By Kyle Champion
It was a harsh result for Thunder last Saturday as small forward Amy Chittick, believed the team let themselves down against Collingwood.
“We felt pretty disappointed in our performance,” she said. “We had a good chance to test ourselves against a quality side in Collingwood, but last Saturday we let ourselves down.”
However, lessons have been learned from the loss as Thunder head towards Round 5.
“One thing we could definitely improve on is our skill and decision making,” Chittick said. “Against Collingwood, we dropped our heads in the last quarter. Our skill level went down, and Collingwood made us pay for it.”
In the last NTFL season, Chittick led the competition for goal kicking. Since playing for Thunder, she has discovered a new role as a pressure forward.
“I feel I have found a newly defined role not measured by stats,” she said. “Everybody has their role to play in the team, and as long as the team scores, that’s all that matters. In the NTFL I played a more hit-up forward, but now I have reinvented myself as a crumbing pressure forward.”
The change in role is due to the depth Thunder has positioned up forward. Chittick is just one cog in a very powerful forward line machine.
“It’s good to have Michelle Ellis and Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill playing as the lead-up forwards as they provide a fair bit of height,” she said. “Even Marijana Rajcic can sometimes push forward and play tall. Then we have Machaelia Roberts, who adds a greater dynamic with her pressure and creativity.”
Thunder missed a few key players last week but should reclaim a healthier list for their match against Carlton this Saturday.
“Tayla Thorn had stitches last week so we should regain her,” Chittick said. “Kristy Irvine is another whose size and power was missed last weekend. And of course, Machaelia Roberts should be available, but we’ll have to wait and see with the medical review.”
Thunder may have lost one match so far, but Carlton has been a team in disarray. After three straight losses, the Blues currently sit second last on the ladder.
Their team has a lot of talented AFLW superstars with the likes of Darcy Vescio, Maddison Prespakis, Nicola Stevens, Natalie Plane, Sarah and Jess Hosking. But the Blues also have a decent variety of VFLW players as well.
Mia-Rae Clifford was recently delisted by Geelong AFLW team, but her outstanding year of 2018 had the Blues sign her up quickly for the 2019 VFLW season.
Courtney Broomage is in her second year for Carlton, she is originally from Queensland but travelled south for better opportunities. In 2017 she was nominated for the Under 18 all-Australian team for her performance in defence.
Despite Carlton’s record, Thunder will not be taking the Blues lightly. A more determined Thunder outfit will shake off the pain from their last defeat and look to bring the pain instead.
VFLW Round 5: NT Thunder vs Carlton – 11:00am AEST Saturday 8 June, La Trobe University, Melbourne