AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is excited to announce well-known former NT and AFL footballer, Jason Roe has been appointed as the NT Thunder Academy Coach.
Roe has had a long career in football, starting as a junior for Nightcliff as an 11-year-old and catching the bus from Katherine to Darwin on Friday afternoons.
In 2003 Roe was on the rookie list at the Collingwood Football Club, straight off the back of the NT Thunder Under 18s, and spent one season with the AFL team.
He then went to the SANFL, played 38 games for the North Adelaide Football Club before being picked up by the Brisbane Lions in 2005 and playing 50 AFL games alongside fellow Territorians Jared Brennan and Anthony Corrie.
Roe joined the NT Thunder NEAFL team in 2011 and was an integral part of the inaugural premiership team, playing 37 games over two seasons for the club, mainly as a defender.
In 2012, he was a NEAFL representative player, a NEAFL Northern Conference Team of the Year member, nominated for the Syd Guildford Trophy and was awarded the prestigious NT Thunder Club Champion Award after a stellar season.
Mid this year he was named in the backline for the NT Thunder Team of the Decade.
Roe also played in a premiership for Eastside in the Big Rivers Football League in 2015.
After retiring due to chronic knee injuries, he has gone on to forge a strong coaching resume.
In 2017 he obtained his Level 2 coaching accreditation and was an assistant coach for the Nightcliff Football Club's Premier League team before switching to coach of the Tigers' Under 18 Boys team this NTFL season.
He has also done craft sessions, and specialist group work with the NT Thunder NEAFL team from 2016, as well as offering his specialities to the Academy Under 16s and Under 18s.
AFLNT Manager of Talent and Pathways Wally Gallio said Roe impressed right throughout the selection process and had the experience to back him up.
“Jason has been involved with the Thunder program for many years, and we think he’s a well-rounded person with an aspiration to go onto a higher level with his coaching. He is in a similar place as Xavier Clarke was when he began his coaching journey with NT Thunder and he has gone onto bigger and better things.
“Jason’s strengths are his ability to build strong relationships, he has good communication skills and can read people well. He goes about his business pretty quietly, but he’s well planned and his time at Clontarf has prepared him well for dealing with young men.
“He will bring a new look to the role while being able to relate to players who are away at school and come into Territory teams, as that's what he did as a junior. He played at Territory level as a 16-year-old and then got rookie listed at AFL level, so he’s had a lot of football over a lot of states and under some great coaches, so he’ll bring that experience in also,” Gallio said.
“Jason’s former Brisbane Lions teammate Luke Power is the National Academy Coach and head of the Allies hub academy, and Jason will work with him and play a big role in preparation for Nationals.
“He will also go away and do some work at AFL clubs as part of the Academy role and work with the Academy coaches and also be involved with futures games so that will enhance his personal development,” Gallio said.
Roe said he looked forward to returning to full-time football and guiding aspiring players in the NT.
“I am thrilled to be offered this position and am happy to be fostering junior development to get our players to the highest level possible.
“There is so much talent right across the NT that displays our exciting brand of footy, so I am happy that my work will be Territory-wide and am eager to explore the opportunities and new experiences I may have in this role,” he said.
Roe will commence in the role on Monday 12 November and will continue his coaching commitments with Nightcliff until the end of the 2018/19 TIO NTFL Season.