NT Thunder has secured a big scalp, with 2018 Reserves Magarey Medallist, Jacob Templeton signing with the club.
At 193 centimetres and 96 kilograms, the 29-year-old is a big bodied utility who has played 64 League and 66 Reserves games in the SANFL.
Templeton played his junior footy with Golden Grove Football Club in Adelaide before joining Central Districts in 2011 and continuing in 2012.
An equally gifted basketballer as a footballer, he then spent a couple of years playing college basketball at North Iowa in America.
After returning to Adelaide, he joined Woodville West Torrens for a season before switching back to Central, where over the last four years he has moulded his footy craft to become equally adept at playing midfield, defence and attack.
NT Thunder Manager Andrew Hodges said Templeton would initially be part of the Thunder program from his home/business based in Adelaide, but he was the perfect fit for the club.
“After the unfortunate season-ending injury to key player Sam Smith, we found the need to replace him with a similar type player. When Temps was up in Darwin last weekend, Thunder captain and vice-captain, Shannon Rioli and Abe Ankers had a chance to catch up with him and were impressed by his attitude and show of commitment.
“There’s no doubt in our minds that Temps has bought into our program and wants to be as much a part of it as anyone else. It’s always a bonus when you can attract quality people from other renowned state league programs to your program.
“He will add value in many ways, and his experience and ability to mentor our young talent on field will be invaluable,” he said.
NT Thunder Head Coach Darren Reeves, who has known Templeton for the past few years, described him as a top-quality acquisition.
“We are excited to add Jacob to or list. We had identified some areas that we needed to add to and one of those was a big body midfielder that could come in and complement the talent that already exists.
“He has played a lot of state league level football in forward and defensive roles but his outstanding season last year as a midfielder has us excited by what he can add to our group.
“Using his basketball background, he has excellent awareness in contest situations, is an outstanding athlete and I have no doubt that he will take his game to another level and play a large role in helping to improve other players around him,” Reeves said.
Templeton said he was looking forward to getting stuck in.
“I’m excited to be part of Thunder this year. When I came up last weekend I was really impressed with the professionalism of the club and knew straight away it was the type of environment that I wanted to be part of.
“Everyone was very welcoming and having Reeva (Darren Reeves) and Jack (Jack Hannath) up in Darwin was a bonus for me,” he said.