Two Katherine players have made the NT Thunder Under 18s team.
Joel Budarick and Louis Kossack were named in the team to take on the GWS Giants in Round One of the Academy series on the weekend.
Other squad members include Robert Campbell.
NT Thunder Academy Under 18s is the Territory’s representative team for male participants aged 17 and 18.
Past players of the Academy side incklude Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn), Daniel Motlop (Port Adelaide), Daniel Rioli (Richmond), Steven Motlop (Geelong) and Nakia Cockatoo (Geelong).
After weeks of training throughout the Northern Territory including the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre as well as satellite locations Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, Tiwi Islands and Tennant Creek the Men’s NT Thunder Academy Under 18s team to take on the GWS Giants in Round 1 was named last week.
From the initial squad of 39 players, 23 young Territorians have been selected to fly to Sydney to play at Blacktown International Sportspark on the weekend.
Tyson Kidney from Nightcliff Football Club and Mitchell Pemberton from Southern Districts Football Club will pull on the famed NT representative jumper for the first time.
Level 2 NAB AFL National Academy players, Michael Mummery and Matthew Green, have returned from Melbourne where they were part of the NAB AFL National Academy camp with some of the best up-and-coming talent in the country.
They will be joined by Rodney Baird who made his NEAFL debut with NT Thunder last week in their Round 1 win over the 2017 reigning premiers, Brisbane Lions, at TIO Stadium.
The team also includes players from Alice Springs (Jackson Cole, Dominic Forbes, Shawn Foster), Katherine (Joel Budarick, Louis Kossack), Tennant Creek (Matthew Green, Liam Holt-Fitz), Ti Tree (Jeremiah Scrutton), Tiwi Islands (Jeffrey Simon) and special inclusions from Victoria (Matthew and Stephen Cumming).
NT Thunder Academy Head Coach Jimmy Driscoll believes that this year’s squad has talent from right throughout the Territory and that his outfit has done the hard work to be competitive against the GWS Giants Academy.
“Preparation has been really solid and the squad is reflective of the training basses we have set up right across the NT.
“I am pleased with how well the entire squad gelled last week during our testing and training camp weekend. There’s no reason we can’t be really competitive with the right attitude and hard effort that has been on display throughout the lead up to this year’s series,” Driscoll said.
A coach from each training base will also be traveling with the squad.
4pm Saturday, April 14
NT Thunder vs GWS Giants Academy
Blacktown International Sportspark (BISP), Blacktown, NSW
1. Tyson KIDNEY
2. Liam HOLT-FITZ
3. Leonard FERREIRA
8. Malcolm ROSAS JNR
12. Mitchell PEMBERTON
14. Beau SCHWARZE
15. Jeffrey SIMON
16. Dillen BROWN
17. Domonic GRANT
19. Ben JUNGFER
20. Jackson COLE
22. Matthew GREEN
23. Michael MUMMERY
24. Joel STEVENS
25. Dominic FORBES
27. Shawn FOSTER
28. Joel BUDARICK
30. Rodney BAIRD
31. Coen HUTT
29. Louis KOSSACK
33. Jeremiah SCRUTTON
36. Stephen CUMMING
37. Matthew CUMMING
Athletes are identified through local leagues and can be nominated by someone from their club.
They may also be invited to participate in the Under 18s program following participating in the Under 16s squad. Once the Under 18s have completed the Academy Series against Tasmania, Gold Coast Suns, Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans and GWS Giants, a representative team known as the Allies is selected to participate in the AFL National Championships against Victoria Country, Victoria Metro, Western Australia and South Australia.