Norwood to take over footy zone

EP REZONE: Eyre Peninsula football icon Don McSweeny pictured at Centenary Oval with a Norwood Redlegs guernsey. The Norwood Football Club has been aligned with the Eyre Peninsula and look likely to take over the junior recruiting zone previously held by the Port Adelaide Magpies.THE Norwood Football Club is expected to take over the Eyre Peninsula recruiting zone from the Port Adelaide Magpies.

With the Magpies’ role in the SANFL now as an AFL reserves team to Port Power, the SANFL is reallocating the country recruiting zone to another club for the 2015 season.

SANFL media coordinator Zac Milbank said a draft proposal had been released that aligned the Redlegs to Eyre Peninsula, however it was yet to be ratified by the SA Football Commission.

Mr Milbank said no other SANFL club was in contention to take over the zone and it looks likely the proposal will be ratified at the next commission meeting.

The Norwood Football Club’s current country zone is an area of the Adelaide Hills region east of Adelaide and it is one of the smallest country zones for any SANFL club.

The current Norwood country zone consists of 200 players under the age of 19 compared to its metropolitan contingent of 4500.

Eyre Peninsula football icon Don McSweeny said Norwood was a successful and professional club that would benefit from recruiting on Eyre Peninsula.

“I’m sure we will form a strong partnership with Norwood and development on Eyre Peninsula will still go ahead,” Mr McSweeny said.

“We will work closely with Norwood to set up a structure that will again be successful so the Eyre Peninsula remains a prominent development area in the state.”

Port Adelaide has recruited from the Eyre Peninsula zone for 42 years and the club plans to continue the partnership through sponsorship of the Mortlock Shield and Port Adelaide Cup.

Port Lincoln Football League president and Mortlock Shield committee chairman Peter Tokarski said the link between Port Adelaide and Eyre Peninsula football would remain strong.

“Port Adelaide Football Club in it’s entirety is still interested in helping out our juniors,” he said.

“They have announced themselves as bronze sponsors of the Mortlock Shield and major sponsors of the Port Adelaide Cup for the next two years.”

Mr Tokarski said Eyre Peninsula being allocated to Norwood was almost finalised and just needed to be “rubber stamped”, but confirmed Port Adelaide would still be heavily committed to the region.

“They (Port Adelaide) will still look after our area, like they have done for 42 years.”

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