The first ever NT Thunder VFL Women’s side will launch its campaign against the 2017 Premiers, Darebin in Melbourne on Saturday 5 May.
The Club is also elated that it will play six games in the Territory as part of the 2018 Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s season.
All six games are against AFLW/AFL affiliated teams; Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Geelong Cats, Casey and Hawthorn, and five will be played at TIO Stadium in Darwin, while the Round 12 game versus Casey will be hosted at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs.
In a big win for Territory footy fans, four of the Darwin fixtures will be curtain raisers to NT Thunder’s NEAFL games, with a 4pm start time flowing nicely into the 6:30pm men’s game.
There are also instances where the women will play curtain-raisers to the men’s VFL games in Melbourne.
Thunder will play every team once, with the exception of Darebin who it will play again in Round 10, and Collingwood, firstly in Darwin for Round 8 and in Melbourne in Round 14.
The Club will have three bye weekends in total throughout the 16 rounds of the home and away season, which have been earmarked at Round 2, the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June and another one in Round 16.
And with three rounds of finals, the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s grand final has been set down for the weekend of the 22/23 September.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) Manager of Talent and Pathways Wally Gallio said there was a lot to like about what awaits the maiden Northern Territory VFL Women’s team.
“It’s a great honour that we will come up against the reigning premiers in the opening round and in our first game. It is going to provide the perfect opportunity for our players to test their mettle against the best in the business.
“We also get to play quality opposition in front of family and friends in Darwin and Alice Springs, which will be a great spectacle for everyone, and our travel schedule is nothing unexpected of a professional team,” he said.
Gallio said he was sure the right coaching and support staff would ready the players for their first venture into a full season of state-league women’s football.
“We opened applications for the NT Thunder Women’s Head Coach last week, and we know with how smoothly the men’s NEAFL program runs that we have the right processes as well as medical, wellbeing and administration components to make it a successful start in 2018.”
2018 NT Thunder VFL Women’s fixture is below. See here for the full 2018 Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s fixture for all teams.
* Indicates NT Thunder NEAFL curtain-raiser game.
^ Indicates confirmed VFL curtain-raiser game.
|VFLW RD||DATE||OPPONENT||HOME/AWAY||VENUE||LOCAL TIME|
|1||Saturday, 5 May||Darebin||Away||TBC||TBC|
|2||Saturday, 12 May||BYE|
|3||Saturday, 19 May||Essendon||Home *||TIO Stadium||4:00pm|
|4||Saturday, 26 May||Melbourne Uni||Away ^||Avalon Airport Oval||11:10am|
|5||Saturday, 2 June||Western Bulldogs||Home *||TIO Stadium||4:00pm|
|6||Saturday, 16 June||Carlton||Away||Preston City Oval||12:00pm|
|7||Saturday, 23 June||Southern Saints||Away||Skybus Stadium||11:15am|
|8||Saturday, 30 June||Collingwood||Home *||TIO Stadium||4:00pm|
|9||Saturday, 7 July||Geelong Cats||Home||TIO Stadium||4:00pm|
|10||Saturday, 14 July||Darebin||Away||TBC||TBC|
|11||Saturday, 21 July||Richmond||Away||Swinburne Centre||12:00pm|
|12||Saturday, 28 July||Casey||Home||TIO Traeger Park||4:00pm|
|13||Saturday, 4 August||Williamstown||Away||Avalon Airport Oval||11:00am|
|14||Saturday, 11 August||Collingwood||Away||TBC||4:30pm|
|15||Saturday, 18 August||Hawthorn||Home *||TIO Stadium||4:00pm|
|16||Saturday, 25 August||BYE|