NT Thunder captain Angela Foley returns to the team this weekend in the battle for second place when ThunderW take on the Geelong Cats in Round 9 VFL W action.
Foley will be joined by former Adelaide Crows AFL W teammate Tayla Thorn who is also back along with a number of other ins with eight changes made to last week’s team.
2017/18 NTFL premiership player for Waratah, Sharona Bishop makes her long-awaited debut for the Territory team, taking the number of local players to have pulled on the famed guernsey to 25.
Bishop hails from the remote Territory town of Bobsyard, an indigenous community close to Timber Creek and English is her sixth language. She played for St Albans in the Victorian Women’s Football League in 2012/13 and is also a talented runner who trained as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project facilitated by Commonwealth Games champion Rob De Castella.
Thunder also welcomes the return of tough on baller Kristy Irvine, Machaelia Roberts, Katie Streader, Jessica Sedunary and Deni Varnhagen.
Out of the team this week is Jasmine Anderson, Amy Chittick, Courtney Cramey, Tahlia Holtze, Morgan Johnston, Lauren Motlop, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Nicki Gore.
ThunderW Head Coach Tim Weatherald said the team would be looking to make amends for the last two weeks losses to the Southern Saints and Collingwood.
“We’re coming off two losses so it will be real battle this week against Geelong who had their first loss last week and both teams will be pretty keen to get into the winner’s circle. It’s basically a battle for second spot so this game will be effectively worth double points to us.
“We’re going to need to play four really good quarters to win, it’s not going to be good enough to win one or two,” Weatherald said.
On his debut player for this weekend, Weatherald said Bishop had been working hard to get her chance to play in the team.
“Sharona has been brilliant all pre-season, she had a great finals series for Waratah in the NTFL last season and I really noticed how strong she was across the half back line and uses the ball really well”.
“She obviously had to wait for a while to play with her uni commitments and doing her prac in Katherine, but she’s trained super hard the last few weeks and earned her spot,” Weatherald said.
VFL W Round 9
NT Thunder vs Geelong Cats
Saturday 7 July
TIO Stadium, Darwin
B: Lisa Roberts, Samantha Barnett, Sophie Armitstead
HB: Lateesha Jeffrey, Tayla Thorn, Georgia Bevan
C: Deni Varnhagen, Angela Foley, Eloise Jones
HF: Kylie Duggan, Jordann Hickey, Jessica Sedunary
F: Sally Riley, Gemma Cusack, Jenna McCormick
FOLL: Jasmyn Hewett, Renee Forth, Emma Swanson
INT: Lauren O’Shea, Kristy Irvine, Machaelia Roberts, Sharona Bishop*, Katie Streader
EMERGENCIES: Jasmine Anderson, Sue Nalder, Jemma Iacono
IN: Sharona Bishop*, Angela Foley, Kristy Irvine, Machaelia Roberts, Jessica Sedunary, Katie Streader, Tayla Thorn, Deni Varnhagen
OUT: Jasmine Anderson, Amy Chittick, Courtney Cramey, Nicki Gore, Tahlia Holtze, Morgan Johnston, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Lauren Motlop
NEW: Sharona Bishop*
* Indicates 23rd player
This game will be live streamed on ThunderVision here