The wait is finally over! With Round 1 upon us, it’s been interesting to look back and reflect on the last few months and the rollercoaster of different emotions taking on the head coaching role at NT Thunder.
While I had some idea and understanding of the landscape that existed, there was also the overriding feeling of wanting to get my hands dirty and get stuck into implementing my own thoughts, football philosophy and game style ideas as quickly as possible. I’m certain the players were also feeling equally uneasy early on with my hyped-up enthusiasm.
Thankfully once I settled into the role and spent more and more time with the players, we were able to put in place a program that would be of benefit to them while they were still heavily involved in the NTFL.
I’m thrilled with the buy-in of our group to get stuck into their work over the last few months whether it was rehab sessions, weights and conditioning blocks, skill blocks or education sessions watching vision. All players have gone about the work required without any fuss, and we feel like we are ready to go albeit with a completely different preparation to every other team in the NEAFL.
From a playing group perspective, we have 18 list changes from last season ranging from bringing in a couple of specific types, enticing back talented players in the NTFL and adding in some seriously gifted younger players from the Territory.
We are excited by the list we have, there is a nice mix of experience, youth and Territory flair and when mixed with constant encouragement from the coaching group to play without fear we will endeavour to provide great entertainment for our supporters and a consistent effort to whoever our opponents are every week.
We are jumping out of our skins to implement our pre-season and its learnings and can’t wait to get stuck in tonight in front of a supportive home crowd at TIO Stadium.
Hope to see you there!