The NT Thunder Under 18 Men’s Academy will play its final 2019 NAB League match against the Northern Knights this Sunday 5 May in Victoria.
Ronald Fejo, Dominic Forbes and Shawn Foster are all back playing this week and will play their third game each of the series. While, Brayden Rioli, Jeffrey Simon and John Tipiloura are all set to make their first appearances playing at Ikon Park.
Simon Richardson is out this week due to injury. While Matthew Green, Braith Hodges, Jamal Lynch, Brendan Minkulk and Tyson Woods have all been omitted.
Brother of 2017 AFL premiership player Daniel Rioli, Brayden Rioli is quickly making a name for himself in the footy world and will lace up for his first U18 Academy game this Sunday. As a 16-year-old Rioli made his Men’s Premier League debut with St Mary’s in Round 4 of the 2018/19 TIO NTFL season. Impressively, the following week he received the Round 5 NT News Rising Star nomination and finished with seven Men’s Premier League game under his belt by the conclusion of the season.
Tiwi product, Simon, will don the Territory colours to also make his 2019 Academy debut this weekend. For two consecutive NTFL seasons, Simon was nominated for the NT News Rising Star after his exciting performances in the NTFL for the Tiwi Bombers. Unfortunately, in February he suffered an ankle injury which he has been diligently attending to in his rehab, resulting in his chance to play.
Tipiloura is another exciting inclusion for the clash against the Knights. Similar to Rioli and Simon, Tipiloura brings invaluable high level game experience to this week’s team. He played six Men’s Premier League games for Wanderers in the 2018/19 NTFL season and also maintained consistent appearances in the Wanderers Under 18s side, finishing as a premiership player.
NT Thunder Under 18s Head Coach, Jason Roe said he’s excited to see what the new names will bring to the side in the team’s final outing of the series.
“Small exciting forward, Brayden Rioli is set to mimick his older brother Daniel, who plays for Richmond, when he lines up forward, with our aim to push him deep.
“Jeffrey Simon has had his resilience tested over the past couple of months carrying an ankle injury. However, with commitment, discipline and hard work has managed to overcome this setback and has earned his call up.
“John Tipiloura is an exciting young talent and has been consistent in his training habits, and is a welcome inclusion to this week’s backline,” Roe said.
Roe also mentioned that the team have made some other changes and will look to end the series on a high.
“We’ve gone through the review process with the coaches and playing group again and we’ve pinpointed key areas that we’ve made our focus for this week. Our key focuses have been consistency, skills, accountability and spread from the contest.
“Being our final game we’ll definitely be looking to finish our NAB series off on a positive note and will be playing for our Territory pride and ultimately the win.
“The Northern Knights will be looking to continue the momentum they gained after their first win of the series in Round 5 against the Bendigo Pioneers. Our mindset leading into the game needs to be focused around getting a good start, being smart with our ball use and play our exciting Territory brand of footy,” Roe said.
Fans interested in following the team on Sunday can do so through the NAB League app.
The app will include a live stream of the NT Thunder game and Champion Data stats for all our players. Download HERE for iPhone/Apple devices or HERE for Android/Google Play devices.
NAB League Round 6
NT Thunder vs Northern Knights
Sunday 5 May
Ikon Park, Carlton North
B: Brandon Rusca, Braxton Ah Mat, Dominic Forbes
HB: Leonard Ferreira, Joel Jeffrey, Brodie Lake
C: Mitch Musgrove, Ben Jungfer, Stanley Tipiloura
HF: Ronald Fejo, Shawn Foster, Beau O’Connell
F: Malcolm Rosas, Matthew Cumming, Brayden Rioli
FOLL: Stephen Cumming, Joel Stevens, Joel Budarick
INT: Sandy Brock, Isaac Seden-Kurnoth, John Tipiloura, Jeffrey Simon, Marley McGregor
EMERGENCIES: Braith Hodges, Jacob Long
IN: Ronald Fejo, Dominic Forbes, Shawn Foster, Brayden Rioli, Jeffrey Simon, John Tipiloura
OUT: Matthew Green, Braith Hodges, Jamal Lynch, Brendan Minkulk, Simon Richardson, Tyson Woods