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AFL National Inclusion Carnival
The AFL National Inclusion Carnival is an annual representative carnival for athletes with an intellectual disability, with every state and territory represented. The carnival not only provides Australia’s most talented footballers the chance to represent their State/Territory, but is also an opportunity for personal development and growth as a leader within their community.
Through partnership between AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) and Total Recreation the Northern Territory competed at the National AFL Inclusion Carnival for the very first time in 2017. The players found the experience very rewarding, worthwhile and enjoyable as they formed a close bond while playing some impressive football together.
2019 National Carnival
The 2019 AFL Inclusion Carnival was held in Blacktown, Sydney 15 - 21 July.
The team representing the NT can be found here: https://www.aflnt.com.au/news/2019/nt-team-named-for-2019-afl-national-inclusion-carnival
2019 NT Inclusion team fixtures
Day 1 Lightning Rounds Tuesday 16 July
NT vs Vic Metro - Vic Metro 6.0.36 defeated NT 2.0.12
NT vs QLD - NT 6.3.39 defeated QLD 0.1.1
NT vs Vic Country - NT 6.3.39 defeated Vic Country 1.2.8.
NT vs South Australia - NT 4.3.27 defeated SA 0.1.1
Day 2 Lightning Rounds Wednesday 17 July
NT vs WA - NT 4.3.27 defeated WA 0.0.0
NT vs Tasmania - NT 6.1.37 defeated Tasmania 0.0.0
NT vs NSW/ACT - NT 7.4.46 defeated NSW/ACT 0.1.1
After the Lightning Rounds, the NT qualified in overall second-ranking and were placed in Division 1 for the Round games.
Round 1 Thursday 18 July
NT 8.8.56 defeated Vic Metro 4.6.30. *This was Vic Metro's first defeat in six years
Round 2 Thursday 18 July
NT 9.6.60 defeated Vic Country 3.1.19.
Round 3 Friday 19 July
NT. 8. 5. 53 defeated SA 0.5.5.
Division 1 Grand Final
Friday 19 July 2019
NT 6.11.47 defeated Vic Metro 7.0.42.
NT Goals: Preyben Tipiloura 4, Ethan Bara, Karlson Kantilla
The NT came out firing with its speed and endeavour and were very quick to score, but the talking point was Preyben Tipiloura in his bright lime green boots, who kicked two awesome goals in the first quarter but could've had four had the goal posts not got in the way. In the middle of the ground, Peter Apuatimi was tracking every ball, while Thunder's captain, Byron Mayo was rebounding any signs of a Metro attack. Vic Metro scored just before the quarter-time siren, but the NT led held a 2.5.17 to 1.0.6 lead. The second quarter saw much the same pace and skill from the NT, as Tipiloura continued to look dangerous, booting his third goal and applying great forward pressure. Ethan Bara was next to score for Thunder as Vic Metro kicked two of their own, another one just before the half time siren, to once again close Thunder's lead down to only two straight goals.
In the second half, Metro was first to get the clearance and push forward, keeping the ball locked in their forward half for the first couple of minutes. Romone Lewin was doing his best to create some run out of defence, but the ball came back, Apuatimi taking on three much bigger Vic players and winning the contest. However, Metro was first to goal and closed the gap to only six points to take the momentum but once Tipiloura returned to the field he made an immediate impact at the next centre throw-up, winning the ball initially before it once again found its way in the danger zone for the NT. From there Travis Baxter-Althouse cleaned up and slowed things down as the footy took a very clean route via Brandon Redpath, on to Kevin Isaac before Tipiloura marked a few steps inside the left boundary. And what did he do? He went back and kicked a left foot checkside for his fourth goal! When Metro hit back with the next goal the NT's margin was once again closed to six points, and the Vics continued to push, but the team stood tall, and Tipiloura had two more running shots on goal to close out the quarter, both, unfortunately, a little wayward. At three-quarter-time with only 10 minutes of the 2019 AFL National Inclusion Carnival to go, NT 5.8.38 led Vic Metro 5.0.30.
In the fourth quarter, it was a matter of speed versus size and with Vic Metro winning the opening clearance and kicking the first goal to make it a super exciting finish. The NT's lead was cut to only two points, and Tipiloura decided to get busy in the middle, which led to two scoring shots for the Thunder. The first attempt went through for a behind but the second was a long bomb goalward by Bara, which was picked off by Karlson Kantilla on the goal line and swiftly kicked for NT's sixth goal and a nine-point lead. With three minutes and 10 seconds remaining, Vic Metro kicked another goal to make it a three-point game. Aaron Knight-Nilsson had his hand in trying to prevent another Metro attack, and Tipiloura continued to run his guts out, to the point where it brought him to his knees. With one minute and 10 seconds remaining Apuatimi took a beautiful mark 40 metres out and used some time setting up before playing on, running around his opponents for a shot on goal that skidded through just to the left. With a little under 50 seconds left it was a five-point game and Metro had to take chances, which they did as they ran the ball the entirety of the field to their forward pocket with a player running onto it. Enter Joel Dhamarrandji who conjured an epic chase, doing enough to force the Metro player close to the right boundary approximately 45 metres out before collecting it on the bounce and clearing the danger.
In 2017 the team started with only six players, fast forward and in only its third outing at an AFL Inclusion Carnival, the NT is national champions!
2019 All Australian honours
Four players and head coach, Nick Eades received All-Australian honours following the 2019 Inclusion Carnival. The players and Nick then got to participate in the INAS Global Games in Brisbane. Read more here.