02 Sep 2013
JOHNSTON, GRIGG CLEARED FOR FINALS
By ZAC MILBANK | Twitter @zacmilbank
North Adelaide is set to be boosted for the finals series with Crows-listed forward Lewis Johnston being cleared to play in September.
A vital ingredient in the Roosters’ forward mix, Johnston has played the last five AFL matches for Adelaide since being elevated for Showdown XXXV on August 4.
But the Crows have given the former Sydney Swan the all clear to spearhead North’s premiership hopes after contributing strongly for his SANFL club during the season.
‘’Over the last two seasons Lewis has been our focal point up forward as he has played a lot of games for us,’’ North football manager Darryl Wintle said.
‘’He will get back up forward and give us a target to kick to as he is someone who can kick goals in a hurry if he gets the ball.’’
The Roosters could be handed an extra bonus if Crows midfielder Matthew Wright passes a medical screening on Wednesday to determine his availability in the major round.
Wright has only played two league matches for North this year but has also been a non-playing emergency on two occasions.
Should he be cleared for action this week, confronting Norwood at Coopers Stadium will see him chalk up the minimum five matches required for qualification.
‘’If he’s cleared to play then we would definitely play him,’’ Wintle said.
‘’He’s a North Adelaide boy and he would be beneficial to our program.’’
Woodville-West Torrens is also sweating on a similar medical screening for Jared Petrenko, who played for the Eagles against Norwood on Sunday. Petrenko has played six SANFL league matches
Norwood will regain the services of impressive midfielder Mitch Grigg, who played 13 games for the Redlegs before making his AFL debut against Geelong in Round 17.
‘’He would be the icing on the cake for us as he is such a beautiful kick,’’ Norwood football manager Mark Ross said.
‘’He kicks goals as a midfielder, he is good under pressure and he is a Norwood boy so we always embrace our Norwood boys who want to come home and play in a successful team.’’
Central District premiership star Ian Callinan has been granted approval to line-up with his beloved Bulldogs after playing in the Crows’ last three matches.
‘’He’s just so dangerous up forward,’’ Central chief executive Kris Grant said.
‘’So you have got to put somebody on him who is going to man up on him as he can kick two or three goals in a short space of time.’’
West Adelaide won’t be able to call upon talented pair Brad Crouch and Jason Porplyzia, who are both set to undergo off-season surgery.
‘’There’s nothing we can do about that,’’ West football manager Andrew Marks said.
‘’And we haven’t had Crouchy for quite a while now. Obviously you would prefer to have him but I think we are used to playing without him.’’
KEY CROWS QUALIFIED FOR SANFL FINALS
(Name, SANFL club, status)
Ian Callinan (Central) OK to play
Ben Dowdell (Central) OK to play once recovered from rib injury
Jack Osborn (Central) OK to play
Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (Eagles) OK to play
Nick Joyce (Eagles) OUT – shoulder reconstruction
Luke Thompson (Eagles) OK to play once recovered from ankle injury
Jared Petrenko (Eagles) UNCERTAIN – undergoing medical on Wednesday
Lewis Johnston (North) OK to play
Matthew Wright (North) UNCERTAIN – undergoing medical on Wednesday
Mitchell Grigg (Norwood) OK to play
Jason Porplyzia (West) OUT – shoulder injury
Brad Crouch (West) OUT – Achilles injury