Clarke to take the helm of NT Thunder

Clarke to take the helm of NT Thunder

The Northern Territory Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of former St Kilda and Brisbane Lions AFL star Xavier Clarke as the Head Coach for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

After an extensive recruitment process that included a nation wide search, Xavier Clarke will take over the reigns left by predecessor Daniel Archer who announced his departure back in October.

Xavier has spent the last 14 months working as the AFL’s National Indigenous Programs Coordinator which allowed him to pursue his coaching aspirations as a Head Coach of this years Footy Means Business program and coaching roles with the Flying Boomerangs that toured South Africa in February this year and Fiji in December 2011. His experience, professional approach and understanding of the game lead to a number development roles within the Brisbane Lions FC in particular at NEAFL level with their reserves. He was also appointed the role as Opposition Analysis Coach with the Brisbane Lions from 2011 – 2012 and coached the World Team at the 2012 U16 National Championships.

His AFL career as a player spans 106 games with the St Kilda FC (2001 – 2009) and the Brisbane Lions (2009 – 2011).

CEO Jarred Ilett comments –

"Xavier is a local product that knows the AFL pathway. He will provide a real insight to the challenges, dedication and demands of making it the AFL whilst being based in the Northern Territory but more importantly he will be able to coach and develop our athletes with his 10 years of AFL experience as a player. Xavier is highly regarded within the AFL system as a football coach, teacher of the game and manager of people. Xavier’s appointment is what NT Thunder is all about – tapping into the vast knowledge and professional expertise we have available through Territorians that have made it in the AFL."

"Its an exciting opportunity for me to continue in my coaching pathway and work with a football club that I have a connection to. I want be help develop Territory football, I want to see more Territory boys play at the elite level who have come through the Thunder program and I want to see the NT Thunder become a successful team again!"
"We as a team and an organisation want to play and win finals footy, I also see the Thunder program playing a vital role in the NT communities through, education, health, employment and leadership. Our players will be given the best opportunity to develop into great players and great leaders, this will be built off respect, honesty and hard work through a system that both challenges and supports the person and the player."

Please note Xavier is currently in Melbourne finalising his preparations to take on the Head Coach position here in Darwin and won’t be available for interview in person until Friday 15th November.

"I look forward to working with Xavier over the next two years in developing Territory talent and establishing the Northern Territory Football Club as a powerhouse in the NEAFL competition."

Xavier Clarke comments –