SE footballers keen for redemption

BACK IN ACTION: Matt Willson will slot back into the South East Zone team as captain for the SA Country Championships. (File)

By Trevor Jackson

THE South East Zone representative football team will compete in the South Australian Country Championships this weekend at Victor Harbor.

Each Zone competing in the championships have to nominate a playing squad of 24 players.

A minimum of four players from the zone must be under 21 years as at January 1, 2024, but the SE side has six, with some strong young players from around the region.

All 24 players are eligible to compete in all scheduled matches.

KNTFL’s Nick Davis takes on the coaching duties again, assisted by Clint Gallio (MSEFL) and Tom Renzi (LCFNL).

For Davis, everything has come together well, with all players keen to head off and try their luck.

“We are looking all right,” he said.

“We are pretty happy with what we have together and I think we should put in a good showing.”

Davis said it is a similar team to last year, with the six Under 21s in the side because “they were up for it”.

“Campbell Watts is from Kingston and made the state team last year,” he said.

“He goes really well.

“Billy Wiese is only 19 years old and is a small forward.

“He is coming third in the goal kicking in the KNT in just his second year of A Grade.

“Patrick Chay is leading the goal kicking down in the Mid South East league and we were lucky to pick up Troy Blackwell this year, which is good.”

As for the on-ground leaders, Matt Willson comes in as captain and Jacob Eats vice captain.

“Both of those guys have made multiple teams of the carnival in the zone competitions,” Davis said.

“They are pretty keen to get into it.”

The championships are tough, with two minor round games to set the side up for a grand final berth.

However, that does not always go to plan.

Last year the SE side won both its minor round games, but so did other teams, so they missed out on percentage.

The year before they won the championship and had lost the first game.

“It is the luck of the draw in a way,” Davis said.

“This year we play Friday night which is something different.

“I am confident we can get the win on Friday night, then we will be fresh for Saturday’s game.

“Hopefully we make the grand final and see where we go from there.”

Once the competition is over a team of the carnival is selected.

From there the state country team is selected to play Western Australia on July 28 at the Adelaide Oval.

Davis said that venue itself provided plenty of incentive to work hard.

“The Adelaide Oval is a huge carrot for the boys to play for South Australia and on the Adelaide Oval,” he said.

The SE men face the Eyre Peninsula on Friday night at 8.25pm, then Central on Saturday at 1pm, which provides plenty of time for rest and recovery.

South East Zone team

Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League

Bordertown: Jacob Eats – Vice Captain; Troy Blackwell.

Keith: Daniel Bibby.

Kingston: Campbell Watts (U21).

Lucindale: Henry Tregoweth; Tom Fisher.

Mundulla: Billy Wiese (U21); Nick Mosey; Darcy King; Reagan Tink.

Naracoorte: Matt Willson – Captain.

Padthaway: Nathan McCarthy.

Penola: Beau Shinnick.

Limestone Coast Football Netball League

Millicent: Kade Bradley; Kade Varcoe (U21); Harry Tunkin (U21); Kalan Shanks (U21); Finn Grimes.

South Gambier: Mason Hein.

Mid South Eastern Football League

Glencoe: Dylan Childs.

Hatherleigh: Patrick Chay (U21); Mitch Pulmer.

Kalangadoo: Tye McManus.

Mount Burr: Sam Wallis.