NT Thunder has made just two changes to its line-up to take on the Southport Sharks in Darwin on Saturday night in the last home game of the 2019 NEAFL season.
Will Farrer comes back into the team for the first time since Round 2 after recovering from a serious back injury and joining him is Nigel Lockyer who was missed last week due to family commitments.
Going out of the team is Thunder big man David Johnston with a hand injury sustained at work and Dylan McLachlan with a hamstring strain, an injury he picked up in last weekend’s game against Sydney University.
Head Coach Darren Reeves said the inclusion of Farrer was one he has been looking forward to.
“We’re really excited to have Will back. He’s had a significant back injury over a long period of time and we’ve watched him do all the rehab work week in week out.
“He has trained hard over the last few weeks and we’re really happy about his addition to the team and what he brings to our group,” he said.
Reeves was equally happy about Lockyer returning to the team after a week’s rest.
“Nigel has had a breakout season for us after debuting in Round 8 and has played nine out of a possible ten games, only missing last week so he’s become an important part of the team,” he added.
“His efforts have been recognised at the highest level after he was invited to the AFL State Combine later in the year and I’m really rapt for him,” he said.
After the loss last week, Reeves said the focus was purely on the task ahead.
“We’re looking to bounce back after a disappointing second half last week and it’s our last home game for the year so we are wanting to repay our loyal fans and supporters with a good result,” he said.
“It’s the first trip Southport have made to the NT this year after two meetings in Queensland and we won’t take the Sharks lightly.
“We take confidence out of our last two games against them where we were right in them. We feel like if we’re able to bring good effort and energy we give ourselves an opportunity, but we also understand they are a high-quality team with loads of experience.
“They have lots to play for after a big loss two weeks ago before they had the bye,” he said.
This weekend NT Thunder would like to say thanks to all its supporters and the community by offering FREE entry. There will also be the Thunder waterslide, free face painting and footy games for the kids. The Mascot Race will be a highlight at half-time but the Tatts’ Members Draw is the one to win – a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final! And if you’re not a member then get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a signed guernsey and 2019/20 NTFL family membership.
NEAFL Round 20
NT Thunder vs Southport Sharks
6:30pm ACST, Saturday 17 August
TIO Stadium, Darwin
B: Joel Budarick, Josiah Farrer, Kieren Parnell
HB: Joel Jeffrey, Damian Williams, Ben Rioli
C: Trent Melville, Cohen Thiele, Jess Budarick
HF: Ed Barlow, Kieran Delahunty, Jacob Templeton
FF: Will Farrer, Nigel Lockyer, Malcolm Rosas
FOLL: Jack Hannath, Ben Taylor, Abraham Ankers (c)
INT: Brandon Rusca*, Joel Stevens, Chris Williams, Phillip Wills, Nate Paredes
EMG: Jack Monigatti, Adam Tipungwuti
IN: Will Farrer, Nigel Lockyer
OUT: David Johnston (hand), Dylan McLachlan (hamstring)
*Indicates 23rd player