NEAFL Coach's Column Rd 6 2018

I’ve always admired and loved watching the raw skills of Tiwi players

11.05.18 14:25

After a well-earned rest over the bye weekend, the boys rolled up their sleeves at training this week and got dirty. After the disappointing loss in Alice, the group are eager to turn that result around this weekend.

Another tough challenge awaits, the Southport Sharks away on the Gold Coast. The Sharks have had an impressive start to the 2018 season, winning four of their first five games. They are the in-form side of the competition and always a tough opponent.

This week we welcome back into the side some Tiwi magic, Patty Heenan and Jack Munkara. The coaching staff are excited to have the lads back. These two guys have worked overtime to get the opportunity to play this weekend.

The challenges the players from Tiwi face on a weekly basis are like no other. With only four of our players based on the islands, it’s never easy to train in such a small group. Patty has done an outstanding job running and organising sessions so far this season, with the assistance of Simon Munkara. Each training night, the lads replicate a modified version of the training session we run with the main group in Darwin.

To add to the training challenges, comes the travel. With this week’s game on the Gold Coast, the lads jumped on a light aircraft early Friday morning to get to Darwin. They then joined the squad on a flight to Brisbane, followed by an hour bus road to the Gold Coast.

The Tiwi lads we have injected into the squad this season have added an exciting element, and I feel privileged to work with such talent. I’ve always admired and loved watching the raw skills of Tiwi players, but to sit in the coach’s box and watch it first hand is so enjoyable. Jack Munkara was one of my favourite players of the last NTFL last season, and I look forward to seeing him go to work in a Thunder jumper this weekend.

Ngawa Pumanyinga