PORT ADELAIDE Next Generation Academy product Nathan Barkla will make his SANFL debut for the club against Sturt this weekend.
Barkla is part of the club’s Multicultural NGA Program and has played with Port District and Woodville-West Torrens.
He has trained with Port Adelaide’s AFL group at times over the past two years – including in pre-season - and has been granted permission to play for Port Adelaide under an AFL ruling granting clubs access to their Next Generation Academy and father-son players during their draft year.
A half-back or midfielder, the teenager was part of the South Australian U18 side which participated in the NAB AFL National Championship over the last two months.
He has averaged 20 disposals, 3.5 clearances and 3.6 tackles per game in 12 Under 18 matches for the Eagles this season.
“We have seen a bit of Nathan through our Next Generation Academy program, where he has done a lot of work with NGA coach Justin Westhoff,” said Port Adelaide SANFL and Next Generation Academy Manager Shane Grimm.
“He has been performing well for the Eagles in the Under 18 competition, but for his ongoing development having an opportunity to step up against men in the league side will be really beneficial.
“We thank the SANFL and Woodville-West Torrens for giving him permission to play with us over the next few weeks.”
Barkla will have the opportunity to play the final three games for the Magpies against Sturt, South Adelaide and the Crows.
Port Adelaide’s SANFL game against the Double Blues gets underway at Wigan Oval at Unley at 2:10pm this Saturday.
The rest of the Magpies team will be named on Thursday evening.