AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) in conjunction with the NT Thunder Football Club congratulate Andrew Hodges on being appointed the Manager of NT Thunder and joining the AFLNT executive after the former coach has made the switch to lead the football club.
Hodges, who was the head coach of NT Thunder’s senior men’s side for the past two seasons (2017 and 2018), was initially signed as the coach on a further two-year deal in August before the Manager of NT Thunder position became available.
In his new role, Hodges will be leading the club’s two flagship senior teams and will be responsible for the club’s key functions, including organising all off-field football activities for NT Thunder's senior men's and women's teams.
He will ensure the playing group is provided with the highest level of support, giving them the structure and resources to compete and perform to the best possible standard.
The role is also responsible for list management within salary cap requirements, and will manage all key club personnel, including the senior coaches and support staff.
The Manager of NT Thunder position was conceived following the release of the NT Thunder mid-season review, which highlighted it as a shortcoming in the operation of the club.
In mid-September, the Club then advertised the newly-created position, and Hodges, who has a background in business administration, expressed an interest.
AFLNT CEO Stuart Totham said Hodges was the perfect fit for the role and he was delighted to welcome him to the executive team.
“When we first advertised the position, we didn’t expect the best candidate would be right under our nose but to have someone of Andrew’s calibre and experience is the most we could've hoped for.
“Andrew is familiar with the unique challenges of the elite NT Thunder programs and has a comprehensive understanding of the purpose of the club and programs we run.
“He is committed to driving a rich values-based culture and success-driven standards, which will hold his coaching successor in good stead. He is familiar with both the men’s and women’s talent pathways and elite programs while remaining community-minded and acting as a mentor to many in the industry,” Totham said.
Hodges has been an integral part of the NT Thunder program since 2015 and said he is honoured to take on the job.
“I am excited by the opportunities that are coming and the faith that has been shown in me by the organisation.
“Having enjoyed time as a player and a coach in the NT footy system, I can now help drive the future direction of NT Thunder and ensure the new coach and players in the program are supported to reach the full potential this program is capable of in the VFL W and NEAFL competitions.
“While stepping away from coaching wasn’t an easy decision to make, I believe it is what’s best for my career, and the fact I still get to do what I love, for a club and organisation I am passionate about is a bonus,” Hodges said.
Totham echoed this sentiment and said Hodges would’ve had the organisaiton’s support in either role.
“In August we extended Andrew’s coaching contract without hesitation so before he accepted the manager’s role we told him he had our backing either which way and wanted to give him time and space to make the call that was right for him.
“He has the full support of the AFLNT executive and now has the important task of finding a replacement head coach,” he said.
Hodges will officially commence as Manager of NT Thunder from Monday, 5 November and the search for a new head coach will commence immediately.