SANFL first-timer takes well to the field

Running out: Eudunda lad Aaron Niestchke runs onto the SANFL field for the first time on Saturday. Photo: Peter Argent.

Running out: Eudunda lad Aaron Niestchke runs onto the SANFL field for the first time on Saturday. Photo: Peter Argent.

​The stellar season for Eudunda lad Aaron Nietschke continued last Saturday.

He made his SANFL league debut for Central District in the round 17 clash against the ladder leading Redlegs at Elizabeth Oval in a televised game.

Nietschke shows the same endeavor, work rate and ball winning ability at league level as he previously did in Under 18s and Reserves football this year.

“You certainly had to do more running, but I thought I handed the step up ok,” Nietschke told Northern Argus.

“The boys got around after I kicked my first goal, but personally I didn’t think much of it, as we were down by plenty.  

“It was pretty frustrating losing, but it was better than the last time we played Norwood.”

“Had a lot of people message me wishing me the best of luck before the game.

“My mum, Karen and dad, Kym came down to watch the game.”

Nietschke, after the senior team’s bye week, received his call up to league level on the back of a 39 possession game at Under 18 level in the previous week’s mammoth win against West Adelaide.

Starting on the grandstand wing with Ben Jeffries as his first league opponent, Nietschke procured his first touch early in the first quarter and finished with a highly respectable 23 disposals (12 kicks and 11 hand balls) along with four marks, one tackle and he received two free kicks.  

At the 22 minute mark of the final quarter Nietschke received a free kick 40 metres out on a slight angle kicking towards the northern end and with strong composure slotted his first major in league football, sparking riotous celebrations and congratulations his teammates.

In tough, windy conditions Central Districts were no match for the current competition yardstick, the  Norwood side, who are on a 12-game winning streak, going down 12. 13 (85) to 6.6 (42), by a significant 43-point margin.

Central District senior coach Roy Laird said Aaron beat an established hundred-plus game SANFL footballer in his first match. 

“Other parts of his game that impressed me were Aaron’s work to get back and support the defence and the way he used the ball once he won it,” Laird said. 

“This was an impressive first up performance and now he needs to back that up.”

Nietschke also became the third member of this year’s victorious SANFL under 18s title winning side from Central District to play league football this campaign, following Trinity College lad Jackson Hately and Tanunda’s Jez McLennan.  

Considered unlucky not to make the AFL National Draft Combine selection in early October, he is among 23 SANFL players to be invited to the SA state screening of the AFL draft.

Nietschke joins a cluster of North Eastern footballers who have played SANFL league football this year.