Eyre Peninsula team ready for championship defence

The senior men's Eyre Peninsula side will travel to Port Pirie this weekend to defend their title win from last years carnival where spectators will have an opportunity to watch the best players from SA Country's 26 leagues duke it out in the 2019 SANFL Country Championships.

Under seasoned coach Scott Feltus and assisted by David McPharlin, selectors have chosen a powerful side with a solid mix of strength, experience and running power which will be well positioned for a title defence.

They possess a powerful midfield with Xavier Watson, Jesse Stringer, Kingsley Bilney and Jess Kenny expected to play big roles and be well fed by ruckmen Levi Konitzka and Dylan Kelsh.

Meanwhile, defensively David Wright, Joe Walker and the emerging Ian Jericho will form a solid back half.

Their forward line has some genuine marking power with key forward Sid Masters in excellent form at his local club.

Stephen Crettenden is a genuine competitor in the air, debutant Ben Shillabeer has strong hands and Casey Amos will be dangerous around goals when resting.

Their outside run will be led by Brayden Martin and 17-year-old debutant Jackson Murphy who both have excellent leg speed and use the ball well, and Jake Bruce will always find plenty of the ball across the middle of the ground.

Feltus said he was looking forward to this year's carnival and with seven new players coming in to the side, he said it presented an outstanding opportunity for these guys to impress on the big stage.

"We have a different mix from last year, but the opportunity to bring some fresh faces in to the side gives the group another great chance to work together towards another successful campaign," he said.

The side will travel to Port Pirie on Friday and kicks off their campaign against a strong Southern Districts side on Saturday morning, with their second game against Murray South East in the afternoon.

Where they line up on Sunday hinges on their performances on Saturday, but Feltus is confident that his side could play well on the first day to set themselves up for a spot in the final on Sunday.

The carnival will also host a SANFL Showdown when the Adelaide and Port Adelaide teams go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon which presents a great opportunity for extended coverage of this year's championships.

Western Zone (Eyre Peninsula) team 2019

Coach: Scott Feltus

Assistant coach: David McPharlin

Runner: Matt Lienert

Manager: Scott Clark

Great Flinders: Jackson Murphy (Tumby Bay), Brayden Martin (United Yeelanna), Joe Walker (Tumby Bay), Xavier Watson (United Yeelanna), Stephen Crettenden (United Yeelanna), Jordan Hind (Tumby Bay), Jaxen Norton (United Yeelanna), Levi Konitzka (Cummins Kapinnie).

Port Lincoln: Jacob Collins (Tasman), Casey Amos (Mallee Park), Billy Byass (Marble Range, Kingsley Bilney Jnr (Mallee Park), Ben Shillabeer (Lincoln South), Ben Sampson (Wayback), Tynan Keeley (Marble Range).

Eastern Eyre: Jake Bruce (Eastern Ranges), Ryley Maitland (Kimba Districts), Ben Clements (Kimba Districts), Dion Woolford (Kimba Districts), Sid Masters (Ports).

Mid West: Jess Kenny (West Coast Hawks), Jesse Stringer (Central Eyre), Dylan Kelsh (West Coast Hawks), Ian Jericho (Wudinna United).

Far West: David Wright (Blues), Jaxon Bennett (Blues, emergency).