NT Thunder favourites Ben Rioli, Matthew Rosier, Sam Talbot and Tony Olango, have all been named to travel to Brisbane ahead of the team’s Round 4 clash with Redland on Saturday afternoon.
It has become the traditional ANZAC Day game for the two clubs, and Rioli will be looking to have a similar outing to the same fixture last year when he accumulated 25 disposals and was awarded the ANZAC Medal for being best on ground in Thunder’s 24-point win.
Rosier, who missed the first two games due to a club-imposed sanction has been working hard on and off the training track and will run out for his 118th Club game this weekend.
Affectionately known as ‘the boy from Alice Springs’, Rosier finished joint runner-up in NT Thunder’s 2016 Club Champion award and is one of the NT’s hardest on-ballers.
Talbot is another welcome inclusion after a strong 2015 and 2016 NEAFL season with the Club and is sure to be seen leaping over the top of his opposition when given the chance.
The three experienced heads of Rioli, Rosier and Talbot will be joined by 18-year-old Olango, who will wear the senior NT Thunder jumper for just the third time in his career.
A familiar face with the AFLNT Under 18 State Academy, Olango was recently signed by the Hawthorn Football Club as a Next Generation Academy Player.
It will be his first footy game since injuring his knee in November.
Head Coach Andrew Hodges said though always a tough decision to make he was glad to have an almost full squad to choose from.
“There were a few guys who were unlucky to miss this weekend and a couple who are from remote or regional areas, like Justin Cooper and Abe Ankers that we felt would benefit from another week off from travelling.
“It does mean we have the opportunity to welcome some experience into the side with Ben, who is a new addition to the leadership group this year and will play a bit of a different role to usual.
“Along with Matty and Sam who are both reliable, hard working teammates you want running out beside you.”
On Olango, Hodges was pleased the 198-centimetre player was getting the opportunity to play senior NT footy once more.
“Tony always bring lots of athleticism to the table, and combined with his hard work and dedication it’s clear to see why AFL clubs like Hawthorn are taking notice,” Hodges said.
NEAFL Round 4
Redland vs NT Thunder
1:30pm (1:00pm NT) Saturday 22 April
Tidbold Park, QLD
B: Justin Beugelaar, Daniel Russell, Jonathan Peris
HB: Cameron Ilett, Tom Davies, Daniel Weetra
C: Sam Smith, Matthew Rosier, Nick Yarran
HF: Ben Rioli, Hugo Drogemuller, Lachlan Collihole
F: Adam Sambono, Darren Ewing, Damian Williams
FOLL: Ryan Smith, Shannon Rioli, Braedon McLean
INT: Neil Vea Vea, Jack Shannahan, Michael Coombes, Tony Olango*, Sam Talbot
EMERGENCIES: Davin Ferreira, Kyle Emery
IN: Tony Olango, Ben Rioli, Matthew Rosier, Sam Talbot
OUT: Abraham Ankers (rest), Justin Cooper (rest), Davin Ferreira (omitted) Michael Hagan (injury – ribs)
* Indicates 23rd player
You can live stream this game thanks to Tatts on ThunderVision.