Power of youth gives Thunder a welcome boost

25.06.19 11:09

After Thunder’s massive win over the Bombers, they are back on track for finals contention. One of the returning players in Kylie Duggan has had her problems with hamstring injuries but knows that patience is a virtue.

“My hamstrings felt strong on the weekend,” She said “It’s in good shape, I just needed that extra week to heal. The previous week I felt like I niggled it a training. Just for precautions, I took another week but now I’m all good now.”

Duggan feels like the team that played against the Bombers was a strong list. The best of Northern Territory talent was on display last Saturday and they formed a united front.

“The team we had was strong,” Duggan said. “We all came together, and we all come from different clubs. Katherine, Alice Springs, Darwin, and Adelaide based – we were all united as one team. We all played as a team which resulted in a great win for us.”

The game exposed many NT based players to get their opportunities at VFLW level. Angela Foley and Chelsea Randall were absent in last week’s game, but as one door closes another one opens.

“I think it was great for us,” Duggan said. “Chelsea Randall and Angela Foley are such an inspiration for our team and they inspire us to perform better. But when they don’t play, it’s an opportunity for somebody else to step up and that’s what we did.”

Two AFLW under 18 representatives of NT in Shantel Miskin-Ripia and Mattea Breed, had an enormous contribution in Essendon’s defeat.

Miskin-Ripia has been performing well across half-back as she manages to read the play better than most. Her intercept marking and pinpoint kicking is a feature for this young up and comer.

As for Breed, it was a debut for the ages. Pinch hitting in the ruck and following up on her on tap work and clearance work, was nothing short of impressive.

Breed claimed the 2018/2019 NTFL Women’s Rising Star medal but looks to have reached new heights as her development continues.

“They were great,” Duggan said. “It’s nice to see the youth coming through the system and they held their own well with older players. Mattea was outstanding in her first game, she really impressed me. She looks really strong and confident in her abilities which is great for her development.”

Another under 18 representative in Dominique Carbone has been impressive in the state league competition. Although we are yet to see Carbone play for Thunder, Duggan thinks it’s only a matter of time.

“Hopefully, soon she’ll get the opportunity,” Duggan said. “Dom is a great player who gets lots of the ball and it’s just a matter of time for her before her name is called.”

This Saturday Thunder will meet Williamstown on the Seagull’s homefront. Williamstown still remains winless as victory has slipped through their grasp on every outcome.

Their danger players include Moana Hope, Aliesha Newman, and Megan Williamson.

Williamson is a former Bendigo Pioneer playing her second year of VFLW football. Last year Williamson was the best and fairest for the Pioneers.

Hope is a name that all AFLW fans know. She came into the senior competition as a marquee player for Collingwood in 2016 but quickly fell out of favour due to repeated poor performances.

She was signed by North Melbourne in 2018 but was quickly delisted by the Kangaroos this year. Now at Williamstown, she attempts to repair her damaged career.

Newman is perhaps the best player the Seagulls have in their arsenal. The AFLW Demon has taken up a new role in the midfield. However, when she pushes forward, she shows how clever she can be around goal.

VFLW Round 8: NT Thunder vs Williamstown – 11:30am AEST Saturday 29 June, Downer Oval, Williamstown