2013 NTFL Season Drawing to Exciting Climax
Monday, March 04 2013 @ 03:59 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Late last year the AFLNT were proud to recognise the record growth of the game of Australian Rules football across a range of areas. That growth has now translated into an exciting season which is now culminating with the 2012-13 finals series. It was a season which expected and got huge growth, and this growth has delivered both on and off the field.
This coming weekend will see last year's premiers, the Tiwi Bombers, take on Wanderers for a place in the NTFL Premier League Grand Final.
Last week it was St Mary’s who booked the first place in the Grand Final by giving out a hiding to the Tiwi Bombers to the tune of 51 points in the Second Semi Final. Wanderers upset Southern Districts by an even 100 points to get to the Preliminary Final.
St Mary’s await the winner of the Tiwi v Wanderers clash, and are the overwhelming favourite to take this year's flag.
But these results are only part of a bigger picture which has seen a landmark season. Two clubs, Central Australian Redtails and Banks Bulldogs, took part in a 4 game trial to see how they might go as fully fledged teams in the Premier League. The Redtails won three or their 4 games (including a win against Grand Finalist, St Mary’s), with their only loss a close four goal defeat against the Tiwi Bombers.
Banks also won one of their four games, against preliminary finalist Wanderers. Both side proved they can cut the mustard on the field, as long as they can prove to be financially competitive off the field as well.
The AFLNT would also be proud of the efforts of the Darwin Buffaloes, who only won three games but were instrumental in getting new young players from communities such as Maningrida into the senior NTFL teams.
This growth is also evident with increases in radio and newspaper following, increases in attendance at all venues, hits to the AFLNT website and numbers watching the live streaming on matches on the AFLNT site. According to the AFLNT, junior growth had also increased by 29%, attributed to the efforts of clubs and the attraction of some junior competitions being played under lights at TIO Stadium.
On the AFLNT website, their CEO Tony Frawley admits some surprise with the success of the current season. "We are absolutely delighted with how the season is unfolding and even though we knew we would have a stellar season, I must admit we have been slightly taken aback by the phenomenal level of interest in this year’s competition. Credit must go to all NTFL clubs for their efforts to ensure that the Territory’s premier sporting competition goes from strength to strength."
This has certainly been a breakout year for the NTFL, in the season dubbed as the “Spirit Of The Territory”. That spirit will be well and truly on show over the next two weeks as St Mary’s, Tiwi Bombers and Wanderers remain standing in the battle for the 2012/13 season premiership. For more information on the NTFL Premier League and all other senior and junior competitions, go to the AFLNT website at aflnt.com.au.
Below: Action from the recent Tiwi Bombers vs St Mary's clash.