KI rising star Coby Helyar plays first SANFL game

Young Kangaroo Island footballer Coby Helyar played his first League game on Sunday, June 17 for the South Adelaide Football Club.

Kangaroo Island is well represented at South Adelaide Football Club thanks to the SANFL zone feeder system.

Bradley Crabb is another KI talent who is been part of the club for the past 10 years, just relinquishing his captain’s position this year.

Fellow KI product Sam Gurney is also playing for the South Adelaide in the Reserves.

While Damon Freitag from Wisanger is playing regularly with the Under 18 squad and continues to do quite well, as does Tate Lovering from Kingscote.  

South Adelaide Football Club football manager Warren Ploenges said South Adelaide is excited about having young 19-year-old Helyar on board.

Helyar, nickname Cockles, plays midfield and kicked a goal in his debut game on Sunday that saw Souths beat the Crows. 

The Dudley United product is the fifth Talent Pathway player to debut for South Adelaide this season.  

140 League Game past player Simon Quinn presented Helyar with his Number 42 guernsey prior to the game on Sunday, June 17.

Quinn on Sunday also presented a guernsey to fellow debutante Jackson Elmes, recruited from Victor Harbor Football Club.

Helyar is studying viticulture and oenology at Adelaide University and hopes to one day get back and join the family winery business False Cape Wines on the Dudley Peninsula.

Jamie just hung up his own football boots having only retired from the KI Football League side Dudley United three seasons ago, after having played 350-plus A grade games and is a player life member of KIFL.

Meanwhile fellow KI player, Sam Gurney has played every game in the Reserves for South Adelaide this season.

Ploenges said considering Gurney’s unfortunate injury problems over recent years, this had been a big step forward for the young player.

“Playing regularly has seen Sam's form improve as a ruckman/ key forward,” he said.

“He provides opportunities for his teammates when rucking and provides a strong target the team can kick to with confidence when forward.”

And just for the sports trivia fans, Kangaroo Island has produced at least one AFL player in Brendon Lade.

Lade was born on Kangaroo Island and grew up playing football for the local Western Districts Football Club, where his father coached the A grade side.

Lade then moved to the Wisanger Football Club, where he played the remainder of his football until he turned 16.

Able to play as both a relieving ruckman and forward, Lade played for South Adelaide before his recruitment to Port Adelaide in the lead up to their inaugural season in the AFL in 1997.

Lade made his senior AFL debut for Port Adelaide in Round 1, 1997, Port Adelaide's debut AFL match.

He ended up playing 234 games for Port Adelaide kicking 182 goals.

After ending his AFL career in 2009, Lade immediately joined Richmond Football Club to become the ruck coach, joining former Port Adelaide teammate Damien Hardwick, Richmond's senior coach.

He later became the midfield stoppage coach, and held this position until the end of 2016, after which he returned to Port Adelaide as an assistant coach for the 2017 AFL season.