With the bye last weekend, our players are well rested and ready to take on the remaining games this season. At this late stage, it’s difficult to avoid some fatigue and injury after a tough 2018 campaign. We have definitely had our share of bad luck this season, there have been 63 weeks to date that players have been unavailable due to injury. Fifty of those through collision-type injuries; concussion, broken bones etc.
There is no hiding from the fact that our season has been inconsistent at times, some disappointing losses over the course of the year. We have also had times when we’ve displayed some exciting footy. However, the gap between our best and worst is too great.
As a coach, you desperately try and find the answers to why the inconsistency. Could it be fatigue, inexperience, injuries or simply just poor form? I think the answer to the question is a mix of all it. With technology, we can monitor fatigue and fitness; we know fatigue has played some part. The side travelled seven times over the first 10 weeks of the season and came straight off the NTFL.
Regarding inexperience, we have had 20 players debut for NT Thunder over the course of this season. The experience these guys have gained is invaluable and will benefit us going forward. Five of those players are under the age of 19, a further eight under the age of 25.
This week’s game marks the debut for another talented young Territorian, Malcolm Rosas. After an impressive NTFL season with the Darwin Buffaloes, he continued that form into the Thunder Academy and was awarded All Australian honours post U16 nationals. This young lad possesses all the traits of what makes Territory footy so exciting; lightning leg speed, matched with the ability to change direction at the blink of an eye. I for one are excited to see him light up the NEAFL this weekend.