Only two changes have been made to the Thunder side ahead of its clash with the Giants in Darwin on Saturday night.
After a hard-fought loss to the Sydney Swans in Darwin last weekend, the team will go into the NEAFL’s Round 15 with two debutants added to the line-up with Kevin Maroney and Jeffrey Simon ready to debut.
Reeves was unreservedly excited about the locally born and bred talent pulling the Thunder jumper on for the first time.
“Maroney has played some SANFL reserves footy this year and has returned to Darwin and been training with us for a few weeks and he’s in really good condition.
“Simon will make his debut at NEAFL level after having a wretched run with injury and he’s worked hard since the end of NTFL season to get back so we’re pleased he is getting the opportunity as well,” he said.
Going out of the team is forward live-wire Adam Tipungwuti with family commitments on the Tiwi Islands and Centralian Ethan Liddle who is being rested.
Reeves said the team had spent the week preparing to take on another AFL reserves side.
“Our second half last week we really focused on how we defended Sydney. The AFL clubs are really good getting out into space and particularly the open side of the ground and we were able to change that at half time.
“It’s been a real focus this week at training on how we can set up and how we can defend and try and play the game on our terms a little bit. We know if we are able to do that and stop them getting out into space we can make it a bit of a scrap in that moment and then we’re able to counter attack.
“We’re excited about our young kids and we just encourage them to take the game on and play without fear and that will be the same message this week,” he said.
NEAFL Round 15
NT Thunder vs Giants
6:30pm ACST, Saturday 13 July
TIO Stadium, Darwin
B: Joel Budarick, Kieren Delahunty Kieren Parnell
HB: Phillip Wills, Jack Monigatti, Daniel Weetra
C: Joel Stevens, Cohen Thiele, Brodie Carroll
HF: Josiah Farrer, Nigel Lockyer, Damien Williams
F: Jeffrey Simon*, Jacob Templeton, Ben Rioli
FOLL: Jack Hannath, Nathaniel Paredes, Abraham Ankers (c)
INT: Brandon Rusca, Dylan Barry, Kevin Maroney, Dylan McLachlan, Jess Budarick
EMERGENCIES: Chris Williams, Beau O’Connell, David Johnston
IN: Jeffrey Simon, Kevin Maroney
OUT: Adam Tipungwuti (unavailable), Ethan Liddle (rested)
*Indicates 23rd player