Tiger to switch to Lion

POWER: Joel Palmer shows his powerful style while playing for his old club Southern Flinders against Orroroo. He is now a Proprietary-Risdon Lion. Photo: Dennis Green

POWER: Joel Palmer shows his powerful style while playing for his old club Southern Flinders against Orroroo. He is now a Proprietary-Risdon Lion. Photo: Dennis Green

The Lions will run onto Memorial Oval to meet Solomontown in Anzac Day's Spencer Gulf League season-opener with a new weapon to throw at the Cats.

Joel Palmer has parted company with Northern Areas Football Association club Southern Flinders Tigers and in recent days he has donned the blue-and-gold after being cleared to Proprietary-Risdon.

Palmer's credentials place him in an elite minority among South Australian country footballers.

Three premierships at the NAFA Tigers, a premiership, Mail Medal and a best-and-fairest in the Yorke Peninsula Football League during a stint with Kadina, eight Landmark Cup appearances representing both the NAFA and YPFL, seven SA Country Championship games for Northern Zone and Central Zone and four State Country representative games add further credibility to his resume.

Palmer is known as a tackler and a hard-ball-get specialist who offers run and carry off the half back line.

And with his long, raking right foot he is a headache for opposition forwards.

When the 30-year-old is moved onto the ball in short spells, he is very damaging which brings those around him into play.

He will be an enormous asset to Proprietary-Risdon this year.

Palmer said he was "not happy" with many of the decisions being made at Southern Flinders towards the end of the pre-season program and he decided to make the switch to play alongside his brother-in-law, Tyler Eckert, at the Lions.

"It has been a very tough time leaving my local club and all my family and friends," he said.

"But I am now looking forward to setting my commitment to the Pirie Lions."

Southern Flinders and Proprietary-Lions declined to comment.

On Saturday at Port Augusta's Central Oval, Port will play South Augusta in what could be a one-sided match, although the Bulldogs made strides in their performances late last year.

On the Sunday at the same oval, West Augusta will clash with Central Augusta.

Central and West will both hope to improve on a disappointing 2020.

The end of the league's COVID-19 permit means teams such as reigning premier South will be without some players from last year with the Bulldogs to be fielding a much younger squad this season.

Club president Mick Kerin said players from the strong reserves and under 18 sides would be getting their chance to compete at senior level this year.

"If I was one of the young players coming through for senior selection I'd be pretty excited ... the players are really keen to get going this year," he said.

Meanwhile, recruits for the Hawks include Ian Milera from Glenelg, who will bring strength and agility to the side as well as being another option in front of goal.

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