Welcome to the 2019/20 TIO NTFL season, it’s been a long six months without a fix of NTFL action.
The TIO NTFL season brings the Top End together during the wet season, from as far north as the Tiwi Islands down south to Katherine and out east to Jabiru. Players, volunteers, supporters and families join as one big footy community.
There are 14 Clubs, 106 teams, 4,712 enthusiastic players plus thousands of more umpires, supporters and volunteers that come through the gates each season.
This season will see seven themed rounds, beginning in Round 1 with TIO, whose partnership extends beyond naming rights of the NTFL and will hit a 29-year collaboration with Territory footy in 2020. On behalf of all footy followers, I would like to thank TIO for its ongoing support of the NTFL and our beloved game.
Also, keep a close eye out for Round 7, which is earmarked as ‘Indigenous Round’ and will see the Darwin Buffaloes and Wanderers begin a new tradition of the ‘Nungalinya Game’. And in Round 10 we get to be part of the centenary celebrations of the Great Air Race.
We are also launching this season with the inaugural Quitline Regional Challenge that will have community teams from all over the NT compete across Round 1 of our season – how exciting it will be to watch this raw talent in action at TIO!
In response to the feedback received in the end of season survey and via club forums, changes have been made to account for more Men’s Premier League and Women’s Premier League games to run consecutively, which we will see on seven instances at TIO Stadium this season. We have also worked hard to increase club alignment at venues so that you can support your team from the juniors right through to the seniors.
This season we also welcome a full contingent of regular Under 10s action on Wednesday nights, and the exciting growth of women’s footy has resulted in a 10-team fixture for the Women’s Premier League competition with the introduction of the Big River Hawks.
Our game continues to grow in the NT with the numbers telling us participation is up by around 10 per cent on 2018 data.
You will notice the upgrades to TIO Oval 2 are well underway, and we continue to work with local council and government to complete lighting projects at the suburban ovals.
In 2019/20 we remain committed to allowing people all over the country to enjoy our unique NTFL action while they’re in their offseason; through our Tipping or Play of the Round competitions or via our broadcast and media partners across radio, television, print and online. In 2018/19 our AFLNTv YouTube channel had more than 246,000 views on our games; it would take one person eight years to watch as much NTFL as what was consumed worldwide last season. Again, none of this would be achievable without the support of our NTFL broadcast and commercial partners – thank you for your ongoing support.
It is the passion and dedication of every club, its administrators and the hundreds of volunteers who make the TIO NTFL season so special and I would like to thank these people for the tireless work they have done, are doing and will put in over the next six months of competition.
Get out there, be part of it and Show Your True Colours!
See you at the game!