NT Thunder returns to the Red Centre for Round 17 of the NEAFL season to take on Redland for the third time this season, and with the ledger squared at one win apiece, Thunder will be wanting to win in front of its home crowd.
Academy player and Alice Springs local Tyson Woods will make his Thunder debut after a stand out performance for the Redtails against the Top End Storm in the AFL curtain raiser game last weekend when he kicked five goals.
An 18-year-old from the remote communities of Yuendumu/Haasts Bluff, Woods has kicked 18 goals in six matches for South Alice in the Central Australian Football League (CAFL) senior competition this season and 11 goals in three Under 18 games, so he certainly knows where the goals are at TIO Traeger Park.
Nate Paredes and Josiah Farrer return to the team after missing with family commitments along with Cohen Thiele, which will strengthen the Thunder spine. Speedsters Malcolm Rosas and Ben Taylor also come back in and their injection of pace is sure to prove handy.
Kieren Parnell suffered a knee injury last weekend in Canberra and will be sidelined for a couple of weeks along with Ethan Liddle who sustained a concussion, while Jess Budarick, David Johnston and Joel Stevens have all been omitted from the side.
Head Coach Darren Reeves said the team are looking forward to their final home game in Alice Springs and seeing Woods in the lineup.
“I saw Woods earlier in the year, and he has been playing good footy in our Under 18s program and after last week’s game for the Redtails, he’s earnt a call-up.
“Mally Rosas comes back into the team and we all know his talent so we’re excited by his inclusion. He’s only played one game this year due to Academy and Allies commitments and ironically it was against Redland so he’s played against them before,” Reeves said.
“We’re also really pleased to get some experienced players back in, they provide strong bodies around the ball and contest which is important for us. We’re going into this game focused on the opportunity to get out and play footy and find some enjoyment, and who knows what will happen.
“The best remedy to get over the disappointment of last week’s loss is just to get back into it and we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
NEAFL Round 17
NT Thunder vs Redland
6:00pm ACST, Saturday 27 July
TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs
B: Joel Budarick, Josiah Farrer, Kevin Maroney
HB: Phillip Wills, Damian Williams, Benjamin Rioli
C: Brodie Carroll, Cohen Thiele, Dylan McLachlan
HF: Nigel Lockyer, Jacob Templeton, Kieran Delahunty
F: Ben Taylor, Trent Melville, Malcolm Rosas
FOLL: Jack Hannath, Nathaniel Paredes, Abraham Ankers (c)
INT: Brandon Rusca, Jack Monigatti, Chris Williams, Adam Tipungwuti, Tyson Woods*
EMERGENCIES: Jess Budarick, David Johnston, Joel Stevens
IN: Josiah Farrer, Nathaniel Paredes, Malcolm Rosas, Ben Taylor, Cohen Thiele, Tyson Woods
OUT: Jess Budarick (omitted), David Johnston (omitted), Ethan Liddle (concussion), Kieren Parnell (knee), Joel Stevens (omitted)
NEW: Tyson Woods (Academy)
*Indicates 23rd player