The 2023 West End State team will feature 13 debutants to confront the WAFL in the Kia State Game at Adelaide Oval on Friday afternoon.
Norwood and State Team Coach Jade Rawlings will have a host of uncapped talent at his disposal with the likes of James Rowe, Brett Turner, Tom Lewis and Mitch Hardie certain to have an impact around the ball.
Wings Frank Szekely and Marty Frederick, named on the interchange, will use their blistering pace for the first time while premiership veteran Mitch Harvey will be itching to don the cherished red guernsey in the ruck for the first time.
Norwood best and fairest Harry Boyd will be returning for his second State game, starting on the interchange before assisting Hardy in the ruck.
Boyd leads the league in hit-outs (averaging 43 per game) and clearances (eight per game) across the first six rounds of 2023, while also averaging 15 disposals.
“It is a huge honour to be selected in this squad,” he said after being selected in the squad.
“It something that comes at a challenging time for our side (at 0-6), it’s an honour to be selected but I am looking for our (Norwood) side to get a win first and foremost.
“South Australia has a proud history, and despite coming from country Victoria I am aware of that history.”
The 25-year-old has played 47 League matches and kicked 16 goals since joining the club for the 2021 season, and played in the 2022 SANFL Premiership.
Boyd played in last year’s state game in Perth, which SA won by four points.
“It was a humbling experience last year, a great honour,” he said.
“Being Victorian I never thought that I would be wearing an SA State guernsey, and to be able to do that again would be exciting.”
Heart-warming stories abound in the SANFL back six, with experienced pair Josh Ryan and Cameron Craig poised to hold down the key defensive posts while Darcy Bailey and Harrison Magor get their chance as small defenders.
Magor’s gradual rise is a stunning success story considering he played an entire season of reserves at the Roosters in 2021 before claiming the Powerade Breakthrough Player award last year, ahead of his maiden State team berth in 2023.
Craig and Ryan will be without the assistance of joint vice-captain Max Proud, who will be unable to string together his fourth consecutive State appearance due to a calf complaint.
SA’s other vice-captain, Liam McBean, will again be a focal point in attack alongside fellow tall Connor Ballenden, with the pair likely to spend the majority of time inside 50m as Jack Oatey Medallist Boyd shares the ruck with Harvey.
The WAFL will be without at least eight players from its initial squad, including Sandover Medallist Bailey Rogers, who has an ankle injury.
The Sandgropers’ captain from last year, Leigh Kitchin, is also missing with a hamstring ailment.
Former Port Adelaide wing Taj Schofield was unable to recover from injury last weekend but there will be two Croweaters lining up for the Black Swans on home soil.
Sturt draftee Mitch Crowden will line-up in the centre square for the visitors while Norwood junior Stefan Giro is among the five players on the extended interchange.
A curtain-raiser for the Port Adelaide v Melbourne AFL match, the Kia State Game begins at 3.10pm.
It will be streamed live and free on SANFL Now and the AFL Live Official App and AFL.com.au, as well as a live radio broadcast on 1629 SEN SA and the SEN App.
By Zac Milbank SANFL and Josh Teakle Norwood FC
F: Wilkinson, McBean, Ballenden
HF: Rowe, Ramsey, Hone
C: Allen, Turner, Szekely
HB: Voss, Craig, McLennan
B: Coomblas, J. Ryan, Magor
R: Harvey, Sinor, Hardie
INT: Boyd, Bailey, Hosie, Frederick, Lewis
DEBUT: James Rowe (Eagles), Josh Hone (Sturt), Brett Turner (Glenelg), Frank Szekely (North), Cameron Craig (North), Jez McLennan (Central), Josh Ryan (West), Harrison Magor (North), Mitch Harvey (North), Mitch Hardie (Eagles), Darcy Bailey (Glenelg), Marty Frederick (Sturt), Tom Lewis (Sturt)