NTFL 2014/15 Season Preview

BY – JACKSON CLARK

TWITTER – @jclark182

They say there are two seasons – “footy season” and “can’t wait for footy season”. Well in the Northern Territory we have the luxury of football all year round and only one week after the AFL has finished, we have arrived at the opening round of the NTFL. Below is a preview of the eight NTFL clubs and how they are shaping up for the season. Of course many teams are keeping their cards close to their chest and more players will be revealed in the coming weeks.

 

St Marys:

Confirmed Ins – Grant Weeks (Rochester), Jack Geary (Golden Square), Ben Ah Mat (Southern Districts)

Outs – Mark Blake, Kane Leersen, Jarred Ilett, Lucas White, William Rioli

If you are not going forward in the football world you are going backwards, and that is exactly the philosophy St Marys will have entering the season. The reigning premier will seek constant improvement across the playing group in its quest for premiership number 31. Coach Rick Nolan told the NT News “being the hunted is nothing new for us – we’ve just got to maintain our focus and look at getting better”.

 

Wanderers:

Confirmed Ins – Adam Cook, Jordan Jeffrey (Palmerston), Jesse Britton (Ballarat), Jono Miles (St Marys)

Outs – Ali Bond, Owen Henry, James Scrymgour

The Eagles are blessed with undeniable talent and will hope of going one better under the guidance of new coach Andrew Hodges. The former St Marys assistant has a football brain up there with the best of them and will be looking for a big year in his first season at the helm. Wanderers have retained the bulk of its list from last season, which includes genuine match winners in Nathan Djerrkura, Liam Patrick and Marlon Motlop amongst many others.

 

Waratah:

Confirmed Ins – Brent Guerra (ex-AFL), Steven Baker (ex-AFL), Alex Pollock (VFL), Lachie Collins (VFL)

Outs – Davin Hall

It shapes as an interesting season for Waratah under new coach Tim Weatherald. The Warriors finished in third position last season and there is nothing to suggest that they cannot achieve a similar position again. New captain Tom Marsh will be looking to inspire his young troops to some early pre-Christmas wins and from there it will all be about how the recruits and new players gel as a unit.

 

Nightcliff:

Confirmed Ins – Luke Ivens (SANFL), Robbie Hicks (ex-AFL), Alex Grima (ex-SANFL)

Outs – Aaron Cornelius, Adrian Murphy

 

Will this be the season Nightcliff breaks its 50-year premiership drought? I guess that is the million dollar question. The Tigers boast a strong on-ball brigade with Seb Guilhaus in the ruck and Toby Stribling and Troy Coates both able to find plenty of the football and cause scoreboard damage. But the side’s real strength this season could lie within its forward line with a couple of big names linked to the club. Daniel Dzufer and Todd Grima proved on many occasions last year that they can form a formidable duo in attack.

 

Southern Districts:

Confirmed Ins – Ashton Hams (ex-AFL), Kyle Hams (ex-WAFL), Luke Blackwell (ex-AFL), Hayden Yarran (ex-WAFL), Tyler Jones (Vic Country), Davin Hall (Waratah), Mitch Bosward (Frankston), Matt Pollock (Echuca).

Outs – Ben Ah Mat, Damian Cupido

 

I feel as though Southern Districts are the dark horse of the competition this season. The Crocs have finished the last couple of seasons on a disappointing note but you only have to take one look at its list of recruits to realise the potential of the side. Despite Damian Cupido’s absence from the forward line, Tyler Jones, a star forward from the Murray Football League, should form a handy partnership with Waratah recruit Davin Hall. Ashton Hams finished the WAFL season in unbelievable form at South Fremantle while Luke Blackwell entered the WAFL Sandover Medal count as favourite and ultimately finished second. Keep an eye on Hayden Yarran as those in the know at the Crocs believe he could be a special player up here.

 

Tiwi Bombers:

Confirmed Ins – William Rioli (St Marys), John Meesen (ex-AFL), Jono Mullins (Southern Districts), Chris Miler (Southern Districts), Owen Henry (Wanderers), Paul Scanlon (Victoria), Jobastin Priest (Wanderers)

Outs –

 

From all reports the Tiwi Bombers are looking fit and ready to go this season. The Bombers have plenty to prove after coming off a disappointing season in 2013/14 and have gained a couple of key recruits. 36-year-old Paul Scanlon is back at the club and reportedly in good form down south, while the inclusion of former Southern Districts players Jono Mullins and Chris Miler will also boost the Bombers. We all know how good William Rioli can play at his best and with the added motivation of playing under his father as coach, expect a big season from the talented small forward.

 

Palmerston:

Confirmed Ins – Leroy Jetta (Essendon), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon), Mark Hamilton (Banks)

Outs – Sam Autio, Jordan Jeffrey

The Magpies were the rapid improvers during last season but it will count for nothing if this is not continued on in 2014/15. It will be Dean Rioli’s second year in charge of the Magpies and there is a quiet confidence emitting from the group. Leroy Jetta will be a big coup for the club depending on his availability while the experience of Nathan Lovett-Murray, who is coming off a premiership with Rumbalara in the Murray Football League, should be invaluable.

 

Darwin:

Confirmed Ins – Todd Miles (SANFL), Joe Anderson (SANFL), James McNamee (Wanderers), Sam Autio (Palmerston), Ben Archard (VFL), James Scrymgour (Wanderers), Darryl White (St Marys).

Outs –

 

Buffaloes’ reputation as a proud and successful club has been somewhat tarnished over the past couple of seasons. But you get the feeling that this could be the year that it all turns around for the double blues. Expect the Buffaloes to start the season strong with impressive numbers on the training track throughout the pre-season. Coach Mark Motlop has his local players well-drilled and the inclusion of a couple of big name recruits will hold the Buffaloes in good stead throughout the season.

 

For comprehensive coverage of the NTFL throughout the 2014/15 season, feel free to check out the below page.
https://www.facebook.com/ntfootball

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.

Comments

  1. Interesing all the WAFL blokes lining up for Southern Districts. I am guessing that is an Alice Springs team? Luke Blackwell is a beauty. Tad slow, but sublime footy skills and work rate.
    Who is William Rioli’s father? There are so many great intertwined blood lines in the north.
    Are you lining up for St Mary’s again this season? Fill us in on how your season in the VFL went, and how it has shaped you as a player.
    Thanks for the NTFL update, I had forgotten that one season opens as another closes.
    Look forward to your regular updates.

  2. Mark Duffett says

    Southern Districts represents Darwin’s rural area, not Alice Springs. Its home ground is at Freds Pass, down the Stuart Highway out past Palmerston, between Coolalinga and Humpty Doo. Perishingly hot place to be running the boundary, I can tell you.

    If memory serves, an Alice rep team was trialled in the NTFL for about half of last season, not sure where that’s gone.

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