Andrew Hodges will remain as NT Thunder Head Coach after AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) CEO Stuart Totham used his address at the Club Champion presentation to announce that Hodges had been signed for a further two years.
Totham said Thunder underwent a mid-season review which highlighted some areas for improvement but also clearly indicated that Hodges is the best person to lead the club forward to at the least the end of the 2020 season.
“Andrew has lead the NEAFL team for the last two seasons, and we know he is a fantastic coach and is the right person to do the job.
“Head Coach of NT Thunder is one of the hardest coaching roles in the industry. He manages a large playing list, which this year was made up of close to 60 per cent Torres Strait and Indigenous talent and had 16 players of the 52 based in regional and remote areas, which means there’s always a challenge to bring the group together and help them bond.
“Andrew has built brilliant relationships with the players, administration and support crew; he also has excellent technical skills. With some improved support around him and a playing list with more depth we believe he is the best person to deliver success for Thunder’s men,” Totham said.
Hodges said he was honoured to be reinstated as head coach of the men’s NT Thunder side.
“There’s no hiding from the fact that this season hasn’t been our greatest but the faith Stu and the executive team has shown in my ability to lead the club going forward is a great honour.
“After recognising some of the achievements of players tonight my focus turns to a full on-field post-season review and ready-ing the program to attract and retain talent that will turn the club’s fortunes around in 2019,” he said.
In his speech, Hodges delivered an impassioned plea for players to balance their talent with a show of commitment.
“We have an abundance of footy talent here in the Territory, but it is worthless to you if hard work is absent,” he said.