With both our men’s and women’s programs now in full swing in their respective seasons, I thought it was an opportune time to give a behind the scenes update on the season to date and detail where the focus for each team lies for 2019.
As a club, we are happy with the balance of the playing squad and coaching group that we have in place. We have a committed group of young men and women that are proud to wear the Thunder jumper.
Our men’s NEAFL program has got off to a disappointing start. The issue we have identified over the first part of the season has been a lack of consistent effort and intent. Each season we see the NEAFL getting stronger, so any lapse in effort and intent can be very costly, as we have seen so far this season.
Our coaching staff, led by head coach Darren Reeves are working extremely hard with the players to rectify the areas of concern. The key focus areas over the past weeks have been effort, intent and contest and these will remain as our primary focus moving forward.
From our coaching staff to players, volunteers to management and support staff, we are all committed to turning our results into wins. The feeling amongst the group is very positive, we do not accept our current position, and we do not accept mediocre performances in our show of effort.
Internally we feel like we saw better effort and more intent on the weekend against Southport. At different stages, in particular, later in the game, we had opportunities to win, so it’s disappointing we didn’t convert our opportunities. However, the effort shown is the benchmark the players have set for the remainder of the season.
We now enter an extremely important block of three games at home, starting with the Aspley Hornets this week. All are must-win games, as we cannot afford to fall behind the win-loss ratio any more than we already have.
Our VFLW girls kicked off their 2019 campaign on the weekend with an impressive away win against last season’s premiers, Hawthorn. A great team performance over four quarters was enough to get the job done with solid outings from Tayla Thorn, Chelsea Randall, Machaelia Roberts, Lateesha Jeffrey and Ailish Considine.
I was lucky enough to be at the game, and it was impressive to witness players from our different training centres come together and be such a tight unit. Their passion for wearing and representing the NT jumper was inspiring, and they have certainly set a high standard after Round 1. Building strong relationships and being accountable has been a goal for the group leading into the season, so it’s great to see it coming to fruition.
The group had some free time on Saturday afternoon after arriving in Melbourne and chose to sit together to watch and cheer on the Thunder boys against Southport, riding every kick, bump and goal. It was equally pleasing to hear members of our men’s team text members from the women’s team to congratulate them on the win.
Both groups are invested in the direction of the club, our culture and looking for success going forward. Their support of each program is pleasing, and we are in good hands. Now it’s time to get some wins on the board and see both our NEAFL and VFLW teams climb their respective ladders.
We are very much looking forward to having both of our teams at home in Darwin this Saturday. We know there’s always a lot on in the Darwin dry season, but we hope to see you at the footy and around the club soon.
NT Thunder Manager