Albrecht Oval in Alice Springs played host to the 2019 Under 18 Town vs Country game on Saturday 14 September which saw 46 players between the ages of 14 to 18 participate.
Players in the country team hailed from 13 different communities throughout Central Australia including Alparra, Finke, Harts Range, Hermannsburg, Kintore, Ntaria, Mt Allan, Santa Teresa, Papunya, Ti-Tree, Willowra, Yuendumu as well as Boorooloola.
The town team had strong representation from all of the Central Australian Football League (CAFL) clubs and, as with the Country players, showed great commitment to re-engage in football immediately following the completion of the 2019 TIO CAFL season.
Both teams came together in Alice Springs on the Friday and completed a group training session ahead of the game.
The AFLNT Talent Pathways Program has an important function exposing young footballers to high-performance training programs, nutrition advice, strength and condition platforms and wellbeing support, and the concept was a joint effort from the AFLNT Remote Programs and Talent Pathway team as well as the Redtails and the Melbourne Football Club.
The game was used to give participants the opportunity to compete against some of the best players from across all under 18 competitions in the region, and in preparation for future talent programs which start on 6 December 6 when the Redtails – Central Australia Melbourne Academy travel to Melbourne to play the Melbourne FC Academy.
The country team showed their dominance winning 14.11.95 over the town team 4.3.27.
Best on ground for the country team was Tom Jones from Plenty Highway, whilst Jack Sandry from Rovers was awarded best on ground for the town team.
The Central Australia Football Club also has a game coming up against SAWFL team Woodville West Torrens in Adelaide for the Pinktails Senior Academy.
Players from this game will have under 18 players that will be aspiring for the Under 18 Thunder Women’s Academy in 2020.
The Redtails – Central Australia Melbourne Academy will travel to Melbourne to play the Melbourne Football Club Academy towards the end of this year with the aim to be selected for the Under 16 and Under 18 Thunder Academy squads for 2020.