AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is delighted to be sending two teams of young Territory talent to the 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships in Blacktown NSW.
The championships will be held from Saturday 14 – Thursday 19 April at Blacktown International Sports Park. The Northern Territory has two under 15 male teams participating with a Kickstart (Indigenous) team and an All Nations (multicultural) team made up of footballers from right across the NT.
The coaching team will consist of Cameron Ilett (All Nations) and Aaron Motlop (Kickstart) and will be overseen by AFLNT Development Coach Matt Campbell.
Ilett is of Maori heritage and has represented New Zealand in football but is more recognisable as the face of NT Thunder after his 10 seasons playing with the club and collecting an unparalleled number of accolades along the way.
His former NT Thunder premiership teammate, Motlop, is a talented Indigenous footballer who currently plays for Wanderers in the NTFL.
Both competitions will feature teams from all states and territories and the championships will see them compete against one another, culminating in the Grand Final which is to be held on the final day of the tournament.
Over 200 players from across the country will take part in the competition, showcasing the diversity and talent of the Indigenous and multicultural populations in Australia.
The Diversity Championships are an integral part of the AFL Diversity programs, providing a pathway to higher representative level. Indigenous players have the opportunity to be selected for the national Flying Boomerangs squad, while Multicultural players have a chance to be chosen in the World Team.
AFLNT Development Coach, Matt Campbell said he can’t wait to see what the next generation of Territory footballers will bring to this national competition.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our local Indigenous and multicultural youngsters to display their talents on a national scale and develop leadership skills both on and off the football field.
“Since 2012, when the Northern Territory first joined the Championships, it has become the start of one of the Talented Player Pathway options available to young male players,” Campbell said.
See here for the updated 2018 Diversity Championships fixture, and the 2018 Kickstart and All Nations squad lists.