In what is expected to be Will Farrer’s 50th outing in NT Thunder colours, there are just two changes to the side for its final NEAFL game against Aspley in Brisbane on Saturday.
Returning to the line-up after spending a couple of weeks resting on the sidelines is tall option, Jack Monigatti.
Also back in after a stint with illness and family commitments is lively small forward, Adam Tipungwuti.
Combined, Monigatti and Tipungwuti have 40 games of Thunder experience, nine shy of where the older Farrer currently sits, after beginning his journey with NT Thunder in 2011.
A dual premiership player with the club (two premierships in 2011), Farrer began his NT representative days as a sprightly 20-year-old. Eight years later, and though succumbing to an injury-interrupted season in 2019, his leap and kick are just as impressive as day one.
Coming into the season with 46 games and 66 goals to his name, Farrer has been diligent in the gym and on the training track to reach the milestone.
Head Coach Darren Reeves said it was a special milestone that the players would do their best to honour.
“Will is a great character around the club, and one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this season is seeing him and Joe (Josiah Farrer, brother) develop a deeper bond while in the program.
“They’ve both had to overcome some obstacles with injury, particularly Will, but he has been there every step of the way, encouraging the rest of the group and speaking to the players of his experience and pride in pulling on the jumper.
“This weekend the boys will get an opportunity to return the favour, and we’re confident they will put up a worthy fight,” he said.
Going out of the side is youngster Joel Stevens, who will go to Brisbane as the travelling emergency and Phillip Wills, who has a calf complaint.
Reeves said the two previous games to Aspley this season had been played on their terms, and the boys were keen to change that.
“Aspley is a quality outfit who has been too good right across the ground in the games we have played them so far this season. They’re also coming off some unlikely losses the last few rounds so will see it as an opportunity to regain momentum before they head into finals.
“But we put all that aside, and we concentrate on our controllables and making the improvements we’ve highlighted. We need to defend better, man-up with our opposition and use the footy more effectively.
“The cue isn’t in the rack yet, we’ve got one more game to show the effort and intent that we want to be known for, and if we happen to cause an upset, then that’s a bonus.”
NEAFL Round 21
Aspley vs NT Thunder
1:30pm AEST, Saturday 24 August
Voxson Oval, QLD
B: Joel Budarick, Jack Monigatti, Kieren Parnell
HB: Joel Jeffrey, Josiah Farrer, Ben Rioli
C: Ben Taylor, Nate Paredes, Cohen Thiele
HF: Adam Tipungwuti, Kieran Delahunty, Malcolm Rosas
FF: Will Farrer, Ed Barlow, Nigel Lockyer
FOLL: Jack Hannath, Abraham Ankers (c), Jess Budarick
INT: Brandon Rusca*, Trent Melville, Chris Williams, Damian Williams, Jacob Templeton
EMG: Joel Stevens
IN: Jack Monigatti, Adam Tipungwuti
OUT: Joel Stevens (omitted), Phillip Wills (calf)
*Indicates 23rd player