In a boost to NT Thunder’s ruck stock, two-time premiership player Ryan Smith has agreed to play on in 2017.
The 29-year-old, who missed all of NEAFL 2016 with a stress fracture in his foot sustained during NTFL 2015/16, will line-up for his fifth season in Territory colours.
Nicknamed ‘scissors’ for his long legs, the 196cm player is on track to play his 50th NT Thunder game this year.
Smith played 14 games in the 2015 premiership-winning season with the Club and was also a vital part of Thunder’s 2011 premiership side.
Though thwarted by injury last year he was a familiar face around the Club, acting as a support to the rest of the team.
Smith is one of five players on the current NT Thunder list; including Darren Ewing, Cameron Ilett, Shannon Rioli and Matthew Rosier to have played in both premierships.
Head Coach Andrew Hodges said Smith has thoroughly impressed in his return to NTFL Premier League footy with St Mary’s.
“After a disappointing season missing through a long-term injury, Smithy’s form in the 10 NTFL Premier League games he has played so far has been fantastic, and we look forward to him continuing this in the NEAFL.
“It is exciting to have an NT Thunder premiership player re-committed to the Club. His experience, knowledge and leadership qualities are invaluable,” Hodges said.