Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The following article from the AFLNT website details an historic curtain-raiser match on Sunday to the clash between the Melbourne demons and Adelaide Crows in Alice Springs. Whilst much of the focus will centre on the Round 10 AFL Premiership match, the match between the Redtails and the Storm will instil great pride and excitement in locals and all Territorians.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is pleased to announce the teams for XYZ game, which will be played as a curtain-raiser to the Toyota AFL Premiership Round 10 blockbuster between Melbourne and the Adelaide Crows in Alice Springs this Sunday.
The two teams consist of some of the best talent Territory football has to offer, with players from Alice Springs and Darwin being joined by their remote teammates from regions such as Galiwin'ku, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Hermmansburg, Katherine, Lajamanu, Papunya, Tennant Creek, Ti-Tree, Tiwi Islands and Wadeye.
In a coup for Territory football and what is the AFL’ s launch of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the Central Australian Redtails vs Top End Storm game starts at 11:40am ACST and will be televised nationally via the AFL’s broadcast partner, Channel 7. The broadcast commences from 11:30am.
The Redtails will be coached by one of their own, Matt Campbell. Alice Springs raised Campbell is a former AFL player with North Melbourne and is the current Darwin Buffaloes NTFL player-coach and also a current NT Thunder player.
Not to be outdone, the Storm team will be under the guidance of former Melbourne AFL player, Tiwi Island product and experienced footballer, Austin Wonaeamirri.
The two teams will wear specially designed guernseys featuring work by local artists.
The Redtails guernsey is designed by Curtis Haines who is from Ti-Tree but now resides in Alice Springs.
The guernsey pays homage to a common sight in Central Australia, the beautiful red-tailed black cockatoo. Haines explained that the bird remains the focus of the design as it sits front and centre, and the surrounds represent the story of the Redtails Football Club.
“The stick figure on the front bottom right side represents the young man who lost his life through a domestic violence incident that happened in 2010 and was the catalyst for the Redtails Football Club's inception. It is also placed there in honour of him and in recognition of another young Redtails player who we lost far too early, in 2015.
“The patterns represent all communities in our region coming together to represent Central Australia through Australian football. We come together to strengthen our region and develop ways that together we improve not only our footy but create a future that addresses our issues and celebrate our successes.
“The guernsey is a powerful statement of unity, opportunity, pride and honour. It embraces all of us to achieve greatness,” he said.
The Storm guernsey is a re-creation of the 2018 NT Thunder Indigenous guernsey by Nathan Djerrkura.
The former AFL and NT Thunder player is also a Yolngu man from the Wangurri clan and lives in the remote Arnhem Land town of Yirrkala and will be playing for the Top End team on Sunday.
Djerrkura said his design was inspired by watching the spectacular storms that roll in over the ocean.
“When the lightning strikes the water, it lights up the sky and the ocean followed by a monstrous roar that shakes the earth
“I like to relate this to our Territory teams and how they light up the oval and the crowds with their speed, freakish skills and monstrous physical attack on the ball.”
The blue colour in the Top End Storm design represents the sea across the top of the Territory, and the colours in the lightning bolt represent the colours of the traditional garments worn by different tribes and clans across the Top End.
AFLNT Manager of Talent and Pathways Wally Gallio has been overseeing the Darwin and Alice Springs contingent and said a great occasion awaits both the players and spectators.
“Australian football is the language of the NT, and the opportunity these young men have to showcase their natural flair and that fast, exciting talent we are renowned for is too good to miss.
“When they run out on Sunday they will not only do themselves proud but will carry with them the pride of their families, communities and the whole Territory,” he said.
To view the full squads for this historic match, go t the original article on the AFLNT website at: https://www.aflnt.com.au/news/2018/inaugural-central-australia-redtails-vs-top-end-storm-match-set-to-delight-the-nation
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