It has only been four weeks since NT Thunder came up against the Casey Demons in Alice Springs, and now it’s time to rewrite the story.
Nine changes, including three debutants, have been made during the Round 14 bye ahead of this Sunday’s VFLW game at Frankston Oval.
Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone are joining their fellow Allies (Central Allies) in Mattea Breed, Tayla Hart-Aluni and Shantel Miskin-Ripia to make their debut for Thunder. Clarke and Carbone both had successful campaigns playing for the Central Allies in the 2019 NAB AFLW U18 Championships in defence and midfield respectively.
The third debutant named is NTFL Women’s Premier League player, Lori Niven. Niven has trained hard over the course of the season and her commitment has earned her a position in the team.
ThunderW Captain Lateesha Jeffrey is back this week after being rested and missing her only game of the season against the Cats in Round 13. Jeffrey will lead from the wing this week, in a new move which ThunderW Coach Heidi Thompson said she was excited about.
AFLW duo Danielle Ponter and Jordann Hickey, along with Gemma Cusack promise a spark in the forward line with the intention to ignite the Thunder attack.
At the other end of the field, Alice Springs-based Caitlin Couch has been cleared of a hip injury and will come into the backline to shut down any Demons heading for the goals.
Rounding out the changes sees Kylie Duggan come into the mix adding experience to the raw talent which makes up this week’s Thunder midfield.
Unavailability sees Billie Byers, Alysha Healy, Ebony Marinoff, Ebony Miller, Katie Streader and Machaelia Roberts ruled out, with Tayla Thorn and Celina Whan both out with foot injuries and Amy Chittick sidelined after sustaining an injury to her right ankle against the Cats.
With only two games remaining for Thunder’s 2019 campaign and coming off a bye round, Coach Heidi Thompson said the girls are refreshed and excited with nothing to lose.
“It’s the perfect time for us to try something new, that’s evident in the move to the wing for Lateesha and the inclusion of three debutants in our second last game. With a mixed team consisting of experienced and young up-and-coming players, we’re looking forward to this weekend.
“Being able to bring Ponter and Hickey back for this week is also great, it gives us a more potent forward line, and coupled with the focus to see an improvement in defence transitions we should see more consistent shots and conversion at the goal end,” Thompson said.
VFLW Round 15
NT Thunder vs Casey Demons
11:30am AEST, Sunday 18 August
SkyBus Stadium, Frankston
B: Charlie Deegan, Lisa Roberts, Caitlin Couch
HB: Morgan Johnston, Shantel Miskin-Ripia, Dominique Carbone
C: Rachael Killian, Kristy Irvine, Lateesha Jeffrey (c)
HF: Gemma Cusack, Tayla Hart-Aluni*, Jordann Hickey
FF: Lori Niven, Danielle Ponter, Michelle Ellis
FOLL: Mattea Breed, Sophie Armitstead, Sally Riley
INT: Katerina Simmons, Kylie Duggan, Janet Baird, Bella Clarke, Rhiannon Busch
EMG: Eliza Morrison, Jaylah Williams, Madeline Gault
IN: Dominique Carbone, Bella Clarke, Caitlin Couch, Gemma Cusack, Kylie Duggan, Jordann Hickey, Lateesha Jeffrey, Lori Niven, Danielle Ponter
OUT: Billie Byers (unavailable), Amy Chittick (ankle), Alysha Healy (unavailable), Ebony Marinoff (unavailable), Ebony Miller (personal leave), Machaelia Roberts (unavailable), Katie Streader (unavailable), Tayla Thorn (foot), Celina Whan (foot).
New: Dominique Carbone, Bella Clarke, Lori Niven
*Indicates 23rd player