McLeod surprised by SANFL snub - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McLeod surprised by SANFL snub

Steve Larkin 09/02/2011 05:50:04 PM Comments (0)

AFL great Andrew McLeod can't fathom why the top five SANFL clubs snubbed a new knockout competition for state-based teams.

McLeod will make a comeback for the Northern Territory Thunder in the AFL-funded knockout tournament featuring 16 clubs from state leagues around Australia.

But the top five clubs from the SA league, rated the best outside of the AFL, rejected their invitations.

SA instead will be represented by teams which finished sixth, seventh and eighth last season.

The top three teams from the WAFL and VFL agreed to play, along with two teams from Queensland, one each from Tasmania, the NT, the ACT and Sydney's state league.

New AFL entity Greater Western Sydney Giants will also contest the 2011 tournament.

The AFL's national and international development general manager David Matthews said on Wednesday the competition "will allow us to identify one as the best in the land".

But that vision has been denied by the top five SANFL clubs from last season, including powerhouse Central District, who have won nine of the past 11 premierships, not joining.

"I don't know the reasons why they declined to play in the competition," McLeod said on Wednesday.

"I can't see any thing but positives to play in it."

McLeod, who quit playing AFL after a decorated career with the Adelaide Crows, has agreed to play up to seven games for the NT Thunder this year, including in the knockout tournament.

"It is just a great opportunity for me to give something back to the Northern Territory footy league," said NT-raised McLeod.

"It's not a full-time commitment, I'm not playing a whole season.

" ... But for me to be able to go back and help mentor some of these guys, hopefully fast track them a bit, it might give them an opportunity to go on with their footy, so for me it's all about that developmental stuff."

Competing teams will be Swan Districts (WA), Claremont (WA), East Perth (WA), North Ballarat (Victoria), Northern Bullants (Victoria), Williamstown (Victoria), West Adelaide (SA), North Adelaide (SA), Port Adelaide Magpies (SA), Morningside (Queensland), Labrador (Queensland), NT Thunder (NT), Clarence (Tasmania), Ainslie (ACT), the East Coast Eagles (NSW) and Greater Western Sydney.

The tournament will be screened live on Foxtel and named after the pay television provider.

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