VFLW team is announced

ThunderW team rolls into VFL with a strong mix of local and AFLW talent

26.04.18 18:56

With only nine sleeps until NT Thunder’s inaugural game in the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s (VFLW) competition the official playing squad is now out.

After more than five weeks of intense training, the first-ever NT Thunder Women’s (NT ThunderW) team consists of 51 eager participants, including local footballers from Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and the Tiwi Islands, as well as 20 current AFLW listed players.

The Territory talent runs deep with the joint 2017/18 TIO NTFL Gwynne Medallists in Lucy Adam and Lisa Roberts earning their spot, while best on ground in the 2018 Women’s Premier League grand final, Madeline Gault continued to shine and at just 17-years-old is the youngest player on the list.

The 2017 TIO CAFL Margaret Liddle Medallist Michelle Ellis and the CAFL Women’s leading goalkicker from last season, Jordann Hickey will also feature in the team. Like all the Alice Springs contingent, they will continue to train with the Pinktails and play for their local clubs this CAFL season when not playing VFLW.

Two new faces in GWS Giants and first-year marquee players, Renee Forth and Emma Swanson, join fellow AFLW players, Angela Foley and Jasmyn Hewett in the Top End, with Forth and Swanson relocating to Darwin for work.

While reigning Adelaide Crows Women’s club champion and 2018 All-Australian captain, Chelsea Randall heads up the South Australian based contingent, which is filled to the brim with talent and boasts 11 premiership players from 2017.

Under VFLW rules, each team can play a maximum of 12 AFLW players in any one game but can name more than 12 on the overall club list.

In addition to the 51 players named today, a further nine players are on the injury/development training squad as they recover from injury or require more time. The club can lodge 10 list changes throughout the VFLW season, and any updates will be announced in due course.

NT ThunderW Head Coach Tim Weatherald said after some big sessions on the training track he was extremely pleased to be lodging the Club’s first official playing list.

“I’ve been very impressed with the commitment and positive attitude shown by all the players both here, in the NT, and in Adelaide.

“I believe we have found the right mix of players to be a competitive side and to represent the Northern Territory Football Club proudly.

“We want to be a successful team so the addition of the AFLW players will help guide some of the younger, developing players and also the more mature locals who have not yet been exposed to this level of professionalism and competitive football before,” he said.

Weatherald also said he looked forward to the first game against Darebin Falcons next Saturday 5 May and showcasing that unique style of Territory footy.

“More than 100 players in the VFLW last year were on AFLW lists this year, so each week our girls will be asked to challenge themselves against quality opposition, but with that comes a great opportunity to expose their talent and show everyone what we’re made of.”

Please note: The 2018 ThunderW list was initially published on Thursday 26 April with Cassie Henderson and Ebony Marinoff, but the list that was submitted to VFL W on Friday 27 April replaced those players with Sue Nalder and Jessica Sedunary. 

2018 NT ThunderW list

First Name Surname Club Position About
Lucy Adam Darwin Buffaloes Inside midfielder No-fuss, hard-working mid that brings players into the game by her hard work and clean use of the ball by hand
Jessica Allan Adelaide Crows AFLW Tall ruck/forward A versatile ruck with an impressive work rate and a terrific contested mark, she is highly competitive and is rarely beaten in a one on one contest. Played four games in her first season with the Crows in 2018
Sarah Allan Adelaide Crows AFLW Tall defender Versatile key-position player who can play at either end of the ground and in the ruck, she adds flexibility and grunt to any team. A 2017 Premiership player who added seven games to her tally in 2018.
Jasmine Anderson Darwin Buffaloes Small midfielder Small inside mid and forward with great tackling pressure for her size and can handle the ball very well. Was exposed to the AFLW program as a 2017 Adelaide Crows rookie
Sophie Armitstead Adelaide Crows AFLW/Wanderers Inside midfielder Has clean hands and plays with an in and under mentality, she uses the ball well in traffic and has overcome injury and adversity on more than one occasion. A 2017 Adelaide Crows draftee, she was injured in her debut game and has played four AFLW career games
Janet Baird Palmerston Small defender Gives her all in defence first and then turns defence into offence, she can play small or tall and has neat skills. Is a 2018 NAB AFLW Academy player
Samantha Barnett PINT Medium defender/forward Has high endurance, which ensures that she can get to a lot of contests as a midfielder and her defensive running is also a highlight
Georgia Bevan Adelaide Crows AFLW Inside midfielder A tough inside mid who excels at stoppages and puts good pressure on the opposition, as well as using the ball well when in hand. She is a 2017 Premiership player for the Crows, who also played five games in 2018
Sharona Bishop Waratah Small defender Hard-working small defender with very neat skills and reads the play well
Amy Chittick Waratah Small forward Kicks the ball well, has sure hands to be a reliable target and finishes off well in front of goals
Dayna Cox Adelaide Crows AFLW Small defender A hard-running link player that has taken the game and made it her own, she uses the ball well and has great tackling power. A 2017 Premiership player for the Crows she provided great drive from half-back with her run-and-gun style and had great ability to stop her opponents from influencing the game
Gemma Cusack Waratah Tall defender Has the ability to win the ball and is a developing player from a basketball background who has shown great progress
Shekeine De Satge Wanderers Outside midfielder Has good leg speed, kicks the ball really well and has come a long way in a short time after a strong background in soccer
Kylie Duggan Darwin Buffaloes Inside midfielder Very committed and experienced player that also leads from the front and doesn’t shy away from a contested situation
Michelle Ellis Pioneer/Pinktails Inside midfielder In her first year playing football, she impresses with a good turn of pace and has great ball-winning ability
Angela Foley Adelaide Crows AFLW/Waratah Medium defender/midfielder The versatile ball winner has the capacity to play in the midfield or as a defender and has matured into a great leader. A 2017 AFLW premiership player she has played 14 games for the Crows over the past two years
Renee Forth GWS Giants AFLW Inside midfielder Inside midfielder that works hard and uses the ball smartly. She was a GWS marquee signing for the inaugural 2017 AFLW season but sat out with injury and instead took on a development coaching role before playing five games in 2018
Madeline Gault Waratah Small forward A contest-orientated player who loves work inside the contest and wins a high percentage of contested ball. Was the 2017/18 TIO NTFL Women’s Premier League Williams Medallist for being best on ground in the grand final
Nikki Gore SA Academy Defender/outside midfielder Kicks the ball well with both feet and works as much inside the contest as she does on the outside
Anne Hatchard Adelaide Crows AFLW Medium forward A hard-working forward that presents and works well and is as good in the air as she is on the ground but found herself playing back for the Adelaide Crows. Not one to shy away from a contest she is a 2017 Premiership player
Jasmyn Hewett Adelaide Crows AFLW/St Mary’s Tall ruck/forward A player that can play key positions forward and back and can also work through the midfield, she has a strong, contested marking ability. A 2018 Adelaide Crows draftee she played seven games and kicked two goals this past season
Jordann Hickey Rovers/Darwin Buffaloes/Pinktails Utility Hardness and aggression are pleasing traits and she could be very handy playing a variety of positions
Tahlia Holtze Pioneer/Southern Districts/Pinktails Utility Has good overall skills and has shown great commitment to getting better in terms of fitness and strength
Jemma Iacono Darwin Buffaloes Inside midfielder Hard running and links up the play well while also kicking the ball into advantageous positions. Has VFL playing experience
Kristy Irvine Tracy Village Inside midfielder Clever inside mid, has good skills, fitness and her ability to read play is very impressive
Lateesha Jeffrey Southern Districts Medium utility Solid and consistent player who plays in a variety of positions and competes well whether the ball is on the ground or in the air
Morgan Johnston Wanderers Inside midfielder Small in size but has a penetrating kick, excellent speed and has shown great character to bounce back from injury. Was the 2016 NT Thunder Academy Women’s MVP
Eloise Jones Adelaide Crows AFLW Outside midfielder A highly skilled midfielder who is strong overhead and has great goal sense, she finishes well by hand and foot and has a highly competitive nature. Played all seven games for the Crows in 2017 and kicked three goals
Madeline Keeble PINT Outside midfielder Quick utility, has the ability to play as an inside or outside mid and has good, clean hands
Sophia Mauboy Wanderers Inside midfielder Has good leg speed, has a strong kick and is a good size player who has shown great commitment to the program
Tabitha May Palmerston Small forward Does her best work as a crumbing forward, who has clean hands and a strong work rate
Jenna McCormick Adelaide Crows AFLW Small forward Boasts great speed, clean hands and sharp foot skills and is clean below her knees. She can play taller than she looks and finishes well in front of goals. A 2017 Premiership player for the Crows she has played 13 AFLW games and kicked nine goals
Rhiannon Metcalfe Adelaide Crows AFLW Tall ruck/forward Emerged as one of the dominant rucks of the AFLW competition, her leadership, resilience and competitiveness have transferred seamlessly from the Australian Defence Force to the football field. A 2017 Premiership player with the Crows, she continues to work on the little things to become a better player
Arthurina Moreen Tiwi Bombers Tall forward An athletic tall player with uncanny skills and has the x-factor about her play, she represented the NT at Academy level and was selected for the Allies team for the 2017 National AFLW Under 18s Championships
Lauren Motlop Wanderers Utility/defender Hard running, competitive midfielder that is very clean below her knees and has a strong understanding of the game and how to read play
Justine Mules Adelaide Crows AFLW Outside midfielder A clever player who runs to the right spots and finishes off well with hands and feet, she is a resilient midfielder with toughness and tenacity at the contest. A 2017 Premiership player she has played 12 AFLW games over the two seasons
Sue Nalder Waratah Small forward A committed player who has overcome injury and advertisty, she has that excitement spark and you can trust when the ball is in-hand that she will use it well
Lauren O’Shea Waratah Tall defender/forward Consistent, hard-working player that has a team-first mentality and works to each contest with the view to impact. Was exposed to the AFLW program as a 2017 Adelaide Crows team member
Marijana Rajic Adelaide Crows AFLW Medium defender A solid performer that rarely lets the ball get behind her in a contest and then chases and wins her own ground balls, she possesses great speed and can play in a variety of positions. A 2018 Adelaide Crows player who played five games
Chelsea Randall Adelaide Crows AFLW Defender/outside midfielder A versatile player who can dominate in the midfield, but also played key defensive roles across centre half-back for Adelaide. Quick, agile and has an excellent vertical leap, which allows her to play on taller opponents. She has been named All-Australian twice, including the captaincy in 2018 and was the Crows’ Club Champion this past season also
Sally Riley Adelaide Crows AFLW/Tracy Village Inside midfielder Has a good endurance base which gives her the ability to get to a lot of contests and win the ball. A 2017 Premiership player with the Adelaide Crows and joint vice-captain for the past two seasons
Machaelia Roberts Darwin Buffaloes Small midfielder Smart running midfielder and clever defensive forward that brings teammates into the game and hurts the opposition on the scoreboard
Lisa Roberts Waratah Medium defender Utility player that sets standards on and off the ground and leads by hard work and professional approach
Katelyn Rozenweig SA Academy Tall defender/forward Athletic, hard-working player that can play at either end of the ground
Jessica Sedunary Adelaide Crows AFLW Medium forward A 2017 AFLW premiership player, she has played all 15 games for the Crows in two seasons because she is renowned for giving her all anf throwing herself into every contest. A speedy forward/midfielder she has trademark run and dash.
Jessica Stassi Palmerston Small forward Small defensive forward with very good skills on both sides of her body and has an uncanny goal-kicking ability that stands out
Katie Streader PINT Inside midfielder Has great leg speed and works well on the outside and hurts the opposition when the ball is in hand
Emma Swanson GWS Giants AFLW Inside midfielder Another marquee signing for GWS in its inaugural AFLW season, she has good skills and her decision making by hand and foot is impressive. She has played 11 games over the two seasons and was the club’s vice-captain in the first season
Tayla Thorn St Mary’s Tall defender/forward Talented young player that runs well, has very good ground skills and kicks the ball to the advantage of her teammates. Has AFLW experience
Deni Varnhagen Adelaide Crows AFLW Outside midfielder Dashing winger and a talented athlete, she’s quick and skilful on both sides of the body. A 2017 AFLW premiership player and goal kicker
Ruth Wallace Adelaide Crows AFLW Small forward A crafty goalkicker who is difficult to defend she has very good goal sense and can kick the ball equally well with both feet. A 2017 Adelaide Crows draftee she is highly competitive and in her seven games in 2018 she played kicked seven goals

Injury/Development list players

First Name Surname Club Position
Rhiannon Banner Wests/Pinktails Medium defender
Alana Coombes St Mary’s Small forward
Holly Englehardt Southern Districts Medium defender
Ebony Miller Pioneer/Pinktails Ruck
Lori Niven St Mary’s Small forward
Viviana Petyarre Rovers/Pinktails Small forward
Isabella Rapson Waratah Small midfielder
Alicia Stanley Waratah Medium midfield/forward