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It all starts Saturday
2014 Season Preview
Adelaide Plains Football League
HARD to believe but footy and
netball season is already here this
weekend, with Mallala hosting
Two Wells, the two clubs that took
part in last year’s A grade grand
Hamley Bridge, which finished
second at the end of the minor
round in 2013, bowed out in
straight sets and welcomes the
fourth-placed Virginia Rams to
Bomberland on Saturday.
There’s plenty going on around
the APFL at the moment, with
the league’s historical first Anzac
Day game to be played at Mallala
against United on Friday, April 25.
In a change to regular schedul-
ing, senior colts will kick things off
close to midday, followed by the
reserves and A grade at the later
Junior colts will round out the day’s
proceedings at 6pm under lights,
along with the A1 netball.
United will mark its 50th anni-
versary since its formation this
season, with a huge weekend of
celebrations planned in June.
Two Wells should be unveiling
its new club and change rooms,
which were revamped over the
Balaklava will be testing out its
new lighting system during a trial
with Berri on Friday night, the
club also installing an automated
underground watering system
Over at Lochiel, Hummocks-
Watchman Eagles should also be
welcoming fans to a newly reno-
vated clubroom area, featuring a
new canteen plus much more.
Hamley Bridge has been busy in
the recruiting department, picking
up two huge signings in former
Adelaide Crow, Ben Dowdell, and
SANFL star, Toby Stribling.
Plenty to digest already without a
ball being kicked as yet, so without
further ado, let’s head into the pre-
view for the various clubs around
the league, starting with last year’s
premiers, Mallala, and continuing
in 2013’s finishing order.
TWELVE months ago, Mallala’s
Angus Bruggemann was preparing to
line up for his home club against Bal-
aklava in round one of the Adelaide
Plains Football League.
Fast forward to 2014 and he is only
days away from a SANFL debut with
The 23-year-old forward was
officially contracted to the club on
Monday night, after enduring a long
and arduous preseason with Port,
which started in October last year.
The contract is an SANFL lifeline
for Bruggemann, who played with
Woodville-West Torrens under 18s
after leaving Rostrevor College but
moved away from the club, as so many
do, to play country footy.
He went from Mallala in 2009,
to Naracoorte, Kangaroo Island and
Meningie before returning to Mallala
“I started playing better footy at
Mallala, I just loved my time there
and enjoyed everything about it,”
“I put that down to just wanting to
play well for my home club.”
His fitness improved throughout
the year and as the season wore on,
opportunities to play at higher levels
continued to present.
Bruggemann was selected to play
the Landmark Cup in the Adelaide
Plains Football League team, which
led to Central Zone selection for the
State Country Championships in
Agood performance there secured
a spot with the South Australian
Country team, coached by Mallala
mentor, Steve Lubcke.
Bruggemann rose to the occasion
again, playing a vital role in the win
over WA Country in Perth.
“I always had this running joke
with my parents saying if I made the
state team, I would give the SANFL
another crack,” he said.
“Instead of me chasing SANFL
clubs though, they started calling me.”
Sharing a locker room with AFL
stars including Brad Ebert and Travis
Boak took some getting used to but
Bruggemann said the playing group
has been more than welcoming.
“They appreciate you as much as
you appreciate them, just like playing
at any footy club,” he said.
Often derided for his heavier ap-
pearance, Bruggemann has now shed
13 kilograms on the back of a huge
preseason and club-directed diet.
“It was definitely a rude awaken-
ing coming from country footy with
these fitness levels required,” he said.
“Fitness has always been one of
my issues, so it took a while to get
used to it.”
Bruggemann will make his SAN-
FL League debut with Port Adelaide
Magpies against Norwood at Coopers
Stadium on Thursday night.
The match will be telecast live on
7mate from 7pm.
“I do get nervous so I just try not
to think about it too much,” Brugge-
His selection is also a wake-up call
for all country footballers with hopes
of an SANFL lifeline.
“I definitely reckon there’s all the
opportunities in the world for country
footballers now,” Bruggemann said.
“There’s opportunities around but
if you’re going to give it a go, you’ve
got to give it 100 per cent.
“Even at trainings, we’re weighed
in and weighed out and wear GPS
trackers, so there’s no hiding at the
back of groups for a drill or two, as
they’ll find out pretty quickly.”
Plucked from the country:
Bruggemann heads to Port
MALLALA’S Angus Bruggemann in his
official Port Adelaide profile photo and
(left) competing in the 2006 Landmark
Cup as a junior.
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