Round 21 marks the final game of the Home and Away NEAFL season. This week’s challenge is away against the Aspley Hornets who are coming off a solid win over the Southport Sharks last week. Aspley, like us, will play finals, and I’m sure they will be as desperate as we are this week to enter finals in winning form. This should make for an interesting contest.
With the bye last weekend, our players are well rested and ready to take on the remaining games this year. At this late stage of the season, it’s difficult to avoid some fatigue and injury after a tough back end of the season that saw us on the road more often than not. It’s important we manage players through this period to ensure we have a full list to pick from come finals next week.
There is no hiding from the fact that our season has been inconsistent, especially after some disappointing losses over the last month. Having said that, at times we have displayed our best. Some exciting footy has been played; the 17 goal first half effort in Round 18 was perhaps our best. It’s imperative we show consistency this week and put four solid quarters together.
As a coach, you desperately try and find the answers to why the inconsistency. Could it be fatigue, inexperience, or simply just poor form? I think the answer to the questions is a mix of all the above. With technology we can monitor fatigue and fitness, we know fatigue has played some part, and the side has travelled five times over the past eight weeks.
Regarding inexperience, we have had 15 new players debut for NT Thunder over the course of this season. While the experience these guys have gained is invaluable and will benefit us going forward into finals, it is never ideal to swap too many players in and out of your weekly line-up.
This week we don’t have as many changes as the past few weeks so be sure to tune into ThunderVision from 1pm NT time and cheer us on.