NT Thunder secure prime home games in the NEAFL Competition for 2013, including all four AFL Reserve teams. Three matches to be played in Alice along with 8 in Darwin including two AFL Match curtain raisers.
In 2013 NT Thunder will continue to play eight home games in Darwin with all matches scheduled to be played at TIO Stadium. The club has however lost one home game in Alice Springs, but in a positive for the Central Australian fans the club will host the 2012 AFL Premiers reserve side in the Sydney Swans Reserves in Round 14 at Traeger Park.
Darwin match times have been moved back to 7pm to help increase crowd attendances and NT Thunder will start and finish the year with home games at TIO Stadium. In another positive, NT Thunder will play each of the four AFL Reserves sides in the Northern Territory.
The season highlight will be the Grand Final replay against the Brisbane Lions Reserves which will be played as a curtain raiser to the Brisbane Lions vs Melbourne game at TIO Stadium in round 18. That is one of two curtain raisers that NT Thunder will play at TIO Stadium this year with the side lining up against the Southport Sharks before Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs do battle at TIO Stadium in round 11.
Head Coach Daniel Archer commented on the 2013 Draw "The most pleasing thing regarding the draw is the balance between our home and away matches. Our games at home in both Darwin at TIO Stadium, and Alice Springs at Traeger Park are evenly spread throughout the season and therefore hopefully limits the physical and mental commitment associated with travelling numerous weeks in a row for our playing group. It is evenly poised in the respect that we get to play each NEAFL club twice. Overall as coach I am happy with the draw and look forward to another exciting season in 2013."
NT Thunder CEO Jarred Ilett also commented on the 2013 Draw "The 2013 NEAFL draw bears significant but positive changes for NT Thunder in the coming season. With games against all four AFL Reserves sides and two AFL Curtain Raiser games, the NEAFL competition combined with NT Thunder’s inclusion in the Foxtel cup continues to provide great exposure for our Territory players aspiring to the AFL. The 2013 season is shaping up to be another block buster year for the Northern Territory Football Club and we anticipate record crowd numbers at all our home games."
In a change to the format of the 2013 NEAFL Finals Series there will only be one NEAFL Grand Final to decide the overall league champions. The current Northern and Eastern Conference Grand Finals will now be known as Conference Finals. While a trophy will be awarded to the Conference Final winning teams, Premiership Medallions will only be given to the NEAFL Grand Final winning team.
Key Points for the 2013 Fixture
- Round 1 Saturday 23rd March at TIO Stadium (week after NTFL Grand Final)
- 8 Games at TIO Stadium
- 3 Games at Traeger Park
- 7 Games in Queensland
- 7pm Start time for Darwin Games (except AFL Curtain Raiser games)
- All Games are played on Saturdays
- Play each AFL Reserves side once
- All four AFL Reserves side matches are played in the NT with three in Darwin (UWS round 12, Gold Coast round 15, Brisbane Lions round 18) and one in Alice Springs (Sydney Swans round 14)
- NT Thunder to play the curtain raiser to both AFL games at TIO Stadium (Southport Sharks round 11, Brisbane Lions Reserves round 18)
- Play each Northern Conference side twice
- Play all four AFL Reserves sides within a 6 week period (between rounds 12-18)
- Home Game at TIO Stadium to start and finish the season
- Foxtel Cup Qualifier in Canberra in Round 4
- Foxtel Cup first round in Melbourne Round 10 (game played on a Tuesday Night)