Alice Springs-based, Ankers returns for his second season coaching at NEAFL level and overseeing the Alice Springs-based players, including his brother, Abe. Jackon is a premiership coach for Federal Football Club in the CAFL and is known for his ability to analyse and motivate. In his role, he will also work closely with the Redtails Football Program.
After stepping into a senior coaching position in the most recent NTFL season heading up Waratah, Ryan Ayres is also back for his second season with the senior NT Thunder squad. Ayres has familiarity with an elite AFL environment, and after being Thunder’s forwards’ coach in 2018, he is set to oversee the defenders this season. In 2016 and 2017 he was an assistant coach with the NT Thunder Under 18 Academy.
After playing 14 games in NT Thunder’s first season and one of the greats/former Nichols Medallist of the NTFL, Matt Cannard steps into a coaching position with the senior team in 2019. Over recent years Cannard also dedicated his time to the Under 18 NT Thunder Academy and has been heavily involved with coaching at Southern Districts.
A former TEAFA/NTFL player and most-recently St Mary’s Division 1 coach, Gilbert is no stranger to NT Thunder, having been involved at the Academy level before backfilling a role with the seniors at the end of the 2018 season. He will oversee the interchange bench operations on game day as well as take care of communication from the main coaching box to around the ground.
Program Strength & Conditioning Coach
Moore is back for his second season working with the NT Thunder NEAFL team and has now completed his Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science. He will work closely with Eliza Morrison to deliver a fitness program, including strength and conditioning, to complement the other coaching and game components. Moore has an impressive resume, which includes five years of industry experience with both team and individual sports and includes stints with the AFLW, weightlifting and rugby.
Senior Assistant Coach
Nolan’s success in the NT is well-documented, especially on the back of coaching St Mary’s to three NTFL Men’s Premier League titles in recent years. Before the Saints, he also enjoyed a year coaching the Waratah women’s team to a grand final and has experience with the NT Thunder program having been involved with the men’s NEAFL side. A Level 3 qualified coach, he also played in premierships with St Mary’s and has most recently been coaching his son in the Under 14’s at the club.l Ricky has extensive knowledge of the Thunder program and is a huge asset to us all because he knows what it takes to build a winning culture.
After his first year at the helm of the Darwin Buffettes, seasoned player, Chris Atkinson has been tasked with the job of enhancing ThunderW’s forward line. A first-time coach in the Thunder program, Atkinson brings a composed demeanour to the group. He is an experienced footballer who plays for the Darwin Buffaloes in the NTFL and Federal in the CAFL. Chris is a very knowledgeable and considered coach, who is always looking for ways to improve. He is a calming influence amongst the coaching group, and I am looking forward to seeing his players develop under his tutelage.
A first-time NTFL women’s coach with Nightcliff in the 2018/19 season, Shannon Millar has stepped up to the senior squad this year after spending 2018 with the Academy and will oversee Thunder’s midfield group. A recently retired football player herself, Millar also has strong netball connections having played at state representative level and coached in the Darwin Premier League competition. Thompson explained that Millar’s professionalism was driving high standards amongst the group. Shannon is a real student of the game and her thirst for knowledge and bettering herself is having a positive influence on many. She has a great understanding of the players, which will really complement the ThunderW program this year, so I am excited to see the development of players working under her.
Rob Clarke who has been involved with NT footy over a long period will once again oversee the ThunderW training base in Alice Springs while maintaining his leadership of the Pinktails program and the successful running of the Rovers Football Club. Clarkey is a thoughtful coach who always has the players’ best interests in the forefront of his mind. He will continue to build the relationship between the Darwin base and Alice Springs this season and beyond.
AFLW premiership winning assistant coach, Narelle Smith will take charge of Thunder’s Adelaide-based playing group. Smith is a 130-game player in the Adelaide Footy Women’s League and has extensive coaching experience that covers the SANFLW, SA’s state women’s team and with Morphettville Park’s senior women’s team, which she steered to back-to-back Adelaide Footy League premierships. In February 2018, Smith made history as the first woman to take the reins of a SANFL men’s team when she was appointed senior coach of Glenelg Football Club’s reserves team.”Rell” is a very accomplished coach who has added an AFLW premiership to all her other achievements. She is an excellent communicator who knows how to make tactics and drills relatable, and is good at building relationships which will be highly beneficial given we’ll be operating from different locations.