Over recent months the Glenelg Football Club has been bombarded by an abundance of South East talent which helped the young Tigers side push to a grand final berth in the SANFL Under 16’s competition.
Playing against some of the future stars of the sport, 11 South East juniors represented half of the Glenelg side in the seven-round season with pride.
The likes of Lochie Thiele, Charlie Hillier, Liam Delaney, Brock Summerhayes, Josh Altus, Eli Redman, Kalan Shanks, Joe Judd, Anders McShane, James Dutton and Kaidyn Weber all flew the Limestone Coast flag at the highlevel competition.
During the minor-round season the Tigers displayed a strong brand of football collecting five wins before knocking off Sturt in the semi-final.
The grand final was a special occasion taking place at Flinders University Stadium on Anzac Day and a tight battle was on the cards. Glenelg was more than up for the fight against ladder-leader South Adelaide during the early stages and even wrestled back the lead before half time.
However, the Tigers did not hold onto its one-goal advantage for long as the Panthers shifted up a gear. South Adelaide flew home kicking 12 goals in the second half to take the trophy in convincing style by 53 points.
Three South East stars found the goals with Altus kicking two, while Dutton and McShane scored one each. Altus also found plenty of the footy collecting 15 disposals and was joined by eight other Limestone Coast players in double figures.
Despite the disappointing finish, the young Tigers can take a lot away from their first foray into the SANFL world. Hillier kicked the club’s most majors with 11, just one straight kick ahead of Summerhayes, while McShane produced the most inside 50s.
Delaney was part of the side’s leadership group as a deputy vice captain and said it was a rewarding experience. “It was pretty surreal playing the grand final with the boys and seeing all the time effort and trainings put in by the team to get there,” he said.