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Clisby grand final bound

Saturday, 17th October, 2020

Mitch Clisby ponders a grand final berth this weekend. PICTURE: Peter Argent Mitch Clisby ponders a grand final berth this weekend. PICTURE: Peter Argent

By Peter Argent

North Broken Hill export Mitchell Clisby and the North Adelaide Football Club gained direct entry to the SANFL Grand Final, this Sunday, after a strong win in modest conditions in the second semi-final against minor premiers, Woodville West Torrens on October 4.

Clibsy, looking for a second SANFL league flag in three years, sees many similarities to the group that enjoyed success over Norwood in 2018. 

“Although we grabbed a week off this year, there are many similarities in the feel around the club at the moment,” Clisby told the BDT. 

“Both our senior and reserves teams are in Grand Finals like two years ago. 

“There is a strong atmosphere and connection within the squads. 

“This year, like 2018, I’ve personally been happy with my form and received strong and positive feedback from the coaching staff.” 

After struggling during 2019 with injury, Clisby has played 11 of the possible 15 games with the Roosters this year.  

Their opponents, the Eagles won both the minor round battles this year, defeating the Roosters by 15 points at Prospect Oval in round 4 in late July and by 25 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville in round 11. 

North Adelaide turned the tables on second semi-final day, winning that contest by 15 points, in a game that was played across a rain soaked second half. 

“I have been playing predominately a lock down role in defence this year,” Clisby continued.

“We tend to juggle our roles and play team defence, but I sure there will be time when I will play on the preliminary final star James Rowe at times. 

“I still see the game as a battle of the mid fields; we want to play with the same strong aggressive style were did in the second semi-final.

“Our two coaches Josh Carr in ‘18 and Jacob Surjan this year are two completely different characters, but their messaging has been the same. 

“’Carry’ (Josh Carr) was the completely opposite to the way he played, being very calm and measured off the field. 

“’Surj’ (Jacob Surjan) is like the energizer bunny, always up and about and loves his footy.   

“He have a really positive vibe about him.

“Having enjoyed the euphoria of success in ‘18, we know what it takes and the feeling when that final siren sounds.” 

Now 30, Clisby, a former North Adelaide club captain, will make his 136 senior appearance for North Adelaide in the 2020 Grand Final (which includes two Foxtel Cup games) and this will be his ninth major round game. 

So far Clisby has enjoyed seven finals victories in finals clashes, enduring just the one loss, the 2012 Preliminary Final to West Adelaide at Football Park. 

“I will be disappointed if there is any asterisk connected to a premiership win this year,” he said. 

“It has been a very difficult season and to win a premiership in the prevailing conditions will be an outstanding achievement. 

“You’ve heard the same comments at AFL level and in the NBA about how hard this year has been.” 

Clisby is looking to join the likes of Colin Casey at Sturt (1974, ‘76) and Chris Duthy at Glenelg (1985’86) as dual SANFL league premiership players who have come out of Broken Hill Footy. 


* The 2020 SANFL league Grand Final will be held at 3pm this Sunday, October 18, at Adelaide Oval. The game will be telecasted on Channel 7 & 7plus, have radio calls on 1629 SEN SA & SEN App, Triple M/Fiveaa, ABC Grandstand and also available on the SANFL Digital Pass (with expert commentary).

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