MAKE BETTER FOOTBALLERS
Success is something well deserved, as the only luck you have in football is that in which you create yourself through effort and attitude.
The Northern Territory Football Club has a number of core objectives that it continually works towards. These objectives simply lay the platform for all involved in the club to succeed to the levels in which they are willing. Some simply do not meet the objectives and ultimately exclude themselves from the football program, while others thrive in the reward that comes with the understanding of responsibility and pride associated with representing the Northern Territory in the sport in which they love.
Upon reflection of my first year with the club, I have seen a number of extremely talented players choose not to fulfil their potential and take the opportunity presented to them, but on many more occasions I have been lucky enough to witness a group of brothers united in aspiration, represent themselves, their families, their club and their Territory. I speak very openly and honestly when I say that becoming part of this football club and building relationships with all those involved has been the most amazing journey for me personally. This place is unique. My personal philosophy as a coach is that I firmly believe that ‘Better People make Better Footballers’. It is very much a holistic and big picture approach about providing opportunity for people to develop in all areas of their life. Football can be a wonderful tool for this.
This year we have seen players return home to Darwin while others have made the commitment of relocating, some players have had their first children or grown their families larger. We have seen players lose their loved ones, while others have committed to training alone and travelling many thousands of km’s every weekend to play football for the Territory. We have shared in the success of our under 18’s National Title and also seen seasons cut short by injuries.
The bottom line is simple, football clubs are simply not just about the football. The success that this club has seen is purely a by-product of the quality of person involved and the culture that these individuals come together to create. It is a ‘Brotherhood,’ built on respect, honesty and trust.
This weekend I know that each and every one of the 23 players selected to represent the club in the 2012 NEAFL Grand Final will give everything they have to succeed. They will work tirelessly in their efforts to create their own luck and further increase the bond in which they already share. All Territorians should be proud of them not only as footballers but also as people as they represent us all this weekend.
TIME TO TAKE OUR CHANCE
They say there is more than one way to skin a cat!
Finishing the regular season as minor premiers has given us that right. We as a group still have the opportunity to achieve our immediate goal of playing in a Grand Final by winning this weekend against Southport at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.
Achieving your goals is never meant to be easy. Hard work, determination and resilience are just some of the qualities any individual needs on their quest to achieve their goals. One other key component when you start talking about team sports is trust. Our goal at the Thunder has not changed. We continue to work hard, we are determined and our resilience will be demonstrated in the way we play this weekend. As a untied group of footballing brothers we must also continue to trust in each other to play their role for the team. Trust in the systems that have seen us win 15 out a possible 19 matches to date this year. We know we have the strengths and the abilities to compete and beat anyone in this competition. Each individual within the club now needs to ensure that they are best prepared to execute their role to maximise our overall team performance on the field.
We have enjoyed a wonderful record on the road outside of the Territory this year playing and winning all 6 games. There is an element of being on the road that I feel brings the playing group together in their preparation and respect towards each other. At Thunder we have a wonderful group of dedicated, hardworking young individuals all striving for a common goal who only 6 months ago did not even know some of their fellow team mates. Building the relationships needed to trust and perform as a team, support and assist each other to grow as individuals and athletes, whilst also sharing in each other’s successes and disappointments along the way has been something that this playing group has done well throughout 2012. They continue to grow together and remain united in the goals they have set. This is why I believe that they can achieve anything they focus on, starting with an appearance in a Grand Final.
MOMENTS OF GREATNESS
Finals are built on moments of greatness...
Leo Barry’s mark for Sydney against West Coast in 2005, Tony Lockett’s point for Sydney after the siren against Essendon in the 1996 Preliminary Final, Wayne Harmes effort for Carlton against Collingwood in the 1979 Grand Final. There have been so many of these moments that this year’s AFL Finals advertisement campaign has been themed ‘Moments of Greatness.’
A more recent moment that I remember clearly took place in the 2009 Grand Final between Geelong and St. Kilda. I’m sure all Geelong and St. Kilda fans remember it well, all be it with very different emotions. It ultimately led to the now famous Paul Chapman goal to help win the Premiership for Geelong. A kick to what looked to be an unmarked and clear Gary Ablett Jnr in the middle of the ground, spoilt by Zac Dawson then toe poked from mid-air by Matthew Scarlett back to the waiting arms of Gary to be sent long into the forward line and eventually a goal to Chapman. When the ball was spoilt by Zac Dawson in the middle of the ground scores were locked at 67 a piece and the premiership was any ones. What followed next in the contest for the loose ball was Matthew Scarlett’s combination of decision making and skill execution eventuating in his moment of greatness. It also turned out to be Geelong’s moment in history and Geelong’s premiership.
Every game of football is made up of thousands of moments, hundreds of contests and just as many actual possessions. What is at stake when it comes to finals time seems to make those moments count so much more. Every player involved in the game has their individual opportunity to make a difference to the game. They will have their moment. These moments will come at different stages of the game, in different parts of the ground and every one of them will be individually different from the other. Yet, they will all count just as much as the one before it or the ones that follow.
The team that has their players make more of these moments that influence the game wins. It really is a simple game when you break it down to that. We as a club, a team and individuals have prepared ourselves over the course of the regular season to maximise our talent, our attitude and our efforts, to ensure that at this time of the year we make our moments count.
There was a book published in 2004 titled, ‘The 500 Club’ that acknowledged footballs greatest ever coaches in Barassi, Hafey, Jeans, McHale, Parkin and Sheedy. All of which up until that point had taken part in over 500 VFL/AFL matches as a coach. We have since had one further added to the list in Mick Malthouse. The book however starts with a message scribed inside the front cover which reads, ‘To all those who have ever coached, and all those who will coach in the future.’
As a coach you certainly have you own ambitions and motivations yet primarily your role is to help and guide others to achieve their dreams. I think there is no place more important for this role as a coach than in the community levels of football. Sheedy comments in the book that we as a code cannot afford to be complacent. That sporting fields are now marketplaces and just as the AFL has sought to take the markets of other sports, they will too, continue to try and move into our territories.
I believe the coach plays the biggest part in the game when it comes to growth and development of the code, especially in community football. Just about all young kids may attend their first training session dreaming of being the next Buddy Franklin or Gary Ablett, yet really they choose to play football because they want to have fun. The impression and experience that the coach provides at all levels determines whether those individuals continue to participate, whether or not those players ultimately have fun playing their football and following their dreams.
Coaches do not need to know everything nor are they expected to know everything. The most important thing is that they be willing to learn. The coach is there to facilitate the learning and development of their players. Provide the environment for the players to explore and develop. We need as coaches to be willing to communicate to help ourselves develop and continuously improve. Talking and listening to other coaches, players, parents and people from a great cross section of the community, including other sports, can help us find new and interesting ways to enhance our players learning environment.
One of the most important platforms for this coach development is through the AFL’s coach accreditation scheme that aims to have all coaches accredited to ensure that we as a code provide the best sporting environment for our participants in the country. We need to as guardians of our game, people who love our sport, encourage and demand that all our coaches be accredited and willing to continually improve. Currently we are still striving towards an acceptable level here in the Territory of coaches being properly accredited. It is a simple responsibility and one in which all coaches need to acknowledge and open themselves to, so that our great game can continue to stay ahead of the other codes in providing a fun, safe and exciting learning environment that all participants enjoy.
OPPORTUNITY TO SHINE
One key aspect of the Northern Territory Football Club that makes it a totally unique football environment is that of the opportunity to discover and play talented individuals from communities across the Territory. This season already we have had players represent Thunder from Maningrida, Ramingining, Hermannsburg, Mt Liebig and Wadeye.
Our Wadeye representative was a 21 year old ruckman/forward by the name of Mark Parmbuk. Mark was identified through a wonderful new initiative by AFLNT known as the ‘Healthy Living Carnival’. This carnival recently held in Darwin, invited the best talent from communities across the Territory to partake in a week to further their personal and football development. Hezekiah Lawrence form Ramingining was also identified from the carnival and recently played very well for Thunder against Labrador on the Gold Coast in round 11.
Mark will again represent Thunder this weekend after his debut against Gold Coast Suns reserves last week. I thought it would be good to hear from Mark in regards to how he got his opportunity to represent Thunder and what it means to him and the people of Wadeye to do so.
I first heard of my opportunity was over a phone call from Remote Projects Manager Tavis Perry. He called to tell me that Thunder wanted me to play for them at TIO Stadium against the AFL reserves team the Gold Coast Suns. I couldn’t believe it and was extremely excited by the opportunity. The first thing I did was get on the phone and call my Mum, Michelle and Dad, William to tell them the news. They were just as happy as I was about getting the chance to take my football to a higher level. On Thursday morning I jumped in the troopie with AFLNT Regional Manager Craig Kimberley and made the 4 hour journey by road in to Darwin to train with the team ahead of Saturday’s game. When I arrived at training I was presented with my Thunder training jumper and hit the track a little nervous yet very excited about what was ahead. The boys were fantastic in making me feel very welcome and help me settle in to becoming part of the team. The game was a wonderful experience, especially playing against someone like Josh Fraser who has played over 200 AFL games. Kicking a goal in front of my family was an even better feeling. So far my Thunder journey has been fun and very exciting and I am looking forward to representing the team and Wadeye again this Saturday night.
Run to the Finish Line
After what has been a tough and very testing front half of the season it is great to finally find ourselves back at home, in our run towards the 2012 NEAFL finals.
After 11 games we find ourselves 8-3, sitting 3rd on the ladder and holding the second best percentage in the competition behind leaders Brisbane. A solid result after having played 5 games away interstate, 3 in Alice Springs and only the 3 at TIO in Darwin. The positive view on where we currently sit is that it has given us total control in to where we finish on the ladder come seasons end.
Our run into the finals has us playing 5 games in Darwin, 1 in Alice Springs and 1 in Brisbane. A fantastic draw that can see us really launch ourselves into ensuring we have a consistent and constantly improving finish to the regular season in preparation to another assault on the NEAFL Premiership. We understand that all 7 of the remaining games will be tough challenges as the NEAFL has continued to show with results this year, that if you do not turn up to play on the day you don’t get the points, no matter who you’re playing. However, we are confident as a group that winning all remaining 7 games is not beyond us.
A number of weeks ago I wrote about Cathy Freeman and her goal setting in this column. Setting goals are extremely important in the process of achieving your desired outcomes. The reality is we play this game to win premierships, and to give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve this goal we are aiming as a group to finish in the top 2 at the end of the regular season. This will give us the opportunity to play a home final in our path towards the chance to represent the territory in another NEAFL Grand Final.
We would love to see everyone from the football community and beyond get on board over the next 8 weeks and support the Thunder at all 5 of the home games, starting this Saturday night against the Gold Coast Suns. There is no doubt the players find a little extra when the crowd gets behind them as was witnessed earlier in the year against the Sydney Swans. I know that together we can achieve the goal of a top 2 finish and then push on to bring the Territory another chance at premiership glory. Hope you can come along for the ride.
See you at the Footy!
NT Thunder, back-to-back in 2012!!
Much more than just four quarters
By Kia Naylor, High Performance Manager
Most of you will be familiar with the happenings of the Thunder during the 120 minutes of game viewed each week. However it goes much deeper than that…
I often get asked "are you aiming for the premiership this year, back to back?" My answer is absolutely, anyone involved in elite sport and aiming for anything less is in the wrong industry.
So after the highs and excitement of 2011, I sat down with our then Head Coach and CEO, providing a thorough evaluation of the season from a high performance and medical aspect.
Addressing what we needed to improve on, what we did well and needed to maintain for the 2012 season, this review included 2 pages of improvements. As a club we could have sat back and enjoyed the success but it’s a credit to everyone involved new and old that we knuckled down and worked out how we could improve and what new strategies and techniques we could implement, to continue to evolve in our commitment to provide our players with services equal to that of an AFL club.
It does not happen in a week or even a month, but is a full 12 months in the planning and preparation, with each session and week carefully set out with one ultimate aim, the 2012 NEAFL premiership.
A lengthy list of strategies and monitoring techniques allows us to carefully analyse and assess how the player’s bodies are coping with the demands of the sport and travel required; both physiologically and psychologically, and gives us the information to project for the weeks ahead.
In addition to the field sessions players have specific gym programs to complete each week designed by our Strength & Conditioning coach, Robbie McCullagh and head physiotherapist, Greg Dea. These are to address each players minimums and build on their strengths to ensure we remain fast, strong, and agile week in week out, peaking in September.
Endless planning, research and time goes into preparing all players for the games on a Saturday, and when the siren sounds at the end of the 4th quarter it all starts again with recovery implemented, nutrition crucial and bodies looked after to prepare us for the next training session.
For a more in depth report and analysis of the performance aspect, including use of GPS, video feedback, Sunnto data collection, game time, functional movement screening and more look for the 4 page lift out coming in the NT news soon.
GO THUNDER!! back-to-back in 2012
LOVE OF THE GAME
Last Saturday morning, well before the main game against Mt. Gravatt in front of a small but passionate crowd, I was lucky enough to witness football played in the full Territory spirit.
The Maningrida All-Stars had made the effort to come into town to play the NT Thunder reserves at 10.30am at TIO Stadium. When I say that they had made the effort, I certainly mean it.
After meeting at the Town Hall and loading up three troopies, the boys from Maningrida set off Friday morning on their 450km journey into Darwin. Twenty-four players, six assistants and further support staff all squeezed in for what I am sure was not the smoothest of rides.
Unfortunately it is a familiar story, the effort that is needed by many in the Territory just to get a game of football. Big distances, dirt roads, tyre blow outs, sometimes plane rides and very often leaving friends and family at home in the community. Sacrifices that many of us take for granted living in urban areas.
After all of this effort the lads from Maningrida lived up to their names as All-Stars and played with the love and passion of football in their souls. It was a wonderful game played in amazing spirit. I can still picture of a very proud, smiling Jerry Wilson who is on Thunder’s 2012 list, shaking hands with all his Thunder mates as he lead his team as captain of his home community Maningrida for the day. It also meant that he got to play alongside his two brothers and in one instance a Maningrida goal came from a passage of play that went from Wilson to Wilson to Wilson for a goal.
Football is there for all to enjoy and enjoy the experience is exactly what the All-Stars did. Playing footy meant something as it always should. Maningrida are just one of a number of community and regional teams that will get the chance to play Thunder reserves at TIO before the remaining home games this year. It is a wonderful chance for players to demonstrate their skills and work towards taking their football to the next level if they so desire. The example of this will be on full display this weekend when Hezekiah Lawrence from Ramingining near Maningrida, a running defender, makes his debut for Thunder as the 23rd player against Labrador on the Gold Coast.
Hezekiah recently impressed at the Healthy Living Carnival for remote and community based footballers in Darwin which was a wonderful initiative run by AFLNT. He was also very impressive last weekend for the Maningrida All-Stars despite their narrow loss to NT Thunder.
I am very much looking forward to the next opportunity to see football played by people who love and respect the game from all over the Territory.
GO THUNDER!! Back-to-back in 2012!!
COURAGE TO DREAM
The first step in reaching your dreams is having the courage to believe.
On Saturday night just past, a young group of men dared to dream. They showed tremendous courage in their ability to not only believe but also the determination to use their talents to their advantage. Of course I am talking about the Under 18 Thunder team that defeated Vic Metro by 18 points at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
The National Under 18 Championship is a large step in the pathway for many talented young footballers towards their dream of playing in the AFL. Here in the Northern Territory this pathway is heavily supported by the role Thunder play in the NEAFL and the continual development of junior footballers through the Under 16, 18 and then senior programs.
We currently have seven (7) players listed within the senior Thunder program who are part of the Under 18 squad for the current championships. The pathway that is now in place here in the Northern Territory I believe is a very solid model for giving talented youth the best chance to develop as both players and people in their pursuit of the dream to play AFL football. Wally Gallio and Brenton Toy along with many other helping hands have a model that now provides consistency and opportunity far beyond anything I have witnessed in other states.
It is the simple structure of providing an environment that provides continuity in messages, game style and professionalism that allows the pathway to continue from the underage programs into the senior Thunder model. The benefits are then shared both ways. We are able to keep a lot more talent playing here at home in the NEAFL and the young players exposed to senior experience in the NEAFL are able to provide greater influence in the under 18 program.
We hope this year to witness many of the young men representing Thunder achieve the next step in their AFL dreams when it comes to drafting time. I know that as a club we will be working hard to continue each individual’s development and supporting them on their pathway.
BACK-TO-BACK in 2012!!
GETTING BACK TO BASICS
with Travis Edwards (NT Thunder Assistant Coach)
Football: Such a simple game - the team with the highest score wins.
However so much more is now put in to being successful in this game we love. Game plans, tactics, opposition analysis, training levels, sports science, nutrition and GPS technology are just some of the readily available resources that we as coaches and players draw on, as we continually strive to improve even the smallest of areas in order to give us "the edge" over our opposition.
But sometimes we need to take a step back, reassess where we are at and simply "get back to basics."
Our conversion rate for 2012 sits at only 55% with 124 goals from 227 scoring shots. At this level we need to be better than this. We will only get better if we practice and unfortunately in football nowadays, even at an elite level, I don’t believe coaches allow enough time for players to master their goal kicking.
NT Thunder coaches and players have this week accepted responsibility for improving goal kicking techniques and routines at training and hence improve player’s conversion on game days.
Our goal as a group for the remainder of the 2012 season has now been set at a high 70% conversion rate. With the quality of the playing group we have this season, I know we can achieve it.
Tomorrow we have the exciting opportunity here in Darwin with Round 1 of the Foxtel Cup against reigning VFL premiers Port Melbourne, a team that could rightly claim to be the best side outside of the AFL. After there perfect undefeated 2011 season and being coached by Gary Ayres, we realize we have a massive task at hand. Our opportunities for scoring shots could be hard to come by but if we expose the southerners to our territory style of football, supporters can hope for an exciting high scoring shoot out, where the team with the best conversion rate will win!
GO THUNDER!! Back-to-back in 2012
SEEING IT IS WIINING IT
The battle for many athletes to perform consistently at an elite level does come down to a belief and a determination to succeed mentally. Sports psychology has continued to play its role in ensuring that athletes continue to achieve and strive for success.
A great story of this relates to our Olympic Champion Cathy Freeman.
In January 1996 she wrote the number 48.63 on a piece of paper and stuck it on her bedroom mirror so she could see it every day. It allowed her to visualize her goal of improving on her current personal best for the 400m of 49.59.
A second may not seem much to the person on the street but to an athlete on the track it is an eternity. She set her goals then took the actions needed to achieve them. Writing things down and mentally visualizing them constantly was one of the actions she believed helped steer her in the right direction.
In July 1996, Cathy wanted to go to the Atlanta Olympics and record this time she had set herself. In the final at Atlanta, Cathy Freeman ran a personal best time and broke the Australian National and Commonwealth records to win a silver medal, running behind the then dominate Marie-José Pérec of France. Her time at Atlanta was exactly 48.63. The time she had visualized every day in the lead up.
To me this is no simple coincidence. Mentally she had set herself a goal and taken the steps to achieve it. This weekend we have set ourselves the goal of getting a win against Broadbeach in Alice Springs and over the past two (2) months have gone about completing the actions needed to achieve our goal. It is all about belief and being mentally strong enough to get the job done and the job is getting the four (4) points.
BACK-TO-BACK in 2012
THE COACHES WORD
What a wonderful win Saturday night at our home, TIO Stadium.
The most pleasing thing from a coaching point of view about Saturday night was the way in which every player involved demonstrated the belief and character needed to be a quality team. The group took a major step in defining their identity as the 2012 Northern Territory Thunder.
With all the hype and excitement generated by the success of 2011 it has been very easy for all involved to get lost in the continuation of it all. We must all respect the great team that was the dual Premiership winning 2011 Thunder; however, at the end of the day that was last year. We as a group need to now continue on our path to build our identity as a football team. Setting our standards and building a group culture that we will respect in each other and others will respect us for.
A culture built on trust and honesty in each other. A trust to play your role for the team and give yourself to the cause, the cause being to be the best team we can be. Then there is honesty. The ability to be honest in your effort and your assessment of those around you to help them become the best individual they can be, again for the team.
It is a very talented list of players that we have representing the Thunder in 2012. Talented individuals do not win premierships though, teams do! Our challenge is to be the best team we can be and build on the initial steps we have taken as a group through the first 6 rounds of the NEAFL and in particular last Saturday night against the Sydney Swans.
ROUND 6 PREVIEW
Those who come before us do so much to shape the way in which we exist.
These are thoughts that are always bought to the forefront around this time each year, when we remember all the courageous men and women who have fallen in conflicts around the world on Anzac Day.
Another event this week has led me to thinking about the importance of history and how it shapes the wider community. In preparation for this week’s NEAFL match against the Sydney Swans at TIO Stadium, we have been looking back on the last time a Sydney Swans team visited the Northern Territory. It was in fact 25 years ago, when a team including the flamboyant Warwick Capper took to Gardens Oval on Australia Day to play a representative side form the NTFL.
I have been fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of the game and have been captivated all week watching the courageous and heroic efforts of the men from the top end tear apart the Sydney Swans. Names such as Jeffery, McAdam, Long, Motlop, Dunn and Rioli running rings around their Sydney opponents. These are the men like many I am sure before them that have continued and driven a proud football culture in the Northern Territory.
Often you do not understand the influence you can have on the people around you until you actually take time to look back. As a coach part of the responsibility lies with you to make those you’re working with understand their role in the bigger picture. On every occasion a player gets to where the NT Thunder jumper you hope that they learn to understand that they have an opportunity. An opportunity to continue a tradition of footballing pride.
This weekend the 23 players that take to the field to represent the Territory will be doing so against the Swans for the first time since the names above beat them 25 years ago. We hope to play the same exciting brand of Territory style football this weekend and represent ourselves as those who have come before us have.
PASSION FOR THE GAME
Football is a passionate game. Everyone involved in football from supporters to players are involved because they love the game. It brings enjoyment and excitement in the uncertainty of competition. It is a game that deserves to be respected and played with pride and passion.
This weekend the club heads to Brisbane to face the Redlands Bombers at Victoria Point, a ground that holds fond memories for the club and a number of our players this weekend. It is of course the ground that saw the club crowned the 2011 NEAFL Northern Premiers after defeating Morningside by 98 points. This weekend we return to take on the Redland Bombers and will be looking for all involved to perform with the passion and desire that inspired the last historic win at this venue.
It has been a solid month for the club since round 1 in Darwin, with 2 games in Alice Springs and this being our 2nd in Brisbane also. It has been challenging, but that is why we play football, to challenge ourselves. I have been inspired myself by the passion on display around the football community for the game here in the Top End. It is a part of life. The Territory has the highest rate of participation in the game per capita in the nation. Footy means something in the Territory.
We have a responsibility as players and coaches to ensure that we represent football in the Territory with the pride and passion that it deserves on every occasion. This weekend I know the players will be inspired by each other in their effort and desire to win. A four quarter effort that is a continuation from the best half of football we have played for the year against Brisbane last week will be the only performance accepted.
The way you measure success is how you handle disappointment.
To say we were disappointed last week would be an understatement. Quite simply we did not play well enough and will therefore be looking to handle the disappointment in the way we prepare and then perform this weekend.
Simple skill errors and a mental approach that again allowed our opposition to get a head start on us, with Southport kicking the first 5 goals of the game, are areas that have been addressed this week in our readiness to hit the Brisbane Lions with everything we have right from the first bounce.
Some real positives as always can still definitely be drawn from the encounter, in particular the performance of a number of the Centralians who were provided with the opportunity to represent their Territory at home in Alice Springs. None more so than big man Jayden Prior who’s effort and enthusiasm were noticed and rewarded by his team mates. We will be looking for more within the team to follow his lead this weekend in regards to enthusiasm and support for their team mates when taking the field to face the strong Lions outfit.
Darren Ewing was deservingly judged best a field for us last weekend, winning the Lord Mayor’s medal. The great thing about Darren’s win was that it wasn’t about how many goals he kicked but simply how hard he was willing to work for his team mates and the positive manner in which he did so.
The big challenge we have is to ensure we produce a team that understands and works for each other on the park each week. Something that does have its difficulties when on occasions players are meeting for the first time the morning of the game. This is part of what makes the Northern Territory Football Club unique. With each round that passes we continue to grow together and will be looking for a big performance that displays the confidence of the group in each other and our own abilities. After all we will be measured by our actions as a team this weekend.
PRIDE IN PERFORMANCE
One of the many unique and special things about this football club is that it is a club that represent the entirety of the Northern Territory. This is something that we are all very proud of. This season we have compiled a solid list comprising of a record number of players from Alice Springs, totalling fourteen. Round 3 provides great opportunity for a number of these Southern Region based players to demonstrate their talents and represent their territory against the Southport Sharks at home on Traeger Park.
We enter the Round 3 clash coming off a very inspiring and character building win against Aspley on the road in Brisbane last weekend. Preparation is so important in modern day football, as every team strives to find that extra 1% improvement on their opposition. The 2012 playing group is quickly demonstrating that this area is one of strength for them as a team. The commitment and attitude displayed by the group over the pre-season and into the first couple of rounds I believe has been the difference in our positive start to the season, winning both our first rounds. Efforts such as those made by a small number of experienced players last weekend due to work commitments to travel Saturday morning to Brisbane, play against Aspley and play well, then turn around and get on a plane together with their team mates and return to Darwin at 1.00am Sunday morning cannot be underestimated. Playing for the Northern Territory Football Club and representing the people, the football community and the club itself means something to all of these boys.
We are all excited to get an early opportunity to play at home in Alice Springs against quality opposition in Southport and I know that those selected will want to do everything they can to keep us on our winning ways.