Alice Springs has provided NT Thunder with yet more Territory talent to add to its list with Dylan Barry, Ethan Liddle and Nigel Lockyer joining the NEAFL senior squad.
Twenty-two-year-old Barry returns to Thunder after playing one game in the 2016 season. The younger cousin of 2015 Thunder premiership star, Dom Barry, he is an accomplished player already at a relatively young age.
He played in the Southern Districts premiership team in the 2017/18 NTFL season and in 2017 was awarded the Everingham Medal for best on ground in the CAFL grand final playing for Rovers.
Liddle is also 22-years-old, comes from the Pioneers Football Club in Alice Springs and has played in the NT Thunder Academy. He is a small forward, outside mid player and had been playing for the Geelong West Giants in the AFL Barwon league in Victoria but has now relocated back to Alice Springs.
Another 22-year-old, Lockyer is another premiership player with Rovers in the CAFL and played 16 games for Palmerston in the 2018/19 TIO NTFL season, where he finished as runner-up in their club best and fairest. He is a key position player who is adept at playing at either end of the ground.
NT Thunder Head Coach Darren Reeves said Barry was a positive inclusion to the squad.
“Dylan completed a pre-season at Norwood in the SANFL, including playing some league trials and has decided to relocate back to Alice Springs and back into the Thunder program.
“We are excited to have him be part of the group and he will play a great role along with Abe Ankers in driving the standards of our Alice Springs-based players. We feel like he will be an excellent addition to our squad.”
When speaking about Liddle, Reeves said the youngster had impressed at the recent Redtails sessions and was excited to add him to the squad.
“Having been part of some underage squads in the past, Ethan has worked extremely hard on his fitness and his game and we are looking forward to exposing him at NEAFL level.
“He has excellent work rate both sides of the ball as well as being a nice ball user. It’s great to have another player based in Alice Springs.”
Reeves said Lockyer had the potential to be a surprise package for Thunder.
“Like Ethan, we were really impressed with Nigel’s game for the Redtails as well as some of his games at NTFL level throughout the year.
“He has some work to do from a physical standpoint, but with some great support in Alice Springs for him and a want to play at the next level, together with some exceptional talent, it will be thrilling to see how the season plays out for Nigel. There is no doubt everything being equal he could be a bit of an X-factor for us,” Reeves said.
NT Thunder Manager, Andrew Hodges said it was fantastic to secure more talent from Central Australia and the Redtails program.
“All three are previous graduates from our NT Thunder Academy program and it’s now great to have them stepping up to the senior program.”
The NT Thunder season starts on Saturday, 6 April against the Brisbane Lions at TIO Stadium, Darwin.
Alice Springs fans will see two home games at TIO Traeger Park, the first against traditional rivals Aspley in Round 22 on Saturday 22 June, followed by Redland in Round 17 on Saturday 27 July. Memberships are now available to purchase at www.ntthunder.com.au/membership and gets you into all home games in Darwin and Alice Springs
Photo: Justin Raymond/Centralian Advocate