The NT Thunder Women’s (ThunderW) team travel to Melbourne for the third time this season with 10 changes to the team that comfortably defeated the Western Bulldogs, by 36-points in Round 5 of the VFL W.
Six players are set to make their VFL W debut against Carlton at RAMS Arena on Saturday, joining the other 36 players who have debuted for ThunderW this year.
Four-time NTFL Premiership player for Waratah, Amy Chittick, is one of the debutants this weekend. Chittick is no stranger to representing the Northern Territory and will add to her already impressive resume which includes playing in the AFLW Youth Girls National Championships three times in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Katie Streader is another exciting new in for ThunderW this week. Streader was awarded the Most Valuable Player during the 2016/17 TIO NTFL season in the Women’s Premier League playing for the PINT Football Club.
With a surname synonymous in Territory footy, Lauren Motlop is also among the four Darwin based players to don the Thunder jumper for the first time in the VFL W this weekend. Motlop is a physical and versatile player who knows how to read the ball well.
NTFL premiership player and former All Australian, Kristy Irvine is the fourth newcomer. Irvine is known for her good ball skills and comes with the ability to play at either end of the field which will add value to this week’s team.
Adelaide Crows 2017 AFLW premiership players, Courtney Cramey and Jenna McCormick, will bring with them invaluable experience and professionalism to the team. Both possess clean hands and display sharp foot skills with the ball.
The other big ins named for this week’s Carlton clash are Sarah Allan, Sophie Armitstead, Chelsea Randall and Emma Swanson.
Round 6 marks the first game that Jasmine Anderson, Jordann Hickey, Jasmyn Hewett, Lisa Roberts and Tayla Thorn will be rested this season.
Anne Hatchard, Eloise Jones, Justine Mules, Marijana Rajcic and Ruth Wallace also join Territory-based players in being rested this week.
ThunderW Head Coach, Tim Weatherald, said he believes that the changes are necessary to present the best team possible on game day.
“Due to the required travel on a regular basis, it’s important to give the players the rest they need not to burn out as we near the midway point of the season.
“With two consecutive weeks travelling for Round 6 and Round 7 we need to be strategic as to who we name to play against the quality sides of Carlton and the Southern Saints.
“I believe, like previous weeks, that our strongest team has been selected and I can’t wait to see them perform against the Blues.”
Despite being undefeated this season, Weatherald said preparations wouldn’t change leading into Round 6.
“We will approach playing against Carlton like any other match and hopefully do what’s required to get us over the line.
“Carlton started the season well and have some big AFLW names in the likes of Shae Audley, Breann Moody and the Hosking twins to choose from so we won’t be taking this trip lightly.
“I’ve been really impressed with the way our players have been able to adapt to the different playing conditions and climates. We’ll be striving to keep up the strong performance as we head back to the chilly Victorian winter,” said Weatherald.
VFL W Round 6
Carlton vs NT Thunder
Saturday 16 June
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn
B: Madeline Gault*, Courtney Cramey, Kristy Irvine
HB: Jenna McCormick, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen
C: Georgia Bevan, Angela Foley, Katie Streader
HF: Sue Nalder, Jessica Sedunary, Emma Swanson
F: Kylie Duggan, Sarah Allan, Machaelia Roberts
FOLL: Lauren O’Shea, Sally Riley, Renee Forth
INT: Sophie Armitstead, Samantha Barnett, Sophia Mauboy, Lauren Motlop, Amy Chittick
Emergency: Morgan Johnston, Lucy Adam, Tabitha May
IN: Sarah Allan, Sophie Armitstead, Amy Chittick, Courtney Cramey, Kristy Irvine, Jenna McCormick, Lauren Motlop, Chelsea Randall, Katie Streader, Emma Swanson
OUT: Jasmine Anderson, Anne Hatchard, Jasmyn Hewett, Jordann Hickey, Eloise Jones, Justine Mules, Marijana Rajcic, Lisa Roberts, Tayla Thorn, Ruth Wallace (all rested)
NEW: Amy Chittick, Courtney Cramey, Kristy Irvine, Jenna McCormick, Lauren Motlop, Katie Streader
* Indicates 23rd player