NT Thunder’s Perfect NEAFL Start


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NT Thunder has kicked off its 2014 NEAFL premiership campaign in remarkable fashion sitting on top of the ladder unbeaten after the first six rounds.

New coach Xavier Clarke has created a rejuvenated playing group and the recruitment of ex-AFL talent in Alwyn Davey and Nathan Djerrkura has been a lynchpin to its great start.

Davey’s experience at the top level with Essendon has enabled him to set a high standard for the younger players at Thunder to follow.

He has featured in the side’s top handful of players in every game this season and would arguably be leading the best and fairest.

Djerrkura complements Davey with his exquisite pace and high skill level while his contested ball winning ability is also a strength of his game.

Perhaps most impressive about the Territory’s start to the season is the high calibre of opposition that they have faced.

Many NEAFL experts predicted the Thunder to struggle this season due to the tough fixture they were given.

But they have certainly proven the doubters wrong thus far with wins over UWS, Aspley, Gold Coast, Sydney Hills, Redland and Southport.

Despite a couple of quiet games by his standard, spearhead Darren Ewing has kicked 17 goals to be the Thunder’s equal top-scorer with goal sneak Chris Dunne.

The blistering return of the exciting Ross Tungatalum has added another avenue to goal that will certainly cause headaches for many opposition sides throughout the season.

St Marys stars Jack Long and William Rioli have been superb in their first season of senior football with the Thunder.

Long has carried on with his trademark poise and skill that he has showcased with St Marys over the past two seasons.

Rioli has been excellent with 14 goals in his six games and his tackling pressure in the forward line has also been a feature.

Rioli’s cousins, Shannon and Ben, are entering their third season with the club and they have stepped up another notch.

Of course it is still only early days but the early signs are looking great for the Thunder as they approach what is perhaps a season-defining next month of football.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

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