By ZAC MILBANK
A full round of Wednesday night matches form an innovative feature of the newly-released 2023 Torrens University SANFL U18 and U16 fixtures.
All four Round 16 games in both the Torrens University SANFL U18s and U16s will be played on Wednesday August 2, with the U16s kicking off at 5pm ahead of the U18s at 7.15pm.
Following last year’s successful introduction of bye rounds for the U18 AFL National Championships and Inter Col weekend, the introduction of midweek matches is another measure to ensure the state’s best footballers are showcased in both Torrens University competitions.
”We have been working closely with the schools so that we can maximise the amount of appearances players can make in both SANFL and school football competitions,” SANFL Head of Football Operations Sean Toohey said.
”A bye round on Saturday August 26 for Inter Col weekend is another example of this as well as a double bye on the weekends of Saturday June 17 and Saturday June 24 for the U18 AFL National Championships.”
Featuring a new name and a new logo, the Torrens University SANFL U18 and U16s begin a week earlier than the Hostplus SANFL League and Reserves on Saturday March 25.
Both competitions have again been closely aligned to ease pressure on club staff and match-day volunteers.
Staggering the start times of U18 games so that two regularly begin on a Saturday at 11am and two at 1.15pm will also allow AFL recruiters to maximise the amount of players they are watching live each weekend.
Round 4 match times for both competitions are still to be confirmed with plans in place to potentially play games in conjunction with AFL clubs based in Adelaide for the AFL’s inaugural Gather Round on the weekend of Saturday April 15.
Collingwood is set to be based at West Adelaide’s Hisense Stadium while rival Geelong will be at Woodville-West Torrens’ home of Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, allowing for Torrens University SANFL U18 and U16 games to be linked up with the AFL clubs’ training sessions.
Finals for both competitions will begin on the weekend of Saturday September 2 with plans in place for the two Grand Finals to again be played back-to-back at Adelaide Oval as a triple-header with the Hostplus SANFL League Preliminary Final on Sunday, September 17.
SANFL Head of Football Operations Sean Toohey
''We have been working closely with the schools so that we can maximise the amount of appearances players can make in both SANFL and school football competitions.''