Keith's Lewis Hender to play 100th SANFL League game

100 NOT OUT: Keith's Lewis Hender will play his 100th SANFL League game when he lines up for North Adelaide's match against Central District on Saturday.
100 NOT OUT: Keith's Lewis Hender will play his 100th SANFL League game when he lines up for North Adelaide's match against Central District on Saturday.

Keith's Lewis Hender will reach a significant football milestone when he plays his 100th SANFL League game against Central District on Saturday.

Born in Keith, the North Adelaide premiership player has had to wait nine seasons to reach the milestone, but is now starting to flourish under coach Josh Carr.

Speaking to SANFL media producer Zac Milbank on SANFL Radio, Hender said he's "excited" to reach the milestone, but it's probably something he'll reflect on more after he retires.

"I am obviously excited (about the game), but saying that, I'll probably look back on it when I finish up, more so than right now," Hender said.

Before turning into the mercurial forward many Roosters fans flock to see, Hender started his football journey in the junior ranks for Keith Football Club.

Starting in the Under 14 competition, he showed plenty of promise, eventually receiving the call-up to represent the Glenelg Under 16's in 2009.

He praised the dedication shown by both of his loving parents, driving to Adelaide consistently to allow him to follow his footballing dream.

"Mum was my number one supporter. I was very lucky that mum and dad were very supportive from the get-go," Hender said.

"They were always willing to put in the time to give me the best opportunity to play at the highest level I possibly could."

It was clear from a young age that he had the potential to not just become a good SANFL player, but a potential AFL draftee.

As a 17 year-old he impressed coaches and recruiters with his power and speed but unfortunately, like many other potential draftees, didn't have his name read out on draft night.

The 26 year-old spent five inconsistent seasons at Glenelg, only playing 37 games and kicking 39 goals for the Bays, before moving to North Adelaide for the start of the 2016 season.

The move proved a masterstroke, blossoming in Josh Carr's side and becoming one of the most damaging forwards in the competition.

Since moving to the Roosters, he has booted a total of 114 goals in 62 appearances, including 42 in last year's premiership season.

After contributing to a number of highlight reels across the last 18 month, the forward was rewarded with a call-up to the West End State team, kicking two goals in a seven point win against the WAFL in Perth on May 12.

Lewis' meteoric rise is no surprise to many, and with 18 goals to his name this season, he will look to continue to be the spearhead in attack for North Adelaide for years to come.

To listen to the SANFL Radio interview, visit: https://sanfl.com.au/league/news/leaping-lewis-reaches-triple-figures/