Matt Green will become the latest Territory youngster to pull on the NT Thunder jumper when he makes his debut for the senior team in Round 16 NEAFL action against Canberra on Saturday night.
Joining Green for his first appearance for the club is Tim Brook, a 2017/18 NTFL premiership player with Southern Districts.
Brook was signed by Thunder before the season started and since April has been fighting hard to overcome a groin injury.
Head Coach Andrew Hodges said he was excited to name Brook in this week’s team.
“Tim has worked incredibly hard despite his injury setback and shown just as much commitment as the other boys who get named every week, so I am really pleased we are giving him the call-up this week.
“He is a strong bodied player who uses the ball very well and could easily slot into different positions around the ground with his neat left foot and clean hands.”
Meanwhile, Green who turned 18 in May has seen his stock rise the past couple of years off the back of hard work and impressive game time. He moved to Darwin from Tennant Creek at the start of the season to pursue his football ambitions and so far, it has paid off for the NAB AFL National Academy member.
Green was a standout in the NT’s Under 18 nationals campaign going on to earn Allies selection, and being played in all four games.
“Greeny typifies everything I love about the Thunder program. An aspiring youngster who stayed in the Territory while pursuing his dreams, he puts in the hard work on and off the field and I expect that tomorrow night we’re going to see just why he is one of the best up and coming utilities in contention for an AFL spot at this year’s draft,” Hodges said.
Also coming back into the side to face the fancied Demons outfit at TIO Stadium this weekend is Coen Hutt and Jarrod Stokes, who are both returning from injury, plus Matt Campbell and Sam Talbot who have completed various commitments.
Making way for the six ins are Michael Mummery and Shaun Wilson who are sick or injured, as well as Scott McLeod, Tylah Saunders, Patrick White and Izaak Wyatt who have been omitted.
Hodges said the team were committed to putting in a good showing and finishing the season in a style that befitted the Thunder brand.
“Canberra has been a very impressive outfit this year, and they showed us just why they’re a top contender back in Round 11 when they ran us off the ground.
“But we’re playing at home this time, and we have a different side to we did then so we wipe the slate clean, go out there and have a real hard Territory crack at claiming the four points,” he said.
NEAFL Round 16
NT Thunder vs Canberra Demons
Saturday 21 July
TIO Stadium, Darwin
B: Braedon McLean, Joe Anderson, Matt Campbell
HB: Cameron Ilett, Sam Dyke, Sam Smith
C: Ben Rioli, Abraham Ankers, Matthew Green*
HF: Liam Patrick, Kaine Riley, Nick Yarran
F: Jarrod Stokes, Darren Ewing, Shannon Rioli
FOLL: Jack Monigatti, Phillip Wills, Richard Tambling
INT: Sam Talbot, Chris Williams, Patrick Boles, Tim Brook, Coen Hutt
EMERGENCIES: Tylah Saunders, Izaak Wyatt, Beau Schwarze
IN: Tim Brook, Matt Campbell, Matthew Green, Coen Hutt, Jarrod Stokes, Sam Talbot
OUT: Michael Mummery, Scott McLeod, Tylah Saunders, Patrick White, Shaun Wilson, Izaak Wyatt
* Indicates 23rd player
You can live stream this game on ThunderVision thanks to Tatts