THUNDER STORMS, 3-2-1 and More!!



Representative side Northern Territory Football Club creates history: 3 Seasons competing, 2 Premierships, in 1 year.

by Jocelyn Ledwidge


No wonder they’re tough in the Territory: with a high degree of difficulty, vision has become glorious reality in record time.

A total start up club – new structure, staff, sponsors, Board, playing group and supporters -Thunder joined the QAFL in 2009. Some additional challenges: two home grounds (Darwin, Alice Springs), adhering to no work/study, no play objective, even when initially faced with a side short on depth, and strong commitment to identifying talent all across the Territory which of course results in complex internal, as well as interstate travel logistics.

Narrowly missing finals action that year under inaugural coach Mago McLean, Thunder made the first semi in 2010, losing to Mt Gravatt in Cooparoo. In 2011 the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) was formed, providing two geographical Conferences covering NT and QLD, NSW and ACT. The final game would see Premiers from each Conference, clash to be crowned ultimate NEAFL Champions.

So after 42 weeks, 130 Training sessions, 19 recovery sessions, 9 games in Darwin, 4 games in Alice Springs, 6 trips interstate and 2 Foxtel cup games, what did Thunder, under coach Murray Davis achieve in 2011?

Minor Premiers, equal League Best and Fairest Cameron Illet, Leading Goal kicker, Darren “Boof” Ewing, competition Rising Star, Ross Tungatalum, Team of the Year inclusions, Shaun Tapp, Kenrick Tyrrell, Ross Tungatalum, Boof Ewing and Cameron Ilet (captain), Northern Conference Premiers and finally…….. NEAFL Cross Conference Premiers.

It just doesn’t get any better.







  1. Congratulations to all involved Joc. A magnificent achievement.
    Which was the “glory”- the Northern Conference title (with the other the icing), or the cross-Conference? Loved watching them when in the FOXTEL Cup (+ some on Thundervision) and assume they’ll be in the same Leagues next year?
    For a lot of those boys, footy goes on. When does the Darwin comp start? Will any players follow Zephi Skinner in to an AFL list? And can Nightcliff make a challenge?

  2. That’s cool, I lost track of the NEAFL the last month or so. Well done!

    I hope this concept, of the Thunder and NEAFL in general, continues and is on sound financial footing, it wouldn’t be easy.

  3. Rocket Nguyen says

    This is a GREAT story!

    The Thunder absoultely murdered Morningside in QAFL GF.

    But watch out Sydney Uni are coming into the comp next season!

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