The Redtails and Top End Storm have named their teams to play in the curtain-raiser to the Toyota AFL Premiership Round 18 blockbuster between Melbourne and the West Coast Eagles in Alice Springs at TIO Traeger Park tomorrow.
The Redtails, who were assembled with thanks to major sponsors NT Government and Toshiba Australia, has named a strong line-up, including last year’s best on ground Thomas Gorey and returning players Dylan Barry, Dominic Forbes and Baydon Ngalkin.
The squad is made up of players from remote communities throughout Central Australia and the Barkly Region with their ages ranging from 16 to 32 years of age.
Redtails Club President Rob Clarke said he has been pleased with his team’s preparation and the group has come together well.
“The focus for us is getting everyone in from different clubs and communities to play together. The opportunity to play in front of family and friends is pretty massive for these young men.”
“Thomas Gorey won the medal last year after kicking five goals, however, it’s a completely different team, there’s only four from last year so it’s an unknown.
“It should be tough, fast and skilful footy but the focus will be to enjoy it and have some fun,” Clarke said.
The Top End Storm squad, sponsored by Quitline, landed in Alice Springs on Thursday and have spent the last two days in training and education sessions getting to know each other.
With the team hailing from many ten remote communities across the Top End of the Northern Territory, plus Darwin, coach Hayden Rickard has been impressed with what he has seen so far.
“Preparation has been really good, we’ve had two intensive training sessions. I’m really pleased with the work the group has put in, they’ve really bought into what we are trying to do – we’re trying to create a legacy for other remote Territory footballers to follow.
“We have a really nice target up forward in Mathias Liddy, obviously football pundits will know the name of Adam Sambono up forward and they’ll be expecting to see some magic from him, but I think the real glue for us will be Sam Christie from Gove in the midfield.
“I really love the concept of the Top End Storm. We have one player from last year’s team so effectively we’ve had 50 remote players given the opportunity to play in this televised game over the last two outings.
“The boys are super pumped and are enjoying each other’s company and learning about each other and I think on game day the penny will drop for them just how big the game is,” Rickard said.
Darren Abbott will captain the Redtails side while the Top End Storm will select their captain tonight after their final team meeting.
As with last year the game will be televised nationally via the AFL’s broadcast partner, Channel 7.
A valid AFL entry ticket is required to attend. There are still general admission tickets available for purchase at www.ntix.com.au
Redtails vs Top End Storm
TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs
Darren Abbott (captain) – Wallace Rockhole
Dylan Barry – Alice Springs
Kylan Bishop – Alice Springs
Sheldon Japanangka Briscoe -
Matthew Campbell – Jay Creek
Dominic Forbes – Santa Teresa
Shawn Foster – Alice Springs
Thomas Gorey – Santa Teresa
Henry Impu – Santa Teresa
Liam Jurrah - Yuendumu
Jamal Lynch – Santa Teresa
Tarrant Maher – Alice Springs
Shane Murdoch – Alice Springs
Baydon Ngalkin - Hermannsburg
Lance Palmer – Alice Springs
Timmy Pepperill – Hermannsburg
Kelvin Ross – Harts Range
Stewart Schaber – Harts Range
James Taylor – Alice Springs
Michael Tilmouth- Turner – Alice Springs
Kieffan Turner – Alice Springs
Bradley Turner – Santa Teresa
Braydon Weily – Alice Springs
Tyson Woods – Haasts Bluff
Tyrell Grant Martin – Mount Allan
Luke Farrows – Alice Springs
Damon Drew – Alice Springs
TOP END STORM TEAM
Ricky Ashley - Ramingining
Basil Bara - Groote Eylandt
Jordon Briston - Daly River
Daniel (Batamung) Bromot – Gove
Sam Christie - Gove
Michael Cooper - Tiwi Islands
Ralph Dhamarrandji - Elcho Island
Anthony Djamangi Gaykamangu - Elcho Island
Marshall Gambley - Gove
Mathew Hall - Maningrida
Saverio Jurrah - Lajamanu
Kealyn Kelly - Lajamanu
Lloyde Laygarrambu Marika - Elcho Island
Lorenzo Lewis - Lajamanu
Mathias Liddy - Daly River
Tyrrell Lui - Darwin
Davidson Maxwell - Maningrida
Jeffrey McDonald - Barunga
Robert Murrungan - Groote Eylandt
Bobby Nunggunajbarr - Ngukurr
Adam Sambono - Daly River
Ned Stevens - Darwin
Mitchell Taylor – Darwin/Maningrida
John Tipiloura - Tiwi Islands
Kurt Wilson - Peppimenarti