It’s time, NT Thunder’s 2018 NEAFL campaign kicks off this weekend, and it’s an exciting challenge. A fresh season brings some new players, coaches and support staff to the Club.
NT Thunder is more than just a football club. It’s a representative of Territory football, our culture and our way of life. We are proud Territorians and because of that, have focused our recruiting on securing exciting Territory talent. This season’s list has 33 born and bred Territorians that will pull on the Thunder colours.
In all, 23 new faces have been added to the squad, all who played at NTFL or CAFL Premier League level in the past year. Of the players on our list, 33 have come through the NT Thunder talent programs which certify our existence; to create opportunities and pathways for young Territorians to compete at a higher level, be active community leaders and the best person they can on and off the field.
This season our squad will be led by a strong, passionate group of players. Shannon Rioli will captain Thunder for a third year, while Centralian Abraham Ankers will join as vice-captain. The remaining players that make up our leadership group are Joe Anderson, Hugo Drogemuller, Braedon McLean, Ben Rioli, Jarrod Stokes and Richard Tambling. I have no doubt this group will do an outstanding job guiding our young and talented list going forward. On a daily basis, all of these guys display the values and behaviours we require at NT Thunder.
Round 1 presents an opportunity for seven players who will make their NEAFL debut in Territory colours. It’s a fantastic chance for young Territorians, such as Rodney Baird and Jamie Hampton to show why they’re some of the brightest prospects we have. I’d like to congratulate all our first gamers and along with the playing group, coaches, staff and supporters, welcome you to this great club. With this opportunity comes great responsibility to do the Territory proud.