Assistant Coaches & Support Staff

NEAFL

Darren Reeves

Darren Reeves

NEAFL Head Coach

2019 –

A highly regarded coach with a Level 3 AFL High-Performance certificate, Reeves was appointed to NT Thunder men’s head coach at the end of 2018. He comes to NT Thunder with over eight years of senior football coaching experience and in the most recent prior coaching role, he was the Senior Assistant/Reserves Coach at Central Districts Football Club in the SANFL.

From 2015 to 2017 he was Head Coach of the Centre of Excellence for the Central Districts Under 18s team which proceeded the 2015 premiership he won with the Nuriootpa Football Club in the Barossa & Gawler Football League.

Reeves was also the head coach of the Salisbury Football Club in the Adelaide Football League for three seasons.

Shannon Rusca

Senior Assistant Coach

2018 – 

The 2017/18 NTFL Men’s Premier League premiership coach, Shannon Rusca came back to the Thunder fold after a successful tenure as player and coach. An inaugural player in 2009 Rusca went on to play in the 2011 premierships and was the midfield coach in 2015 when Thunder took out the NEAFL honours. In 2018 he was named in the NT Thunder Team of the Decade.

An extensive playing career that covers AFL, SANFL and NTFL make Rusca the ideal candidate to once again be this year’s senior assistant coach.

Jackson Ankers

Jackson Ankers

Forwards Coach (Alice Springs)

2018 – 

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 and will share forward coach duties with Simon Munkara.

Ryan Ayres

Ryan Ayres

Defensive Coach

2018 – 

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.

Matt Cannard

Matt Cannard

Midfield Coach

2019 – 

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.

Darren Gilbert

Darren Gilbert

Bench Coach

2019 –

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.

Simon Munkara

Simon Munkara

Forward Coach (Tiwi Islands)

2019 – 

A new coach for NT Thunder, Munkara has a name synonymous with NT footy, and in January 2019 he celebrated 200 Premier League games in the NTFL, playing for the Tiwi Bombers. An expert goal kicker himself, Munkara has the added responsibility of driving training standards and sessions with the club’s two Tiwi-Islands based players, Adam Tipungwuti and Ross Tungatalum. He will share the forward line coaching duties with Jackson Ankers this year.

Robert Moore

Rob Moore

Program Strength & Conditioning Coach 

2018 – 

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.

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