The SANFL is back this week, with an action-packed year of South Australian football now in reaching distance.

The Tigers are set to defend their title, with Glenelg set to enter the 2024 season as another highly-anticipated contender following a busy off-season.

Sturt will be looking to go a step further this year, while the likes of Adelaide and Central District will be eyeing returns to the top five at the very least.

With the season set to get underway, we've previewed the ten must-watch games in the SANFL for 2024.

Round 1 - North Adelaide v Central District - Friday, March 29, 1:40pm

North Adelaide will get an early shot at revenge against the team that all but knocked them out of last year's finals race.

In one of the games of the season, the Bulldogs kicked the only goal of the last quarter courtesy of Kyle Presbury to sink the Roosters by two points at Prospect.

The result left North needing to beat second-placed Sturt in the last round to make the five, which they failed to do.

The Roosters will be desperate to redeem themselves and start the new campaign on a winning note, while the Dogs will be keen to show last year's finals appearance was the start of something bigger.

Round 1 - Glenelg v Port Adelaide - Friday, 29 March, 4:40pm

The reigning premiers will unfurl the 2023 premiership flag in what is sure to be a night of great celebration at the Bay.

Hosting old rival Port Adelaide in the twilight timeslot on Good Friday, the Glenelg faithful will be out in force as the Tigers begin their premiership defence.

It will also be the first opportunity for fans to see new recruits Will Gould, Chris Curran and Nick Stevens pull on the yellow and black.

Excitement has been building all summer for the return of Gould and Curran, both premiership players from 2019 and key planks in a terrific defensive unit.

Round 2 - West Adelaide v Port Adelaide, Sunday, 14 April, 2:10pm

West Adelaide and Port Adelaide will travel to Waikerie for the third annual Russell Ebert Tribute Match.

The match will again attract locals from across the Riverland to honour one of the greatest footballers the area has ever produced and see a high-quality game of league football.

Despite claiming the past five wooden spoons, the Bloods have pushed the Magpies to 24 and 17 points in their two previous Riverland clashes.

Seemingly on the rise with a talented young list, West Adelaide will fancy themselves to knock over their old rivals and honour the Ebert name in style.

Round 3 - Glenelg v Adelaide - Saturday, 20 April, 2:10pm

As the first and second ranked attacks of last season, Glenelg and Adelaide played some of the most attractive football of 2023.

They played each other three times last year, including the semi-final, and all three were quality affairs.

The semi-final matchup on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Adelaide Oval was one of the best displays of football for the year.

This clash in Round 3 will be an early-season marker of where both teams are at in 2024.

Round 4 - Glenelg v Sturt - Thursday, 25 April, 2:10pm

The traditional grand final rematch on ANZAC Day is always a highlight of each SANFL season.

The day itself is a special occasion for all involved, with the pre-match ceremony and minute of silence to honour the fallen ANZACs.

Then the ball bounces to start a heavyweight clash between the defending champions and their vanquished rivals.

Excluding 2020, in which a rematch between Glenelg and Port Adelaide was impossible, eight of the previous 13 runners-up have upstaged the premiers in the rematch.

Glenelg and Sturt were the two clear best teams in the competition last year and neither look set to drop the pace in 2024.

Round 5 - Adelaide v Port Adelaide, Thursday, 2 May, 3:20pm

These two bitter rivals will face off in a SANFL clash before the AFL Showdown later that night.

Adelaide easily accounted for Port Adelaide in both of their meetings last year, but with injuries at AFL level playing such a crucial role in the strength of their state league sides, picking a winner is not easy.

These clashes give the young players of both sides invaluable experience on Adelaide Oval, which is important given that all finals are played at the home of South Australian football.

There is sure to be a big crowd towards the end of this game, with many Crows and Power fans showing up to the AFL game early to watch their state league team in action.

Round 7 - Sturt v Adelaide - Saturday, 25 May, 2:30pm

These two teams saw plenty of each other last year, playing four times including two finals clashes, all of which were decided by under three goals.

The Double Blues rebounded from a seven-point qualifying final loss to the Crows to eventually defeat them by 17 points in the preliminary final and book a grand final berth.

With such an even recent record against each other, this clash could be crucial for both teams' chances of securing a top three finish.

Round 11 - Norwood v Port Adelaide - Sunday, 23 June, 2:10pm

The often overused footy cliche of ‘no matter where these teams sit on the ladder' genuinely does apply in the case of these two old rivals.

So much so that the newly-reinstated Gallagher-Williams Cup, awarded to the team that comes out of the two clashes each year better on aggregate, couldn't be decided last year.

Port Adelaide won by seven points at Alberton and Norwood by the same margin at the Parade.

Adding extra significance to this game is the fact that it could be the last between the two great clubs should Port Adelaide be admitted to the VFL in 2025.

If that is to be the case, even the most ardent Norwood and Port Adelaide supporters would feel a tinge of sadness to see the back of each other.

Round 12 - Port Adelaide v Central District - TBC

Last year's elimination final combatants don't meet until Round 12 at Alberton, by which time both teams could be locked in a fierce battle for a place in the five.

The Dogs secured their place in the finals with an eight-goal last quarter against the Magpies at Elizabeth in the final round, then won the elimination final the following week with a five-goal-to-one final quarter at Adelaide Oval.

Both teams showed significant improvement last year to return to finals action and both will be looking to make a deeper run into September in 2024.

Round 17 - West Adelaide v Adelaide, TBC

West Adelaide and Adelaide will meet again in Murray Bridge for the second Neil Kerley Memorial Match.

The inaugural game last year saw the Crows outlast the Bloods in gloomy conditions at Johnstone Park to win by 38 points.

This clash could carry extra weight should either the Crows or Westies be contending for finals action, with two valuable points on offer on the way to September.