Michael Long Cup Decided For 2017
Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 01:54 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Almost fittingly, the Essendon NGA team has taken out this year’s Under 14 Michael Long Cup in Darwin. The annual tournament showcases the next generation of young talent from across the Northern Territory and pits local junior Darwin teams against teams from Alice Springs as well as throughout Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands.
After the round robin matches to decide finals, the tournament was won by Essendon NGA over Collingwood NGA. Geelong NGA finished third ahead of the Cenral Redtails. Final scores:
Essendon NGA (Tiwi & East Arnhem) 5 4 34 d Collingwood NGA 3 4 22 ( first v second)
Geelong NGA (Gove Island) 8 7 55 d Central Redtails (Alice Springs) 8 3 51 (third v fourth)
St Mary’s 4 4 28 drew with Palmerston 4 4 28 (equal fifth place)
The event is named in honour of Essendon great, Michael Long. The AFLNT details the event as follows:
The first phase of the reinvigorated Michael Long Cup will rollout this weekend as AFLNT goes in search of the best young football talent from right across the Territory.
The 2017/18 version of the Cup will see NTFL youth teams compete against teams from Alice Springs, East Arnhem, Tennant Creek and the Tiwi Islands/West Arnhem in a series of carnivals.
Round 4 of the NTFL Under 14 Gundersen Boys will be replaced with the Outback Stores Michael Long Cup round-robin this Friday and Saturday at Asbuild Oval in Palmerston.
Each of the NTFL teams; Darwin Buffaloes, Nightcliff, Palmerston, St Mary’s, Southern Districts, Wanderers and Waratah, will be in attendance. Joining them will be under-14 teams from Central Australia, and two teams representing the Next Generation Academies of Collingwood (Tennant Creek) and Geelong (West Arnhem), plus a combined team from Tiwi and West Arnhem.
Each team will play four games of 12-minute halves across Friday evening and Saturday morning before finals matches on Saturday afternoon.
A similar format including NTFL and regional-teams will be run in carnival-style for other Cup divisions:
Under 15 Girls – scheduled for 1st and 2nd December (Round 9)
Under 16 Boys – scheduled for 8th and 9th December (Round 10)
Under 18 Women’s – scheduled for 15th and 16th December (Round 11)
Under 18 Men’s – scheduled for 9th and 10th February (Round 17)
AFLNT High Performance Manager Wally Gallio said running the Michael Long Cup this way would expose more young talent than ever before.
“The vastness of the NT makes it hard for us to get to see all the skill on offer, so these carnivals will help us get a better gauge of talent from all over the Territory to select players to represent the NT at the 2018 Diversity Championships and to be part of our Academy teams.
“Not only will we as an organisation benefit greatly but I believe having intra-Territory representative games is a win for our juniors who would very rarely get the opportunity to compete against their fellow Territorians for a spot in an NT representative side,” he said.
The Essendon, Collingwood and Geelong clubs have put an enormous amount of work into the development of talent across the Norther Territory. It is no coincidence that the Long and McDonald Tipungwuti names have become entrenched in Essendon’s story and Geelong are embarking on that path with Steven Motlop, Brandon Parfitt and Nakia Cockatoo all recent Territorian Cats.
Photo Credit: AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT)