STURT recruit Josh Rentsch says the SANFL's strong club-vibe enticed him to cross from Victoria to South Australia for the 2022 season.
The key forward-ruck prospect, who was considered unlucky to miss selection in last month's AFL draft, signed with the Doubles Blues after a standout NAB League season for GWV Rebels.
"They reckon there's a good club feeling around all the teams so I am keen to get around the community there," Rentsch told The Standard.
"I know one of the benefits of going over there is they have a reserves side, so if you don't make the senior team you're still within the same club, whereas in the VFL they send you back to your home club.
"I am keen to train and play with the same blokes the whole time rather than chopping and changing.
"I am keen to play against biggers bodies and play some consistent footy."
Rentsch, 18, remains committed to reaching the AFL and will work on his fitness, goal-kicking and ground-ball work in a bid to pique recruiters' interest.
"Hopefully I can have a solid pre-season and get picked in the (Sturt) ones and then the goal is the mid-season draft," he said.
"If not, then the national draft (at the end of the season)."
The Penshurst-raised footballer, who played in a Mininera and District grand final on his 16th birthday, said missing out on the draft in his top-age NAB League season "wasn't the end of the world".
"I was a bit disappointed for a couple of days," he said.
"It's just another opportunity to keep training, keep getting better and hopefully getting in at another stage.
"It's just a little stumbling block hopefully to climb on."
Rentsch will move to Adelaide, where his older brother Sam lives, early next year and start training with Sturt on January 10.
In the meantime he'll help his dad with shearing and train with Hampden league side Hamilton Kangaroos.
"I was talking to my agent and he said try and train at the highest level you can and I spoke to my cousin Duncan (Rentsch) who plays there and he talked to the coach (Hamish Waldron) and he was keen," he said.
Rentsch joins South Warrnambool export Jay Rantall as new additions to the SANFL.
Rantall has signed with Norwood after two seasons in the AFL with Collingwood which included a debut on Anzac Day.
Former Port Fairy midfielder Kaine Mercovich plays for South Adelaide and Timboon Demons export Luke Thompson has captained Woodville-West Torrens to the past two premierships.
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