NTFL Season Review


Tiwi Bombers won its first premiership since inception into the competition to culminate a fantastic season of football in the Northern Territory Football League. Commiserations must go to Nightcliff as the club fought its way back from bottom place to fall agonisingly short of its first premiership title in 47 years. The grand final was played at a frenetic pace and capped off what was one of the most anticipated and competitive final series in recent memory.

Ultimately, it was the Bombers and the Tigers that faced off in the big dance but it was far from a two-horse race. All of the top five sides entered the finals with a legitimate premiership chance. Waratah was perhaps the least likely of the lot after a poor run of form since its dominant start to the season. St Marys had a blend of youth and experience and the club was no stranger to finals football. Nightcliff finished as minor premier and was the side to beat all season. The Bombers played an exciting brand of footy and appeared to have the right mix of recruits and locals. And Wanderers was the wildcard after coming from nowhere to almost premiership favourites after an end of season winning streak.

It was a good standard competition this season with a number of quality players featuring. The NTFL is a unique competition in that it is played during a time in which football leagues down south are in its off season. This often results in gun footballers from all over the country coming up to play. This year especially was a good year for recruits, none bigger however than Brendan Fevola, who joined Waratah in November. “Fev” starred in each of his six games and dazzled the crowd with his goal kicking exploits. A whopping 23 players with AFL experience played in the NTFL competition this season with another nine formerly on AFL lists, which is an indication of the calibre of players that came up. A host of players from state leagues like the VFL, SANFL and WAFL played in the NTFL as well as players from strong country leagues like the Ovens and Murray, Bendigo and Goulburn Valley.

Not only was it a win for the Bombers players and supporters, it was a win for Territory football in general and was certainly a fitting end to the season. The Bombers had to overcome many obstacles in order to achieve the ultimate success in winning the premiership. The side was made up of people from a number of different backgrounds – both local Tiwi players and interstate recruits – and this had the potential to cause communication limitations. There was also the inconvenience of having to travel back and forth from the Tiwi Islands on a weekly basis.

After falling short on a couple of occasions in the past, the Bombers would have felt the pressure of the local Tiwi people who placed lofty expectations on the club. But it was a more mature and experienced Bombers outfit this season and that held the team in good stead during the finals series. Those that have not been fortunate enough to see the Bombers in action should venture to the Top End as they are certainly a treat to watch. They play an exciting brand of football and use their skill and pace to bedazzle opponents. The Bombers play with little restraint and regularly produce football reminiscent of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Twitter @JClark182

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.

Leave a Comment