The ThunderW list has added yet more strength to its line-up, signing Waratah premiership teammates Alicia Stanley and former Fremantle AFLW player, Jade de Melo for their first seasons in representing the club.
Stanley began her football career at Tracy Village in the NTFL playing two seasons and travelling from Katherine to Darwin before transferring to Waratah, where she played in the 2016/17 Grand Final, her team defeated by the Darwin Buffaloes.
She then missed a whole season due to a leg injury before returning to the action in 2018/19 and playing 15 games, capping the season off with a premiership.
A newcomer to football in Darwin, de Melo joined Waratah in Round 8 after relocating from Western Australia and was a key player in their successful finals campaign.
De Melo was drafted by Fremantle with their second selection and the 10th overall pick in the 2017 AFL Women’s Rookie Draft. She made her debut against Greater Western Sydney at Fremantle Oval in Round 5 of the 2018 season and played against the Adelaide Crows in Darwin in Round 6.
She also earned selection in the 2018 WAWFL All Stars side against the State Under 23 side where she stood out with her speed and agility playing as a small forward.
ThunderW Head Coach, Heidi Thompson said Stanley is a smart footballer who makes effective decisions, especially when transitioning from defence to attack.
“She is tough and reads the play well to intercept off the half-back line but don’t be surprised to see her play as a small forward near goals throughout the VFLW season,” she said.
Thompson said De Melo would be a great asset to the ThunderW program with her experience in the AFLW system.
“Jade is an elusive and crafty player with the ball in hand and can create something from nothing. She comes to us with some AFLW experience, which is fantastic for our program.
Jade’s agility, speed and elevation at a marking contest are elite, and I am looking forward to seeing her game go to another level in 2019.”
NT Thunder Manager Andrew Hodges had high praise for both players.
“It’s a real positive for our program to have two more highly-skilled players and quality people commit for the 2019 season.
“Alicia has shown great resilience during her time with Thunder so far, where she was a big support to the players last VFLW season while undergoing her own rehab, and Jade has taken no time to buy into the Thunder program, bringing with her high standards from an elite AFLW program.”
Thunder memberships are now on sale! Visit: https://www.ntthunder.com.au/membership to become a Thunder member in 2019 so you can support our VFLW and NEAFL teams.
Round 1 of the Swisse Wellness VFLW season is Sunday 12 May against Hawthorn at Box Hill City Oval.