preseason after their initial introduction to the club last year too.
I am sure you are also happy to know that the experienced campaigners like Ben Warren, Michael Handby and Josh Thewlis have also handled the program well and are coming along nicely too.
Added to all this we have Daniel Talia, who is a versatile big man on the Crows list as well as another big man, Port Rookie, Daniel Bass available to play football with us in 2010.
As has been mentioned before, we are under no illusion as to the task ahead of the club but we are also not putting any limits on what we can achieve if we are all united in our efforts at the club.
The supporters can be as important in the campaign as anyone else and we all look forward to some strong following from all concerned.
I hope to report further progress as the season moves on.
See you at the Football.