Under the tutelage of undefeated State country coach Steve Lubcke, the Central Zone has selected seven North Eastern Football League players for its initial squad which will play in the 2017 Country Championships to be held at Murray Bridge on July 8-9.
THE NEFL players include reigning Mail medallist Sam Heinjus from BSR, RSMU’s form midfielder Patrick Clark, evergreen South Clare selection Brodie Murphy, Mintaro-Manoora indigenous talent Steve Rusca, along with a trio to North Clare Roosters, Central District reserves footballer Cohen Pettitt, a TAC Cup underage player from Victoria, Jayden White, and exciting young defender, Lachlan Jaeschke.
The final travelling squad for the tournament is 25 and needs to included six players that are under 21.
THE NEFL contingent are: Sam Heinjus - BSR, Patrick Clark - RSMU, Steve Rusca - Min Man, Brodie Murphy - South Clare, Cohen Pettitt, Jayden White *, Lachlan Jaeschke * - North Clare
Those marked with a * are under 21 years of age.
BEST OF ENEMIES
Both North Eastern football talents, Mintaro-Manoora’s Harry Schoenberg and Southern Saint Aaron Nietschke were opponents in the initial hit out by the South Australian under 16 and under 17 teams at Football Park on Friday night.
Schoenberg, who has been confirmed in the squad of 25 to play for South Australia this year, is also playing for Prince Alfred College this season.
After the “Futures contest”, the under 16 side will play a match against Western Australia at Leederville Oval, followed by a trial with Sacred Heart at Football Park at 11am on July 1. Then they will play the final two games of the campaign on Metricon Stadium (Gold Coast) and the Gabba against the two Victorian teams, Country and Metro.
Nietschke, who is in the SA program for the first time, will wear the traditional red, blue and gold jumper for the first time on Saturday.
Central District Under 18 coach Darren Reeves said Nietschke would probably be leading the best and fairest count at the moment.
“Aaron has an ability to get the right spots and accumulate possessions,” he said.
“A strong decision mark, as a midfielder Aaron is able to get forward and kick goals.
“He has continued to improve on his form from last season, when he came up and played with us (at SANFL under 18 level) as a 16-years-old.
“A Faith High school student he travels from his home between Eudunda and Robertstown to train twice a week as well as play.
“On top of everything else, Aaron is a terrific lad.”