After weeks of training throughout the Northern Territory including the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre as well as satellite locations Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, Tiwi Islands and Tennant Creek the Men’s NT Thunder Academy Under 18s team to take on the GWS Giants in Round 1 of the Academy Series has been named.
From the initial squad of 39 players, 23 young Territorians have been selected to fly to Sydney to play at Blacktown International Sportspark this Saturday.
Tyson Kidney from Nightcliff Football Club and Mitchell Pemberton from Southern Districts Football Club will pull on the famed NT representative jumper for the first time.
Level 2 NAB AFL National Academy players, Michael Mummery and Matthew Green, have returned from Melbourne where they were part of the NAB AFL National Academy camp with some of the best up-and-coming talent in the country.
They will be joined by Rodney Baird who made his NEAFL debut with NT Thunder last week in their Round 1 win over the 2017 reigning premiers, Brisbane Lions, at TIO Stadium.
The team also includes players from Alice Springs (Jackson Cole, Dominic Forbes, Shawn Foster), Katherine (Joel Budarick, Louis Kossack), Tennant Creek (Matthew Green, Liam Holt-Fitz), Ti Tree (Jeremiah Scrutton), Tiwi Islands (Jeffrey Simon) and special inclusions from Victoria (Matthew and Stephen Cumming).
NT Thunder Academy Head Coach Jimmy Driscoll believes that this year’s squad has talent from right throughout the Territory and that his outfit has done the hard work to be competitive against the GWS Giants Academy.
“Preparation has been really solid and the squad is reflective of the training basses we have set up right across the NT.
“I am pleased with how well the entire squad gelled last week during our testing and training camp weekend. There’s no reason we can’t be really competitive with the right attitude and hard effort that has been on display throughout the lead up to this year’s series,” Driscoll said.
A coach from each training base will also be traveling with the squad.
Under 18 Academy Series – ROUND 1
NT Thunder vs GWS Giants Academy
4pm Saturday 14 April
Blacktown International Sportspark (BISP), Blacktown, NSW
B: Jackson Cole, Coen Hutt, Joel Budarick
HB: Rodney Baird, Matthew Cumming, Dominic Forbes
C: Matthew Green, Domonic Grant, Malcolm Rosas Jnr
HF: Michael Mummery, Shawn Foster, Beau Schwarze
F: Louis Kossack, Jeremiah Scrutton, Leonard Ferreira
FOLL: Stephen Cumming, Ben Jungfer, Mitchell Pemberton
INT: Tyson Kidney, Liam Holt-Fitz, Jeffrey Simon, Dillen Brown, Joel Stevens
The full 2018 squad and fixture can be viewed here