Statement on NT Thunder

In reference to recent media reports, AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) can confirm it is looking at the talent pathway and team structure moving forward. The organisation can also confirm it does not intend to enter teams in the NEAFL and VFLW competitions in 2020.

AFLNT has been doing a review of its strategy with a view to increasing the number of players from the NT on AFL lists nationally. In 2010 there were 27 players on lists, today there is only 13 who can be attributed to the NT. AFLNT is committed to getting more players on AFL and AFLW lists. 

We are not currently in a position to fully detail the new approach to the Territory footy talent pathway but we can confirm the new strategy will focus on;

  • AFL-club alignment
  • Increased investment in talent programs
  • Investment in community football; club sustainability and coaching
  • Remote player access into programs

AFLNT CEO Stuart Totham was the inaugural CEO of NT Thunder.

"This is a particularly difficult decision for a number of reasons; I was part of the original team to set it up and over my three-year tenure saw plenty of hard work go into the club, and plenty of quality people have invested a lot of time and effort into the teams.  

"However, the evidence shows that we can't keep doing the same things and expect different results so the time is right to pivot and to get more NT talent on AFL and AFLW lists as per our strategic plan and to do that we need to increase our commitment to Northern Territory football across all levels and across the whole of the Territory," he said. 

AFLNT expects to be able to launch the new pathway in early October. 

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