CAN Norwood win back-to-back SANFL flags for the first time since 1922-23? That is the major question to be answered leading into the 2013 season.
The Redlegs have tasted success and have kept a good side together, in spite of losing Jaryd Cachia and Nathan Batsanis among others.
Over the past three years Norwood has been a top three side, after struggling for a number of seasons, and its window of opportunity is still wide open, so should be able to build on its 2012 success.
Coach Nathan Bassett is an AFL coach in the waiting, and has cut his teeth well in the SANFL, with perhaps this season proving his credentials beyond any doubt.
Under coach Andy Collins, West Adelaide threatened to make finals for several years before breaking through last season, and then going on to its first grand final since 2003.
Losing the Caruso brothers, Fort and Nat will be a blow, as is Ben Fisher’s retirement. And with limited recruitment, it could be a tough assignment to replicate 2012 form.
There have been plenty of off-field issues for the Bloods leading into this season, which could have an affect, but with the taste of finals and only one step further required to win their first flag since 1983, they could surprise.
North Adelaide showed signs last season of bursting through to be a premiership contender, with victories over every side in the competition, but also lost to seven of the other eight clubs.
That inconsistency is what leaves question marks over the Roosters for 2013, although one can expect they will challenge for a finals berth.
Losing triple Magarey Medallist James Allan to retirement will be a blow, but not as big as Clint Alleway, as the large forward has been a major contributor in keeping the scoreboard ticking over in important wins.
Central District lost its first minor final this millennium last season (12 consecutive second semi-final victories and four qualifying final successes from 2000-2011), and after 12 straight grand finals, was bundled out in straight sets last year.
For many people that would spell the end of the road, but history has repeatedly shown that SANFL teams at the top for long periods often recover after a dip.
The question is, can the Bulldogs also get its mojo back after losing arguably their best ever recruits, with the retirement of the Gowans twins, James and Chris.
Central has also lost a pair of best and fairest winners in Ed Sansbury and Chad O’Sullivan, but after an injury-plagued season in 2012, will there be some comeback years from some unlikely sources?
After winning an exciting grand final by three points in 2011, Woodville West Torrens started last season with five losses before recovering to qualify for the finals, although eliminated in the first week.
This millennium the Eagles have only once failed to play finals footy, and are the second most successful club in the period, with six grand final appearances and two flags.
Losing veterans Mark McKenzie, Justin Cicolella and Robert Shirley will be hard to replace, but with several returning players and some exciting youth coming through, the Eagles will again be a force in 2013.
Glenelg recovered from a dismal period near the bottom of the SANFL ladder for several seasons to rebuild into a top three side for a couple of years, but has been inching its way down the ladder over the past three years, to fall out of the finals for the first time since 2006.
For the Tigers it is important to recover now and climb back into the top five in 2013, to reinvigorate the hopes of the supporters, and add that special bit of colour Glenelg seems to bring to the competition.
The Bays have a host of ins and outs but the nucleus is still there, and unless ravaged by injuries, expect the Tigers to be knocking on the door of the top five late in the season.
There has been a lot happening at Port Adelaide, with the ‘One Club’ between the Magpies and Power, the financial problems and a change of coach, with former Crow Ken McGregor taking over the helm.
Jeremy Clayton’s retirement is a huge loss, although not the impact player he was, while there are several interesting recruits, including Central premiership player Andrew Hayes and the son of a former Magpie great, Will Northeast.
A struggling side over the past few years, the Magpies could be reinvigorated under McGregor and challenge for a finals birth, or fall down the ladder while rebuilding.
Only two finals appearances in 20 years just isn’t good enough, although South Adelaide was involved in September action just two seasons ago.
The Panthers fell down with a thud in 2012, although it must be remembered they only won nine games in qualifying for finals in 2011.
Under Ron Fuller, South was expected to become a regular finals participant. This season will be a testing year, because to miss September action again would send all the wrong messages.
A change of captain to Josh Thewlis and some interesting recruiting, could see the Panthers start a move in a positive direction.
Sturt is reigning wooden-spooners, a title the Double Blues faithful have tasted too many times over the past 20-odd years, while at least there has been one flag, in 2002.
A proud club, with a proud history, Sturt has been struck with financial difficulties again off-field, but supporters from unlikely places – other SANFL clubs – have helped rally behind the Double Blues, which could work in their favour.
The return of Michael Coad to the club, as captain, is a positive move, while Jade Sheedy’s retirement will be felt. Consistent form could see Sturt challenge for a finals berth.
Last season – first.
Most recent premiership – 2012.
Recent finals – Past three years, and four times in past decade.
Coach – Nathan Bassett
Captain – Keiran McGuinness.
Expected 2013 position – first.
Ins: Craig Evans (Sturt), Anthony Wilson (Port Magpies), Luke Wilson (Port Magpies), Lewis Stevenson (via Port Power), Matthew Panos (Western Bulldogs/returning), Jesse Aish (Barossa District/returning), Scott Oakley (Rochester GVFL), Sam Baulderstone (Country/North).
Outs: Angus Clarke (overseas), Jaryd Cachia (Carlton), Tom Langford (North), Nick Dinham (North), Dean Terlich (Melbourne), Mitch Wilkins (North Melbourne), Roland Ah Chee (South), Alex Stopp (Sturt), James Gallagher (retired), Nathan Batsanis (Port Melbourne), David Rodan (Melbourne).
Last season – second.
Most recent premiership – 1983.
Recent finals – 2012 first time since 2004.
Coach – Andy Collins.
Captain – Ryan Ferguson.
Expected 2013 position – fifth.
Ins: Brad Mangan (Kangaroos), Travis Tuck (Werribee/Hawthorn), Ryan Anderson (returning).
Outs: Ben Fisher (retired), Ryan Willits (Victoria), Kaiden Brand (Hawthorn), Scott Blesing (TBC), Brad Fisher (Victoria), Fort Caruso (Victoria), Nat Caruso (Victoria), Marc Borholm (Eagles), Kurt Tippett (TBC).
Last season – third.
Most recent premiership – 1991.
Recent finals – 2012, first time since 2009.
Coach – Josh Francou.
Captain – Greg Gallman.
Expected 2013 position – fourth.
Ins: Matthew Campbell (Kangaroos/returning), Jorda Wilson-King (Fremantle/returning), Sam Siggins (via Adelaide Crows), Matthew Westhoff (Central), Tom Langford (Norwood), Nick Dinham (Norwood), Nathan Gordon (Sydney), Daniel Archer (St Kilda), Jo Anderson (Sturt), Chad O’Sullivan (Central).
Outs: Mitch Clisby (Melbourne), Sam Mayes (Brisbane), Daniel Currie (North Melbourne), James Allan (retired), Clint Alleway (retired), James Bennett (Canberra).
Last season – fourth.
Most recent premiership – 2010.
Recent finals – Every season since 2000, and 19 of the past 20 years.
Coach – Roy Laird.
Captain – Paul Thomas.
Expected 2013 position – second.
Ins: Dylan Hewett (Broughton Mundoora), Tim Meulindyks (Hamilton), Jackson Potter (Sydney), Jack Osborn (via Adelaide Crows), Sam Milne (NSW), Seb Guilhaus.
Outs: Ed Sansbury (Toowoomba), Damian Hynes (Seaton Ramblers), Jack Hannath (Fremantle), Troy Menzel (Carlton), Chad O’Sullivan (North), Matthew Westhoff (North), Andrew Hayes (Port Magpies), James Gowans (retired), Chris Gowans (retired), Jackson O’Brien (Angaston), James Lawton (Glenelg).
Last season – fifth
Most recent premiership – 2011
Recent finals – Past four seasons and nine of past 10 seasons.
Coach – Michael Godden.
Captain – Luke Powell.
Expected 2013 position – Third.
Ins: Kane Mitchell (via Port Power), Campbell Heath (via Port Power), Marc Borholm (West), Andrew Ainger (South), Lachlan Carey (South), Tim MacKenzie (North Ballarat), Daniel Kirk (Glenelg), Jarred Allmond (returning), Matthew Jacquier (returning), Jarrod Harding (returning), Glenn Dawson (returning).
Outs: Nick Hayes (Brisbane), Jimmy Toumpas (Melbourne), Matthew McDonough (Richmond), Tim Sumner (Gold Coast), Mark McKenzie (retired), Justin Cicolella (retired), Robert Shirley (retired), Ben Greiger (retired), Robert Eddy (Victoria), Chris Knights (Richmond).
Last season – sixth.
Most recent premiership – 1986.
Recent finals – Missed last season for first time since 2006.
Coach – Kris Massie.
Captain – Ty Allen.
Expected 2013 position – sixth.
Ins: Dylan Gamble (Mount Burr), Carl Slape (Kybybolite), Tom Clurey (via Port Power), Tim Klaosen (via Adelaide Crows), Andrew Hooper (Western Bulldogs), Boyd McCurry (Port Lincoln), Hayden Jolly (Gold Coast/returning), Lachlan Roach (Adelaide Uni/North Adelaide), Darcy Arnfield (Clare/returning), Dylan McNeil (Sydney), Tim Walsh (former Port Magpie), Ryan McInerney (former Port Magpie), Shaun Tapp (NT Thunder).
Outs: Nathan Stark (Melbourne), Ben Kennedy (Collingwood), Tim O’Brien (Hawthorn), Brodie Murdoch (St Kilda), Shannon Snook (South), Sam Rudolph (retired), Daniel Kirk (Eagles), Drew Clayfield (delisted), Josh Giddings (delisted), Clint Diment (delisted), Scott O’Shaughnessy (delisted).
Last season – seventh
Most recent premiership – 1999
Recent finals – None since 2008, only three times in past decade.
Coach – Ken McGregor.
Captain – James Meiklejohn.
Expected 2013 position – ninth.
Ins: Andrew Hayes (Central), Henry Slattery (Essendon/West), Will Northeast (Eagles), Jacob Surjan (Port Power), Ollie Wines (via Port Power), Jake Nead (via Port Power).
Outs: Anthony Wilson (Norwood), Tim Broomhead (Collingwood), Jeremy Clayton (retired), Mark Dolling (retired), Jarrod Young (retired), Daniel Lees (retired), Ben Jacobs (Kangaroos).
Last season – eighth.
Most recent premiership – 1964.
Recent finals – Twice since 1992, 2006 and 2011.
Coach – Ron Fuller.
Captain – Josh Thewlis.
Expected 2013 position – eighth.
Ins: Brett Eddy (Collingwood, VFL), Tom Fields (Labrador), Jordan Taylor (Murray Bushrangers), Kyle Hartigan (via Adelaide Crows), Mason Shaw (via Port Power), Brede Seccull (VFL), John McDonald (Sturt), Roland Ah Chee (Norwood).
Outs: Ben Casley (Williamstown), Andrew Ainger (Eagles), Lachlan Carey (Eagles), Jacob Crate (local), Michael Leonard (local), Xavier Watson (Eyre Peninsula), Tom Beilby (Victoria).
Last season – ninth.
Most recent premiership – 2002.
Recent finals – Last time 2010, seven times in past decade.
Coach – Seamus Maloney.
Captain – Michael Coad.
Expected 2013 position – seventh.
Ins: Tom Johnson (Langhorne Creek/South Adelaide), Simon Potts (North Adelaide), Anthony Carlisle (South Adelaide), Nick Pearce (Kilburn), Sam Smith (Flagstaff Hill), Jake Sutcliffe (returning), Angus Graham (via Adelaide Crows), Rory Atkins (via Adelaide Crows), Alex Stopp (Norwood), Jack Hombsch (via Port Power), Michael Coad (Gold Coast/returning), Angus Monfries (via Port Power).
Outs: Craig Evans, Mark Neilsen, Brendan Littler, Jo Anderson (North), Brad Hartman (Geelong), Jade Sheedy (retired), Josh Cubillo (Vic), Sam Miles (retired), Tristian Gum (WA), James Plant (retired), Danyle Pearce (Fremantle), Troy Chaplin (Richmond), John McDonald (South).
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Thanks to Phil Aspinal for help compiling the ins and outs.
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