The Michael Long Cup returns after a year off due to COVID’s travel impacts. This year’s focus is searching for the best young male and female football talent from right across the Territory.
This year will comprise of five Under 15 Boys teams of 24 players competing for the Cup. These teams consist of players from Alice Springs, East Arnhem (Gove, Millingimbi, Galiwin'ku and Groote Eylandt), West Arnhem (Wadeye, Gunbalanya and Tiwi Islands) and the Darwin region.
AFLNT Talent Manager, Simon Hargrave said he is looking forward to hosting the promising youth players from across the Territory and have them play in the one place.
“We are excited to observe the skills and gauge the talent from all over the Territory and start building our talent pool from a younger age.”
Each team will play three games of four quarters on Friday evening and Saturday with all teams competing in a finals series on Saturday with the Grand Final commencing at 3:30pm at TIO Stadium.
For the first time as part of the Michael Long Cup, Under 15 Girls from across the NT will come together for a Talent ID Program which will consist of high performance and umpiring education, combine testing and workshops with National Job Link and Headspace.
An Operations and Talent ID Coordinator from the Gold Coast SUNS will also give a presentation on life in an AFLW club prior to the squad splitting into two teams to play an exhibition match to round off the Program.
“As women’s footy continues to grow in the Territory with more and more junior competitions starting each year, we have identified the need to keep momentum by identifying younger talent and progress them through our Cazalys NT Thunder Academy programs,” said Hargrave.
“We are excited to see what benefits this Talent ID Program will bring and are hopeful the participating girls will be encouraged by pathways AFLNT can enable.
“We are looking forward to the potential of including an Under 15 Girls Michael Long Cup fixture next year!”
School Sport NT will be in attendance to select teams as part of their 2021 program.
To view the Michael Long Cup fixture, click here.