McNeil puts in new academy

It seems these days football never finishes.

The new AFL Academy structure which includes 30 talents from each of the main football states along with a NEAFL Academy, which totals 150 of the best young footballers across the nation, have held their inaugural camps.

Among the 30 South Australian-based players in the AFL hub is Clare lad and SANFL under 18 premiership player Lachie McNeil.

The South Australian group was expected to fly to Alice Springs on Friday, November 30, but technology got in the way.

A problem with the Qantas flight meant the group was forced to train on Football Park then they flew out to Alice Springs via Queensland on Saturday.

This elite group of the best young talents in our state still went through more than a dozen session.s including speed and agility training, skill sessions, a cultural tour and team building activities.

There was also recruiting staff from the AFL who also interviewed players for the 2019 AFL draft.

MCPHARLIN STARS

A dominant display from the Adelaide Strikers has led them to their first WBBL|04 victory on Sunday in the opening round at the famous Junction Oval (now called CitiPower Centre) in St Kilda, Melbourne.  

Batting cleverly in the middle order Tegan McPharlin (30 runs off 22 balls), produced a 52-run partnership with player of the match, Sophie Devine, (89 from just 55 balls) as the Strikers cruised to 7/172 after 20 overs.

Chasing the highly competitive total, the Brisbane Heat finished 37 runs short of their target, despite only losing two wickets.

McPharlin, rated as one of the best keepers in the women’s game, also snaffled a catch as well.

The Strikers take on the Melbourne Renegades on December 8 and 9, at CitiPower Centre and in Ballarat respectively.

Both McPharlin and Clare quick Ellie Falconer were in the original squad, but Falconer was given the drinks duties again.

Coach Andrea McCauley, another country girl, believes  the Strikers have a potent squad that Is capable of success in the 2018-19 campaign.

COUNTRY CRICKETERS HONOURED AT ADELAIDE OVAL

A proposal championed five years ago by South Australian Country Cricket chair Ian Ravenscroft, from the Yorke Peninsula, has come to fruition.

The most northern bar at the back of the western grandstand in the members’ area of the famous Adelaide Oval will now be named the  Country Cricketers’ Bar.

This celebrates rural cricket’s outstanding contribution to our summer passion of “leather and willow” and the many players, coaches and administrators that have made sacrifices to ensure talents have the opportunity to parade their skills at the home of South Australian sport. 

Many of the great names of South Australian cricket have a country cricket heritage including Greg Blewett, Peter Sleep, Darren Lehmann, Jeff Vaughan, Peter Rolfe, Shaun Tait and Eudunda born quick Kane Richardson.

“It was exciting receiving this official confirmation,” Ravenscroft said.

“This is a great fillip for all country cricket and cricketers to be recognized in this way.

“It initially was a dream that country cricket was acknowledged at the Adelaide Oval, and this has now become to reality.

“This is a significant recognition for country cricket players, past and present, as well as the volunteers and members and represents their importance and contribution to cricket in South Australia.

“I would like to thank the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) Board and the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA ) for their support of this request, all of country cricket in our great state are very appreciative.

“Now when country people attend the Adelaide Oval they can be very proud to be acknowledged for their part in cricket in South Australia.”​ 

Ian Ravenscroft - the man behind the Country Cricketers Bar - back in 2013 with another local sporting champ Ryan Darling.

Ian Ravenscroft - the man behind the Country Cricketers Bar - back in 2013 with another local sporting champ Ryan Darling.

Tegan McPharlin recently starred for the Adelaide Strikers against the Brisbane Heat.

Tegan McPharlin recently starred for the Adelaide Strikers against the Brisbane Heat.

In the Genes: Tim McNeil - playing for Angaston - from the Argent Archives. Photo: Peter Argent.

In the Genes: Tim McNeil - playing for Angaston - from the Argent Archives. Photo: Peter Argent.

Lachie McNiel playing for the Eagles this year against the SA U18s - his opponent Aaron Nietschke.

Lachie McNiel playing for the Eagles this year against the SA U18s - his opponent Aaron Nietschke.