AFLW and NT players

In June 2016, The Adelaide Football Club in conjunction with AFL Northern Territory was awarded a license to field a team in the inaugural AFL National Women's League (later to be known as NAB AFLW) for 2017. From there, the plight of NT players in the AFLW began. 

See here for the original announcement. 

The team, made up of nine players based in Darwin, went on to win the NAB AFLW inaugural premiership in 2017 and claimed a resounding premiership victory in 2019 also, with five players in the team attributed to the NT. 

Key milestones and dates after the announcement of the team:

  • 15 June 2016 - Adelaide Football Club and AFLNT granted entry into the AFL's National Women's League.
  • 24 August 2016 - Bed Goddard is signed as the inaugural senior coach of the Crows team and the NT's Andrew Hodges as senior assistant coach.
  • 25 August 2016 - Courtney Cramey and Darwin-based Angela Foley are pre-signed to the Adelaide Football Club.
  • 5 September 2016 - NT's Jasmine Anderson is signed as the first rookie for the Adelaide Crows.
  • 13 September 2016 - Australian Olympic basketball and South Australian, Erin Phillips signed as the second rookie for the Adelaide Crows.
  • 12 October 2016 - Six Territory-based players drafted to the Adelaide Football Club in the AFL Women's Draft in Melbourne
    • No. 10 - Heather Anderson
    • No. 39 - Sally Riley
    • No. 55 - Sophie Armitstead
    • No. 90 - Tayla Thorn
    • No. 103 - Abbey Holmes
    • No. 106 - Stevie Lee-Thompson
  • 31 October 2016 - Crows finalise playing list, including three free agency spots which one was awarded to Lauren O'Shea from Darwin.
  • 21 November 2016 - Colleen Gwynne is announced as the NT-based assistant coach while Mark Moody is announced as the SA-based assistant coach. 
  • 26 November 2016 - Northern Territory Government increases investment in Adelaide Crows AFLW team, doubling funding to $300,000 for two years.
  • 9 December 2016 - NAB AFLW 2017 fixture is announced and includes a Round 6 game to be played between Adelaide Crows and Melbourne at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
  • 14 January 2017 - Adelaide Crows announce AFLW leadership group, consisting of Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips as co-captains and Darwin-based players Sally Riley and Angela Foley as joint vice-captains.
  • 14 January 2017 - Adelaide Crows play Fremantle in the first-ever AFLW practice game in Darwin. Fremantle won 8.10.58 to Adelaide Crows 4.12.36 in front of more than 2,000 people at TIO Stadium. Watch the full match replay here
  • 11 March 2017 - NAB AFLW Round 6: Adelaide Crows 5.2.32 defeated by Melbourne 5.4.34 at TIO Stadium.
  • 25 March 2017 - NAB AFLW Grand Final: Adelaide Crows 4.11.35 defeated Brisbane Lions 4.5.29 at Metricon Stadium and Erin Phillips is awarded best on ground.


  • 29 March 2017 - Crows Club Champion at Skycity in Darwin sees Erin Phillips crowned champion and Chelsea Randall as the Players' Player, while Sarah Perkins was the Leading Goalkicker and Courtney Cramey wins Best Defensive player. 
  • 2018 AFLW Draft - 26 October 2018 - Sophie Armitstead, Jasmyn Hewett (no. 16 overall) and Calista Boyd (Rookie Draft) are picked up by the Adelaide Crows in the 2018 AFLW Draft. They join Abbey Holmes, Angela Foley, Sally Riley and Stevie-Lee Thompson who remain on the list. See here
  • 2018 NT games - Adelaide plays two games in Darwin, both against Fremantle. In the pre-season trial game Fremantle prevail 6.6.42 to 4.6.30, but in Round 6 of the Premiership Season the Crows win by four-points, 6.4.40 to 5.6.36. 
  • 2018 season - Adelaide complete the season with three wins, three losses and a draw. They finish fifth on the ladder in a top-two finals series, the season coming to an end. 
  • NT Thunder VFLW 2018 - The Crows joined NT Thunder to field a team in its inaugural VFLW season. The team made finals and had a successful year; three players earning VFLW Team of the Year honours and captain, Angela Foley finishing third in the VFLW Best and Fairest medal count. See here for more details on the NT Thunder - Crows entry into the VFLW. 
  • 2019 AFLW Draft - 23 October 2018 - Danielle Ponter becomes the latest NT Crow, picked up by Adelaide with pick number 48 in the 2019 AFLW Draft. She joins Jasmyn Hewett, Angela Foley, Sally Riley and Stevie-Lee Thompson on the 2019 Adelaide list. In the same Draft, Jordann Hickey was recruited by the Melbourne Football Club with pick number 31, becoming the first Central Australian on an AFLW list. 
  • 2019 coaching changes - Adelaide appointed Matthew Clarke as head coach, while Tim Weatherald, NT Thunder's inaugural coach, was tasked with the operations in the NT during the pre-season, before newly-appointed ThunderW coach, Heidi Thompson stepped in to assist during the season with the two Darwin-based crows; Jasmyn Hewett (injured in the pre-season trial game) and Danielle Ponter.
  • 2019 NT games - Adelaide plays two games in Darwin and both against Fremantle. This time they win both games, 9.4.58 to 5.8.38 in the pre-season trial game and Adelaide 9.11.65 to Fremantle 3.5.23 in the Round 6 Premiership match. 
  • 2019 season - In a revamped 10-team, two-conference system Adelaide finished the season with six wins and one loss, claiming top spot on the Conference A ladder and qualifying for finals (top four system). In the Preliminary Final, Adelaide 11.7.73 defeated Geelong Cats 1.1.7 and advanced to a home Grand Final.
  • 2019 AFLW Grand Final - 31 March 2019 - In front of a record-breaking crowd of 53,034 people at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide 10.3.63 defeated Carlton 2.6.18, concluding a remarkable eight-game winning streak. Despite tearing her ACL in the third quarter, Erin Phillips went on to win the AFLW Grand Final best-on-ground medal, her second. The NT's Danielle Ponter kicked three goals during the game, and Stevie-Lee Thompson added one to her league-high. 
  • 2019 club and AFLW awards - The Adelaide Club Champion event was once again held in Darwin, where Erin Phillips claimed her second win from only three seasons. Jessica Foley finished runner-up in her first season, with Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard tied for third. Stevie-Lee Thompson won the Leading Goalkicker Award after her 14-goal regular season. Thompson also won the AFLW Leading Goalkicker Award and Phillips picked up her second AFLW best and fairest at the W Awards. 
  • List changes  - The Adelaide Crows part ways with Sally Riley and Jasmyn Hewett, while Melbourne FC departs with Jordann Hickey, who due to injury was unable to play an AFLW game. 
  • NT Thunder VFLW 2019 - The Crows and NT Thunder partnership continues for the 2019 VFLW season.
  • End of Crows and NT partnership in AFLW  - In March 2019, AFLNT and Adelaide Football Club mutually agree that it's time to explore other opportunities, with the NT committed to getting talented and aspiring females to the top level. Read more here. "
  • End of NT Thunder VFLW - In September 2019, AFLNT confirmed speculation that its senior NT Thunder program (NEAFL and VFLW) would no longer exist as it looked to reshape its strategy to increasing the number of players from the NT on AFL lists nationally.
  • A new partnership for AFLW with the Gold Coast SUNS - In October 2019, the NT Government, AFLNT, Melbourne Football Club and Gold Coast SUNS Football Club announced a four-year partnership that would provide games, talent and community outcomes for NT football. Part of the announcement, included the Gold Coast SUNS holding six spots on its AFLW list from 2021 for NT players. Read more about it here
  • 2020 NAB AFLW Draft on 22 October 2019 Going into the Draft, the SUNS had pre-signed four NT and former-AFLW listed players to its list; Jordann Hickey, Jasmyn Hewett, Sally Riley and Tayla Thorn. On Draft day, Machaelia Roberts became the latest NT player; recruited to the Collingwood Football Club, with pick number 94. 
  • The 2020 NAB AFLW season was one like no-other - It was called off due to COVID-19 after the first week of finals and no premier was declared. And the game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs between Melbourne and Carlton on 15 March was played without crowds. In its inaugural year, the SUNS made finals, however the Crows missed out and unfortunately for Machaelia Roberts, a right fibula (leg) injury put her on the 'inactive' list at Collingwood.
  • NAB AFLW Under 18 All Star match and Combine invites - September 2020 - Ahead of the 2021 Draft and in a year where football talent programs had been interrupted because of COVID-19; AFLNT managed to host a NAB AFLW Under 18 Al-Star match at the end of September; to show off its best talent. Read more about it here. Further, four NT female players were invited to the AFLW Draft Combine; Janet Baird, Mattea Breed, Freda Puruntatameri and Stephanie Williams. 
  • 2021 NAB AFLW Draft on 6 October 2020 - Going into the Draft, the following NT players remain signed to clubs for 2021; Angela Foley, Danielle Ponter and Stevie-Lee Thompson (Adelaide Crows); Jordann Hickey and Sally Riley (Gold Coast SUNS). Tayla Thorn was delisted by the Swans, while Jasmyn Hewett was put on the 'inactive' list after choosing to focus on her career. Machaelia Roberts came off Collingwood's list following her injury.