By ZAC MILBANK
Emerging Norwood midfielder Cole Gerloff is the first Redleg to win the Powerade Breakthrough Player Award.
Originally from Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula, Gerloff established himself as a regular in Norwood’s deep centre square rotation after playing just 19 League games in 2018.
His rapid development, together with that of team-mates Matthew Nunn and Dylan Stephens, reduced the team’s previous reliance on premiership stars Mitch Grigg and Matthew Panos throughout 2019.
The 20-year-old averaged 19 disposals, four marks, six tackles and three clearances while also spending time as a strong marking target inside attacking 50m, where he hit the scoreboard with 21 goals for the season.
Earning a $2000 cash prize and a trophy courtesy of SANFL Premier Partner Coca-Cola Amatil, Gerloff earned his nomination in Round 3 for collecting 16 disposals five marks and laying 11 tackles against Sturt.
Measuring in at 185cm and 82kg, Gerloff’s improvement has been noted by AFL scouts after he received an invite to participate in the AFL State Combine on October 12.
Introduced in 2007, the Powerade Breakthrough Player is designed to recognise and reward the best emerging young talent in SANFL’s Statewide Super League.
To be eligible, players must be aged 23 and under as well as having played 10 Statewide Super League games or less at the start of the year.