The NT Thunder women’s side has named its big stars and leaders ahead of its first VFL W final against the Geelong Cats on Sunday.
All seven members of the leadership group will make the trip south, with Lauren O’Shea the travelling emergency. *UPDATED team news: During training on Thursday evening Kristy Irvine injured her hamstring, so Lauren O’Shea now comes into the side.
While ThunderW’s top five finishers in the Club Champion count for 2018 will all run out for the big do-or-die battle in Melbourne.
Joining captain Angela Foley, Jasmyn Hewett, Emma Swanson, Jordann Hickey and Renee Forth is Thunder’s leading goalkicker Jessica Sedunary.
Sedunary is a handy inclusion especially after she booted four goals against the Cats in Round 9.
Back then her fellow Adelaide-based teammate Jenna McCormick also kicked three majors, but McCormick’s versatility has afforded her a spot in the halfback line this weekend.
All seven of Thunder’s goal kickers who helped the team to a 65-point victory over Geelong have been named for this weekend’s final.
Included in the list and a handy inclusion to the lineup is Darwin Buffettes local girl, Kylie Duggan who used a four-week break (Round 15 and two bye rounds) to recover from a left knee issue.
The break also allowed Machaelia Roberts sufficient time to nurse a knock to the mouth she sustained in the Round 14 win against Collingwood.
After impressing with her hardness at the ball, Sharona Bishop who won the Bev Ellis Medal for being best on ground in last weekend’s CAFL Women’s Grand Final is the lucky one to have earned the 23rd player spot.
NT Thunder Head Coach Tim Weatherald said so far this season this week’s team was had been the hardest for the coaching group to pick.
“So many players really pushed their case and are unlucky to miss out, but after some long nights and discussion with the broader coaching staff and leadership group, we are thrilled with what we have put together this weekend.
“We feel we have a great mix of experience and talent which will form what we feel is the best team for this weekend’s match,” he said.
In his message to the playing group on Thursday, Weatherald said it was by no accident that the group was in their position.
“We’ve earned the opportunity to play finals footy through all our hard work and effort throughout the year.
“We can’t wait to get out there and show our family and supporters how much it means to us to represent the Territory on such a big stage.
“We had a convincing win against the Cats in Darwin but finals are a different game, and we know Geelong will be better prepared to play us this time. They’re a big, physical team with some star forwards. They’ve been very successful throughout the year and also deserve their spot,” he said.
VFL W Semi Final 2 (UPDATED post-training on Thursday)
NT Thunder vs Geelong Cats
Sunday 9 September
Stannards Stadium, Port Melbourne
B: Samantha Barnett, Sarah Allan, Lisa Roberts
HB: Jenna McCormick, Tayla Thorn, Stevie-Lee Thompson
C: Katie Streader, Angela Foley, Jessica Sedunary
HF: Sally Riley, Anne Hatchard, Marijana Rajcic
F: Renee Forth, Jordann Hickey, Machaelia Roberts
FOLL: Jasmyn Hewett, Ebony Marinoff, Emma Swanson
INT: Sharona Bishop*, Lauren O’Shea, Sue Nalder, Kylie Duggan, Lateesha Jeffrey
EMERGENCIES: Courtney Cramey, Madeline Keeble, Sophie Armitstead, Janet Baird (Madeline Keeble comes in as the travelling emergency)
IN: Sarah Allan, Sharona Bishop, Kylie Duggan, Anne Hatchard, Lauren O’Shea, Machaelia Roberts, Jessica Sedunary, Stevie-Lee Thompson
OUT: Jessica Allan, Janet Baird, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Abbey Holmes, Tahlia Holtze, Kristy Irvine, Madeline Keeble
* Indicates 23rd player