The NT Thunder women’s team are back on the road this weekend and with a mission in mind when they fly south to play Williamstown in Round 13 VFL W action.
Up for the taking is a confirmed spot in this year’s finals should ThunderW come away with the win, and fifth-placed Darebin loses its game to third-placed Hawthorn on Saturday.
Vice-captains Sally Riley and Lisa Roberts return to the team after resting the past two games, so too does current ThunderW leading goal kicker (and third overall in the VFL W), Jessica Sedunary who will be looking to add to the 14 majors she has to her name so far, this season.
Exciting forward/ruck Jas Hewett is also back in after suffering illness, while Stevie-Lee Thompson will pull on the jumper for just her second outing this season.
Speedy trio Georgia Bevan, Sam Barnett and Katie Streader are also included in the 12 ins, with Barnett and Alice Springs-based Jordann Hickey sharing honours for the most capped ThunderW players so far this season.
Before this weekend they had shared the honour with Renee Forth, but Forth is in need of some rest and will miss her first game since debuting for the club in Round 2.
Also taking some leave is last week’s best on ground performer, Jenna McCormick and Abbey Holmes, who has kicked five goals in the three games she has played for Thunder.
Nikki Gore comes in for her second game as the 23rd player, a straight swap for Katelyn Rosenzweig, while Dayna Cox, Courtney Cramey and Anne Hatchard are all welcome inclusions with experience leading into finals.
ThunderW Head Coach Tim Weatherald said while spots were still up for grabs the coaching group was shifting focus to putting out a team who would play a consistent, Territory-brand of footy.
“This weekend presents an exciting challenge. For various reasons, we’ve had to make more changes than we’d have liked, but one benefit to that is that the girls playing get a chance to push their case for future selection.
“Finals are no guarantee yet, but we know a win this weekend will go some way to securing that, which would be a great reward for all the effort put in right across Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide,” he said.
Speaking to Saturday’s opposition, Weatherald said the players wouldn’t be able to afford a lapse in concentration.
“The Seagulls will have come off a bye week, so we expect they will be fresh. Couple this with the fact that a month or so ago they really pushed the highly-fancied Hawthorn, only losing the lead in the last quarter and going down by four points and they also came close to upsetting Darebin the week before that.
“Being a new team to the VFL W there is an element of unpredictability for both of us, so even though they’re at the other end of the ladder we won’t be able to switch off and get away with it like we were lucky to in the second half of last week,” he said.
VFL W Round 13
Williamstown vs NT Thunder
11:30am AEST *Note was originally scheduled for 11am
Saturday 4 August
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee
B: Lisa Roberts, Samantha Barnett, Sophie Armitstead
HB: Courtney Cramey, Sarah Allan, Stevie-Lee Thompson
C: Dayna Cox, Angela Foley, Katie Streader
HF: Machaelia Roberts, Tayla Thorn, Jessica Sedunary
FF: Georgia Bevan, Anne Hatchard, Jordann Hickey
FOLL: Jasmyn Hewett, Emma Swanson, Sally Riley
INT: Kristy Irvine, Tahlia Holtze, Lateesha Jeffrey, Nikki Gore*, Madeline Keeble
EMERGENCIES: Lauren O’Shea, Sue Nalder, Jasmine Anderson, Kylie Duggan
IN: Samantha Barnett, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Dayna Cox, Nikki Gore, Anne Hatchard, Jasmyn Hewett, Sally Riley, Lisa Roberts, Jessica Sedunary, Katie Streader, Stevie-Lee Thompson
OUT: Sarah Allan, Jasmine Anderson, Kylie Duggan, Michelle Ellis, Renee Forth, Abbey Holmes, Jemma Iacono, Eloise Jones, Jenna McCormick, Sue Nalder, Lauren O’Shea, Katelyn Rosenzweig
*Indicates 23rd player