Caldwell makes league debut
Tuesday, 17th June, 2014
By Peter Argent
Broken Hill junior and football journeyman Heath Caldwell added his name to a rich list of Silver City football exports who have now played SANFL league football, debuting in the round 10 Sunday fixture at Prospect Oval against West Adelaide.
He enjoyed the fruits of a crushing victory, as North Adelaide demolished the Bloods by a handsome 87-point victory.
The hosts dominated this game, kicking 14 goals to two before the main break.
“Heath Caldwell has made significant progress over the last 8 months,” Darryl Wintle, the Football Manager at North Adelaide Football Club said.
He has committed to the training program and he has seen the benefit in his conditioning and overall strength.
Heath is a natural footballer who has a good feel for the game and the versatility to play a variety of roles.
He blends outside ball use with inside hunt and his improving fitness level allows him to cover more distance during matches.
He has adapted to the Adelaide lifestyle well and has mixed in well and become comfortable within the playing group
Caldwell played the majority of his game as a small defender, finishing with a respectable 13 disposals (six kicks and six handballs), along with three marks and a trio of tackles.
“Playing in defence you had to be accountable all the time; you couldn’t give your opponent an inch,” Caldwell told the BDT.
“It was a definite step up in skill execution and pace.
“I actually received the phone call on Friday night a half an hour after training from head coach Ken McGregor.
“It initially took a couple of weeks to adjust to the style and the role I was playing down here.
“This was a pretty big dream when I came down here, to play league football.”
Moving to North Adelaide during the pre-season, Caldwell has been in consistent form in the reserves over the first half of the year.
During his past six games he has been among the best players on four occasions, including a best of ground against Sturt in early May to start this rich vein of form.
Caldwell started his football and is a premiership player at the South Broken Hill Kangaroos, but played with cross town rivals North last year.
“My coach at South Robert Hickey was a big influence,” Caldwell continued.
“Also the AFL development manager Dale Tonkin was an important mentor as well.
At the Bulldogs, Caldwell secured the Lionel Johnston (and Mail) medal, the Broken Hill football league highest individual honour.
In 2012, Caldwell played in the national country football championships with New South Wales in Wagga, while playing with the Albury Tigers in the highly credentialed Ovens and Murray League.
Back in 2011, he was a member of the NSW/ACT Rams under 18s side at the national carnival and in 2009, Caldwell was a Ram at under 16s level, in the year he played in an A grade premiership at the Kangaroos.