The NT Thunder Under 18 Women’s Academy Leadership Group was announced on Monday night with Dominique Carbone and Bella Clarke named as co-captains for the upcoming season.
Carbone is a product of the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club and has had a very successful junior football career playing in two NTFL premierships at Under 18 level. She also played seven Women’s Premier League games in the 2018/19 season.
She has a background in high-level basketball and has juggled both sports successfully, most recently playing in a premiership for Lightning in the Darwin Basketball Association and also won a gold medal for the NT in the Arafura Games.
Clarke hails from the Southern Districts Football Club and made her way through the junior ranks playing in the 2017/18 Under 18 Grand Final against Carbone when her team came runners-up. She made the step up to the Women’s Premier League competition in the 2018/19 NTFL season and was amongst her team’s best in the losing grand final.
Carbone and Clarke will first lead the team in its development camp and the games against the other northern AFL academies in Coffs Harbour this weekend, before Round 1 of the NAB AFLW Under 18 Championships at the end of the month.
In a new initiative for 2019, NT Thunder’s coach and management team have come up with an Emerging Leaders program, which will see young players, Janet Baird and Tayla Thorn, as well as Carbone and Clarke, rotate through the VFLW leadership group as a sixth member.
The purpose of the Emerging Leaders position is to assist those players who have been identified as potential future leaders of ThunderW to be exposed to the inner workings of the senior group. Each senior leadership meeting will have one position reserved for a member of the Emerging Leaders to observe and participate.
NT Thunder Women’s Academy Manager Heidi Thompson was thrilled with the appointed ThunderW Academy leaders and highlighted the strengths of the players which saw them selected.
“It’s really pleasing to have a quality duo appointed as leaders and we congratulate them on their appointment. Dom has shown excellent time management to get the most out of her body and has also found time to focus on her studies in her final year of school. She shows maturity well beyond her years and is a natural leader within the group.
“She is very considered and measured, which I believe is an important attribute of an effective leader and she is very well respected by the players,” Thompson said.
“Bella drives high training standards and is an excellent role model to our younger members of the squad. She leads through her actions with her high work ethic on the track and is also an effective communicator when delivering instructions. Bella brings a wealth of experience playing at the highest level from her successful under 18s campaign last year, where she was rewarded with Central Allies selection.
“She has a real presence as a leader and it is evident the players look to her for guidance and direction. Bella’s commitment to the program has been outstanding and I’m looking forward to seeing her really develop as a leader in 2019.
“Both leaders know what it takes to play sport at the highest level and this has been demonstrated in their willingness to challenge themselves and each other to get the best outcomes for the group,” said Thompson.