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Clisby enters the 2021 SANFL season full of optimism

Friday, 2nd April, 2021

By Peter Argent

Now 31, and one of the senior
pro’s in the North Adelaide side,
Mitch Clisby is keen to reach the
pinnacle again in 2021, a second
SANFL premiership to go with his
2018 triumph.
“My preparation for this campaign
has been good,” Clisby told
the Barrier Truth.
“I have no injury issues and
am feeling fit, ready for another
campaign.
“Because of the later finish to the
2020, we’ve had a shorter pre-season
and we’re well-managed by the
fitness staff at Prospect.
“I’d like to get my 150-game
milestone for the Roosters ticked
off this year.”
Clisby first debuted back in 2010
under five-time Central District
premiership player Daniel Healy
when he was in charge.
They played Woodville West
Torrens at Prospect and has currently
played 138 league games
across two stints
His first year at the Roosters
was back in 2008, the year he
played NSW state underage football,
participating in a handful of
North Under 19s games under the
tutelage of Stephen Keam.
“Josh Francou played an important
role and was critical in my
development as a footballer in his
time coaching North,” Clisby continued.
“He helped me get drafted, giving
me a license to play with flair
out of defence.”
In 2012, North Adelaide were
preliminary finalists, losing to
West Adelaide. However, the silver
lining was that Clisby was collected
by Melbourne in the rookie
draft, with selection number 19.
He began his AFL tenure, on the
day Neil Craig took over the reins
at the Demons coach mid-season,
playing his first game at the MCG
against St Kilda.
“After my time at Melbourne
finished, I received several offers
and was given plenty of options,
but I was always coming back to
Prospect,” Clisby explained.
“In 2015 Ken McGregor was
our senior coach at North Adelaide
and Michael Handby took over
mid-season.
“The arrival of Josh Carr in
2016 was massive and gave our
club a new direction.
“While we didn’t get a lot of
wins on the board initially, you
could see the group was building.
“Playing AFL was a dream come
true, but being a member of the
Roosters SANFL flag winning
side in 2018 was the pinnacle.
“We were around the mark again
last year, but finished as bridesmaids.”
Clisby, another of the West
Broken Hill Robins to get to the
highest level in our national football
code, is a teacher at Nailsworth
High School looking after year-six
students.
It is a bit of a juggle to balance
his work, sport and personal life –
Mitch and his partner, Sarah, have
identical twin girls, Isla and Billie
that are now seven-months old.
In the season opener on Good
Friday, Clisby and North Adelaide
travel out to the Ponderosa and
take on Central District.
This is one of four SANFL
league games scheduled on Good
Friday, along with South playing
Adelaide at Flinders University
Stadium, Noarlunga; Woodville
West Torrens versus Sturt at Oval
Avenue, where another Silver City
export Kobe Mutch is expected to
debut for the Eagles and Glenelg
taking on West at the Bays.
The night before the SANFL
season launches with traditional
rivals Port Adelaide playing
Norwood at The Parade.

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