NT Thunder hit the road in search of their second back to back win of the season when they take on the Darebin Falcons in Round 10 of the VFLW on Sunday 12 July.
Making her Thunder debut is Kristal Tak. Tak played in the winning U18 NFTL Darwin Buffaloes side in 2019, played two premier league games with the Buffaloes in that same season and represented the NT at the 2019 NAB AFLW U18 Championships.
Joining Tak is her 2019 NAB AFLW U18 Championships team mate Claudia Fabris who will also debut for Thunder this week. Fabris has played for the Waratah’s in their Under 18 side since 2017 and this year played three games in their Women’s Premier League side.
Anglea Foley is back this week, playing against the side she made her Thunder debut against in 2018 and is joined by Eloise Jones, Kat Simmons and Deni Varnhagan, who all missed Thunder’s Round 9 win against Carlton due to unavailability.
Michelle Ellis has recovered from a minor ankle injury which saw her miss a week and will be back in the forward line hoping to fill the gap left by Tahlia Holtze who is unavailable for selection.
Adding to the forward line deficit is Jordan Hickey, who will be joined by Jasmyn Hewett and Tayla Thorn in Queensland to play for the Gold Coast Suns in the third QW Winter Series game.
Jaylah Williams and Lisa Roberts will miss this week due to unavailability while Hannah Martin will take a seat on the sideline nursing a minor knee injury.
Shantel Miskin-Ripia, Mattea Breed and Alysha Healy miss another week busy fulfilling their duties in the Central Allies team in the AFLW U18 Championships. ThunderW Head Coach Heidi Thompson is also tied up with the Central Allies and this week hands the coaching baton onto Ricky Nolan to lead the women.
Nolan said being short this week due to unavailability, means Thunder are going to have to dig deep.
“With some girls playing for the GCS to increase their chances to get AFLW drafted, and our younger girls away playing in the AFLW U18 National Championships with the Allies, we’re going to have to dig deep and we just need to get the job done and get the win.
“The team is looking forward to getting Ange Foley back this week. Having a two time AFLW premiership player and Gwynne Medallist in the NTFL, Foley is someone we can only benefit from, especially her experience and ability to win the football.
“We need to continue the momentum of the last quarter of last week’s game where Janet Baird, Micky Roberts and Anne Hatchard were super human.” Nolan said.
VFLW Round 10
NT Thunder vs Darebin Falcons
12:00pm ACST, Sunday 14 June
Preston City Oval, Melbourne
B: Billie Byers, Lateesha Jeffrey (c), Sophie Armitstead
HB: Morgan Johnston, Gemma Cusack, Sharona Bishop
C: Deni Varnhagen, Anne Hatchard, Kylie Duggan
HF: Amy Chittick, Michelle Ellis, Caitlin Couch
FF: Machaelia Roberts, Eloise Jones, Stevie-Lee Thompson
FOLL: Kat Simmons, Angela Foley, Janet Baird
INT: Rhiannon Busch, Rebecca Pryer, Danielle Ponter, Kristal Tak, Claudia Fabris*
EMG: Charlie Deegan, Tahlia Holtze, Eliza Morrison
IN: Michelle Ellis, Claudia Fabris, Angela Foley, Eloise Jones, Kat Simmons, Kristal Tak, Deni Varnhagen
OUT: Jordann Hickey, Jasmyn Hewett, Tahlia Holtze, Hannah Martin, Tayla Thorn, Lisa Roberts, Jaylah Williams
NEW: Kristal Tak, Claudia Fabris*
*Indicates 23rd player