Hi Footy fans... In six days, the mayhem begins once again when the South Australian National Football League kicks off the 2012 Premiership Season. This year promises to be hot... a new SANFL premier, a new state coach and more night-time footy is sure to bring an unprecedented level of excitement to the competition. Woodville-West Torrens escaped AAMI Stadium with the Thomas Seymour-Hill Trophy in last year's decider, the second year in a row that a Grand Final has been decided by no more than a goal. The Bulldogs look set to challenge strongly once more, but then South Adelaide weren't expected to feature in Finals Footy last year so there maybe more surprises in store in this year's edition of SANFL football. So lets get into it... welcome to the Season Preview for SANFL 2012. YOUR TEAM -- Ins & Outs Just quickly... if there's any names missing, just put them on the thread! Chances are I haven't got absolutely everyone on the lists. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS The Eagles had their hearts in their mouths come the dying seconds of the 2011 Grand Final, but the premiership flag would eventually find its way into the trophy cabinet of Oval Avenue after a three-point win against their bitter rivals the Bulldogs. But as with all clubs, some players are going to probably call it a day after a premiership win. Several of their stars are calling it quits, such as James Rimington, Leigh Treeby and Stephen Tiller. But they will be far from short of manpower as Robert Shirley returns to Woodville Oval from ACT club Ainslie, Robert Eddy from St. Kilda and Chris Kane has transferred over from Glenelg. IN: Robert Eddy (St. Kilda), John McCarthy (Power listed), Chris Kane (Glenelg), Robert Shirley (Ainslie NEAFL), Byron Sumner (Sydney), Jarrod Harding (GWS). OUT: Jarred Allmond (Personal Reasons), Stephen Tiller (retired), Cameron Sutcliffe (Fremantle), Leigh Treeby (Sorrento VCFL), James Rimington (retired), Tom Corbett (retired), Brad Geddes (RSMU), Dale Symmons (retired), Stuart Hill (North Adelaide), Amos Frank (Hawthorn). CENTRAL DISTRICT Many at the Ponderosa would be asking only one question after last year's Grand Final loss... "What the hell happened?". It wasn't until the final term that the Dogs made a serious challenge, but the final shot on goal would spray wide to deny them a 10th premiership. Encouragingly for 2012, the exit door wasn't overworked. Fremantle came calling for Lee Spurr, Daniel Havelberg's work commitments finally forced his exit and defending NEAFL premiers NT Thunder made off with Ashley Duncan. Originally known for his dreadlocks, Ben Nason has returned home from Richmond, bringing his Coburg teammate James Lawton with him. IN: Dylan Orval (Crows listed), Ben Nason (Richmond/Coburg), Tom Collier (Brisbane Lions), Jackson O'Brien (Clarence), James Lawton (Coburg), Callum Hay (North Adelaide). OUT: Daniel Havelberg (work commitments), Lee Spurr (Fremantle), Nick White (North Adelaide), Ashley Duncan (NT Thunder), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn). NORWOOD The 2011 campaign was completely derailed come September as injuries to key personnel saw them eliminated in the Preliminary Final after a bruising 2nd Semi. This year, in response to a glut of retirements -- James Gallagher, Stuart Bown and Stephen Doyle among them -- and big league draftings, the Redlegs went shopping and secured several players with a mixture of AFL and SANFL experience. One prominent name is Nathan Batsanis, a member of the Port Melbourne outfit that took the 2011 VFL Premiership undefeated. Former South Adelaide forward Ben Warren has also found his way to The Parade from Great Southern FL club Langhorne Creek, as well as returning players Roland AhChee and Jimmy Savage. Also coming to The Parade to join the coaching panel is former Adelaide premiership player Andrew McLeod, who helped the NT Thunder take out the NEAFL Premiership last year. IN: Kane Murphy (Sydney Reserves), Roland Ah Chee (Gold Coast), Ben Warren (Langhorn Creek), Michael Newton (Melbourne), Jaryd Cachia (Carlton), Nathan Batsanis (Port Melbourne), Brent Renouf (Power listed), Jimmy Savage (GWS). OUT: Cameron Shenton (St. Kilda), Sam Rowe (Carlton), Alex Forster (Fremantle), James Gallagher (retired), Stuart Bown (Retired), Matthew Davis (study), Jesse Aish (Barossa District), Scott Borlace (Brisbane coaching panel). SOUTH ADELAIDE The Panthers were the biggest improvers of 2011, their second appearance in finals football in the last decade saw them finish fourth after reaching the second week of the finals where they were defeated by eventual premiers, the Eagles. Their new mission? Keep things on the improve. Even though several frontline players have moved on -- Mitch Sandery, Adam Cockshell, Andrew Horne, Nathan Lyons among them -- the Panthers have seemed to make up for that with some ex-AFL talent. Coming in from the West Coast Eagles is Tim Houlihan, who actually started his football journey in South's junior region before ending up in the TAC Cup and subsequently to WA. Following him to Noarlunga is Fremantle's Justin Bollenhagen, as well as Todd Pfeiffer and Xavier Watson who transferred from rival SANFL clubs. IN: Tom McNamara (Melbourne), Justin Bollenhagen (Fremantle), Tim Houlihan (West Coast Eagles), Mitch Bosley, Cameron DeVisser (Sacred Heart OC), Ben Casley (GWS), Ben Dowdell (Crows listed), Todd Pfeiffer (North Adelaide) (Tom Redden (Keith / Glenelg), Xavier Watson (Port Magpies), Daniel Bass (Power listed). OUT: Brent MacLeod (Vic), Mitch Sandery (Retired), Adam Cockshell (Port Magpies), Sam Livingston (Vic), Nathan Lyons (Vic), Andrew Horne (Vic), James Turner, Andrew Carter, Daniel Trevena, Steve Woods. GLENELG They were eliminated at the first hurdle by the Panthers when they locked up in the Elimination Final, just one part of a horrid year at the Bay which saw Kris Massie replace Mark Mickan part way through the year as senior coach of the Tigers. The first item on the agenda was to replace the players that packed up and left, a list that was rather long and included some long serving players such as Trevor Cranston, the Kane boys and Luke Panozzo. So Massie and Co went shopping. A mix of ex-AFL and country based talent have lobbed in at Brighton Road, including former Hawthorn defender Riley Milne and former Power player Jason Davenport who transferred from West Adelaide. From the country leagues come West Gambier duo Tom Holmes and Tim O'Brien, along with Ballarat FL player Kain Ford. IN: Riley Milne (Hawthorn), Scott Spriggs (North Ballarat), Jason Davenport (Power / West Adelaide), Alex Carey (GWS), Tom Lynch (Crows listed), Joel Coombes (Myrtleford VCFL), Tom Holmes (West Gambier), Lachlan Button (Strathalbyn), Ben Reid (GWS), Riley McFarlane (Kalkee), Kye Chapple (Horsham), Kain Ford (North Ballarat BFL), Ethan Gill (Lucindale), Tim O'Brien (West Gambier). OUT: Danny Meyer (Retired), Alex Grima (South Fremantle), Ben Kane (Sturt), Luke Panozzo (Sturt), Mark Ruwoldt (Angaston), Patrick Knott (Horsham), James Sellar (Melbourne), Lachlan Neale (Fremantle), Jordan Murdoch (Geelong), Lincoln McCarthy (Geelong), Todd Grima (Travel), Chris Kane (Eagles), Trevor Cranston (Retiring), Chad Cornes (GWS), Darcy Arnfield (Clare), Richard O'Grady (Local), Paul Adlington (Returning Home), Daniel Scott-Collins (Local). PORT ADELAIDE The much-hyped unification of the Port Adelaide football clubs was supposed to strengthen the Magpies and the Power. So far that hasn't happened as the Magpies finished sixth on the SANFL ladder, their AFL counterparts almost taking the wooden spoon. Thankfully, losses of key players was not a huge issue. But still, coach Tony Bamford's first order of business for 2012 was to cover the seven personnel losses, among them Terry Milera who was drafted to St. Kilda, Ivan Maric to Richmond and the retirements of Kristian DePasquale and Matthew Lokan. Callum Wilson comes into Alberton from the West Coast Eagles along with Adam Cockshell who transferred in from South Adelaide and two former Sydney players in James Brain and the returning Ben Haren. IN: Adam Cockshell (South Adelaide), Callum Wilson (West Coast Eagles), James Brain (Sydney Reserves), Brendan Ah Chee (Power listed), Ben Haren (Sydney), Ryan Mackenzie (North Ballarat), Cade Wellington (Ocean Grove). OUT: Terry Milera (St. Kilda), Michael Clinch (North Adelaide), Kerran Hall (North Adelaide), Ivan Maric (Richmond), Matthew Lokan (retired), Kristian DePasquale (retired), Isaac Weetra (West). WEST ADELAIDE Their 2011 season started with a bang and ended with a thud. After caning the Bulldogs and enduring just a couple of early season speedbumps, the Bloods would slump to seventh on the ladder as those speedbumps grew into dead ends as they took some dreadful poundings, narrow losses and a growing injury list. But despite some big losses in the manpower department for the upcoming season, the Bloods have gained themselves more than enough recruits to cover those losses. Jarrod Silvester, David Piasente, Brad Moran and Mike Pettigrew have departed for retirement or other opportunities. Tyson Slattery and Chris Schmidt return full time for Westies after stints in the AFL, Isaac Weetra transfers in from Port and Joel Tippett is hoping for a partnership with brother Kurt if and when he is demoted from the Crows. IN: Paul Ellisiou (Western Australia), Dean Poynton (Victoria), Campbell Smith (Port Pirie), Jack Noonan (SHOC / Glenelg), Joel Tippett (Gold Coast), Michael Still (Werribee), Nick Westhoff (Richmond / Returning), Adam Luitjes (Returning), Duncan Cragg-Sapsford (Returning), Simon Dean (Returning), Anthony Skara (Returning), Brad Crouch (Mini Draft – Crows) Chris Schmidt (Crows / Returning), Tyson Slattery (Essendon / Returning), Taite Silverlock (Essendon / Returning), Isaac Weetra (Port Magpies). OUT: Jarrod Silvester (Work/Vic), Michael Pettigrew (West Perth), Chris Moliter (Local), Ryan Anderson (Local), Michael Shearer (Local), Steven Morris (Richmond), David Piasente (Retired), Brad Moran (Retired). NORTH ADELAIDE Consistency was the big issue for the Roosters in 2011, but the seven wins they achieved last year were against big scalps including the Bulldogs and even the eventual premiers! Only a march up the ladder will be acceptable for the Menzies Avenue faithful in 2012. With the likes of Cain Ackland, Nick Gill and Daniel Motlop leaving the club and others heading into the AFL, the Roosters hierachy would have had their work cut out for them to fill the void created. But some rewards have been reaped, with Daniel Currie and Lewis Johnstone coming in from the Sydney Swans, Josh Coulter and Sam Baulderstone have returned to the club and Amateur league players John Boxer and Craig Jamar have signed up from A1 premiers Gaza and Goodwood respectively. They've also taken in some transfers from other SANFL clubs, including Michael Clinch and Kerran Hall from the Magpies. IN: Daniel Currie (Sydney), Nathan Blee (Power listed), Danny Butcher (Power listed), Nick White (Central), John Boxer (Gaza), Michael Clinch (Port Magpies), Kerran Hall (Port Magpies), Lewis Johnstone (Crows listed), Luke Davey (West Gambier), Stuart Hill (Eagles), Sam Baulderstone (returning), Josh Coulter (returning), Craig Jamar (Goodwood). OUT: Nick Gill (Work), Cain Ackland (Retired), Phil Davis (GWS), Tony Armstrong (Sydney Swans), Todd Pfieffer (South Adelaide), Andrew McIntyre (Work), Daniel Motlop (Meninge), Justin Clarke (Brisbane). STURT Well... what can be said about Sturt? Just five wins, their best effort was against the Eagles in Round 3, after that everything just fell to pieces. Luke Norman has departed... enter Seamus Maloney. The 2002 premiership captain has taken on the big job and along with it, high expectations. The bulk of the 2011 side is still around, with Brad McKenzie and Jeremy Johncock leaving for other pastures. The Double Blues have secured the services of players coming in from other SANFL teams, most notable are former Tigers duo Ben Kane and Luke Panozzo. Brendan Littler comes in from the Redlegs and from Ovens & Murray league club Wangaratta comes Daniel Boyle. The only way is up. IN: Ben Kane (Glenelg), Luke Panozzo (Glenelg), Josh Jenkins (Mini Draft – Crows), Sam Kerridge (Mini Draft – Crows), Paul Cahill (St. Kilda), Brendan Littler (Norwood), Daniel Boyle (Wangaratta). OUT: Brad McKenzie (Kangaroos), Luke Norman (Senior Coach), Jeremy Johncock (SAAFL) SEASON HIGHLIGHTS Night football is well and truly king in SANFL football, now Gliderol Stadium joins the game with its installation of new light towers which the Tigers will use to host four matches in the early half of 2012. Along with fixtures at other venues, there is a total of 21 night games confirmed for this season. There could be more toward the end of the regular season with the last two rounds kick off times listed as TBA. Friday Night Mayhem is what will kick off the year, the Eagles returning to Thebarton Oval to face the Magpies under the new lighting system on Friday March 23. South Adelaide will have three night games, the first against the Bloods in the other Round 1 contest on the Saturday of that same weekend. Playford Alive Oval and Gliderol Stadium will have their nights in Round 2, the Dogs hosting the Redlegs and the Tigers facing the Bloods on Saturday March 31. City Mazda Stadium will play host to a Thursday night fixture when the Bloods play the Bulldogs in Round 3, while Coopers Stadium will open its Friday night footy account in Round 6 when the Redlegs host the Roosters. The Grand Final re-match will again venture away from its traditional home of Adelaide Oval due to the ground's ultimate revamp ahead of the 2014 football season, so the Eagles will now face the Bulldogs at the Unleash Solar Oval in Woodville on Wednesday April 25 at 3:10pm. The season will go for 24 rounds this year, mainly due to fixture alterations involving the 2012 Foxtel Cup which will again not involve our top five clubs from 2011. The Magpies, the Bloods and the Panthers will represent SA in the state league club championship series, the most notable fixture being the Panthers facing current champions Williamstown at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in May. The 2012 Finals will begin on the weekend of September 15, with the Grand Final on the first weekend of October. INTERSTATE MATCH -- new venue, new coach The SANFL has seen fit to take this year's contest against the West Australian Football League to Gliderol Stadium in Glenelg on the last weekend of May, following in the Victorian and WA league's concept of playing interstate games on state league grounds. Current Woodville-West Torrens coach Michael Godden has taken on the role of senior coach, replacing the outgoing Darel Hart. This match will mark the return of representative football, which was placed on hiatus in 2011 when SA was due to face the Big V in Melbourne. So that's it folks... let the final countdown begin! ROUND 1 Friday March 23 @ 7:40pm Woodville-West Torrens vs. Port Adelaide; Thebarton Oval Saturday March 24 @ 7:10pm South Adelaide vs. West Adelaide; Hickinbotham Oval, Noarlunga All other teams have a bye. Bring on Season 2012. Until next weekend... see you at the Footy! P.S. I will be missing in action for Rounds 2 & 3 because I'm off on holiday. Sorry folks!