Ben Warren – a country lad who hails from Langhorne Creek, a SANFL captain and coach and a dual premiership player – will don the North Clare tri-colours in the North Eastern Football League season opener against reigning premiers RSMU this Saturday, April 22.
“I took training for Peter Cook last week,” Warren, currently assistant coach at Sturt, said.
“The Double Blues are playing in the Anzac Day clash at Unley against the Eagles on Tuesday and my home club isn’t playing on Saturday either.
“Because I’m still regarded as a SANFL player, and haven’t played at that level for three years, I was able to get a clearance to play to North.”
Warren had a long and successful career with South Adelaide, culminating in him being captain of the Panthers in his final year at Noarlunga.
He returned to Langhorne Creek and played in a Great Southern Football League flag in 2011, before deciding he was still capable of having an impact at SANFL.
He moved to Norwood and flourished under the mentorship of Nathan Bassett.
Warren enjoyed back-to-back premierships with the Redlegs in 2012 against West Adelaide and 2013 against North, where many people regarded him as best on ground.
Later that year, with Bassett moving into AFL coaching ranks at Essendon, Warren was thrust into the role as senior coach of the Norwood Football League.
In the winter the SANFL grand final returned to Adelaide Oval after a 40-year hiatus, Warren added pace to the Redlegs outfit and they captured a heart-stopping three point victory over arch enemy Port Adelaide.
A likeable knockabout footballer Warren, now 35, added the title of league premiership coach to his already extensive CV.
At the end of the 2016 season, Warren was sacked from the role as senior coach at The Parade.
Between 2001-10, Warren played 163 league games with the Panthers, and one state game, becoming a player life member of the club.
He played another 42 games across two seasons with the Redlegs, achieving SANFL life membership.
Warren was club leading goal kicker on seven occasions, six with South and once at Norwood