Valued Flinders partner the South Adelaide Football Club took out the Mayor’s Cup on 29 August against Central Districts, fuelled by a strong Flinders cohort including seven players who study at the University.
The Mayor’s Cup was introduced in 2004 in recognition of the similarities shared by the Panthers and Bulldogs. It also recognises the ongoing support provided to the clubs by their councils, the City of Onkaparinga and the City of Playford.
The Panthers scored a 14.19 (103) to 8.4 (52) victory at Flinders University Stadium, making it two wins in a row after also winning the 2019 cup – a solid performance in recent years following the Bulldog’s early winning streak which was marked by the northern team claiming ten of the first 11 matches.
Experienced player Joel Cross has been with the Panthers for ten seasons. He is also juggling an MBA at Flinders and a busy role as General Manager for the Flagstaff Hill Golf Club.
Mr Cross says the schedule can be gruelling, but he’s used to prioritising and re-balancing responsibilities while keeping his wellbeing in check.
“I love the game still, just as much as when I started,” he says.
“Being around the young guys, having a laugh, is all really good for my wellbeing also. Maintaining happiness is so important.”
He says the Flagstaff Hill Golf Club is going through an intense phase at the moment as it undertakes a significant retirement village development. “So finding releases is important- and that can be football, or even just taking the dog for a walk.”
As an SANFL veteran, he says the club provides a positive outlet for players and the whole team is committed to building and maintaining a supportive environment. Like anything, he says team success owes much to relationships.
“As team mates we need to relate to each other well and identify on game day. It’s about putting in the effort to build those relationships – whether knowing about each others family, studies or whatever. Having that foundation also means you can comfortably ask the serious questions if the need arises.”
Flinders University students playing for the Panthers in 2020
- Joel Cross: Master of Business Administration
- Bradley Potter: Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Bachelor of Health Sciences
- Bailey Snelling: Bachelor of Exercise Science
- Lachlan Williams: Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity
- Thomas Highmore: Cross-Institutional Studies (undergraduate)
- Zachary Dumesny: Bachelor of Health Sciences
- Nathan Beenham: Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Bachelor of Health Sciences