Our mission statement
"Developing better people, better players."
Background and purpose
NT Thunder Academy refers to the men’s and women's Under 18 and 16 squads and teams that represent the Northern Territory.
The NT Thunder Academy exists to offer footy players in the Northern Territory the very best development experience that can be provided. It is centred on the development of the person in all facets and the individual’s ability to contribute in a team environment.
The NT Thunder Academy works hand in hand with the AFL National Academy to ensure that payers are kept updated with modern trends and teachings. AFLNT puts a major emphasis on off-field development ensuring that each player is attending school, undergoing tertiary education or are employed on a full-time basis.
The different squads and teams compete in different competitions, carnivals and games around Australia, representing the NT, and are also applicable for national teams.
New Academy structure for 2018 and beyond
AFLNT is revamping its Academy and talent pathway structure to give aspiring footballers the opportunity to succeed at the highest level possible.
The changes stem from the increase of local talent programs due to the successful AFLW season and the continued growth of Academy programs and fixtures in the Territory and on the national Academy front.
As part of the changes to be implemented ahead of the 2018 Academy season, the former AFLNT State Academy will now be known as the NT Thunder Academy.
Both male and female programs and pathways will be mirrored, and AFL National Academy curriculum shared with all participants.
This means AFLNT will add an Under 16 Women’s group to the already existing Under 18 and Senior Women’s squads.
The men’s side will remain unchanged with the Senior Men’s (NT Thunder), Under 18 Men’s and Under 16 Men’s continuing into 2018 and beyond.
The other significant change is the establishment of four regional academies that will feed talent into the NT Thunder Academy.
These regional academies will be formed after the different groups participate in the upcoming age-specific Michael Long Cup carnivals, which begins this weekend with the Outback Stores Under 14 Boys.
• Under 15 Girls – scheduled for 1st and 2nd December (Round 9 NTFL)
• Under 16 Boys – scheduled for 8th and 9th December (Round 10 NTFL)
• Under 18 Women’s – scheduled for 15th and 16th December (Round 11 NTFL)
• Under 18 Men’s – scheduled for 9th and 10th February (Round 17 NTFL)
After being identified at the Michael Long Cup, players will be nominated to participate in one of four AFLNT Regional Academies, depending on their location; Top End Academy (Darwin and surrounds), Redtails/Pinktails Academy (Central Australia and Barkly region), Big Rivers Academy (Katherine region) or the Remote Academy (Tiwi Islands and East and West Arnhem).
AFLNT High Performance staff will support the regional academies in rolling out the same standard of training and education with the aim that the best talent from each regional academy will be selected to be part of the NT Thunder Academy.
The NT Thunder Academy will consist of the following squads; U18 Men’s, U18 Women’s, U16 Men’s, U16 Women’s, Diversity Boys and Diversity Girls.
These squads will go on to form teams that represent the NT in National Academy games and Tier II competitions right across Australia. It is also from the NT Thunder Academy that AFL and AFLW Draft and National Academy prospects will be identified.
NT Thunder Academy aims
The NT Thunder Academy along with the National Academy is providing the following:
- A clear, compelling career offer and pathway for elite athletes.
- Best practice program based on NAB AFL Academy Curriculum.
- Access to highly qualified coaches, conditioning, medical, nutritionist, psychology, skill development and player welfare staff.
- Access to AFL standard facilities, infrastructure, staff and matches.
- Provide the opportunity for the best players to play against the best in representative matches for the AFL Academy (both Level 1 & 2).
NT Thunder Academy - football mission
"Develop every player to fulfil their football potential."
NT Thunder Academy - objectives of the program
The overall objectives of the program is to develop players to a standard where they can become potential AFL players through building:
- Their understanding of the requirements needed to play in AFL.
- Their football skills and game understanding.
- Their knowledge of athletic preparation for high performance.
- Their leadership ability and what being a leader requires.
- Their organisational and time management skill.