The Northern Territory Football Club aka NT Thunder was established in 2009 to utilise the power of Australian Rules Football in tackling anti-social behaviour, deliver educational outcomes and provide employment opportunities for Territorians. NT Thunder recognises the fact Australian Rules Football is the language that breaks all barriers across the NT and through a diverse and unique set of core objectives the Club has cemented its place as a high profile, successful sporting organisation that provides life changing opportunities, penetrates cultural differences and adds significant value to the local community.
NT Thunder competes in the North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) men’s competition and in 2018 joined the Victorian Football League (VFL) women’s competition. The NEAFL boasts four AFL reserves teams from the Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns, Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants while the VFL W has Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, Melbourne and Richmond. Travel is a regular challenge for the team as games are played in Darwin, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
Access to a state league competition whilst living at home has never been an option for aspiring AFL players from the Northern Territory. With the inception of NT Thunder players now don’t have to move interstate to access a pathway and receive professional services in their quest to be the next Michael Long, Andrew McLeod or Cyril Rioli, Daisy Pearce or Erin Phillips.
The objectives of the Northern Territory Football Club are unique and not just targeted to onfield results. Playing for NT Thunder comes with great responsibility in delivering the Club’s community engagement programs as role models and more importantly a player must be in gainful employment, attending school or studying to be eligible to play for the club.
The Club’s operation encompasses the width and breadth of the Territory with opportunities provided for players from the Tiwi Islands, Nhulunbuy, Maningrida, Katherine, Hermannsburg, Tennant Creek, Ti Tree, Barunga, Groote Eylandt, Wadeye, Galiwinku, Lajamanu, Ngukurr, Santa Teresa, Borroloola, Gapuwiyak and of course Darwin and Alice Springs. Through these opportunities NT Thunder, the brand and concept, is instantly recognised in remote Indigenous communities across the NT.