Contributed by: Wesley Hull
In just a little over two weeks’ time, the new NTFL season will get under way. The weekend of 5th and 6th October will see the eight Premier League teams back in action along with all other men’s, women’s and junior competitions.
It is arguably the most exciting time of the year for all fans as the beginning of a new season, where all teams start again at ground zero, and fans of all clubs can have their dreams and hopes for the next flag, next finals appearance, next win.
The opening round leaps straight into where last year’s story ended. The Grand Final replay between the Nightcliff Tigers and Southern Districts Crocs helps open the season as part of a TIO Stadium double-header on the Saturday night. The season opens with two of last season’s other finalists clashing with the Darwin Buffaloes up against the Tiwi Bombers.
On Sunday, Waratah take on Wanderers at TIO Stadium in the earlier match followed by St Marys up against the Palmerston Magpies.
Reigning premiers, the Nightcliff Tigers, will be keen for a fast start to defend their title. A win against Crocs first up would be a great statement that they intend to be the team to beat again. Crocs, however, have been hurting since that Grand Final and will see Round 1 as the perfect time for their own statement – we are back to reclaim what was ours.
Both Waratah and Darwin played finals last season but their campaigns did not end the way they had hoped, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Each will see the new season as a chance to build further and push for top two or better.
The Tiwi Bombers want to get out and play with their new Ferrari, Cyril Rioli Junior, who joins their coaching ranks. An absolutely prized signing that the Bombers will hope can help them improve on third place last season. The club is primed to rise and will be keen to bank a first round win to set that dice rolling.
Palmerston, Wanderers and St Mary’s had seasons they would rather forget across 2018/19 and will each have spent the off-season addressing needs – on and off field – to give the best chance at trying to get back into the finals race.
As it stands, all teams are locked together on zero points. All are in the race and all are super-keen to get started. Each has their dreams for the new season.
Round 1 will see whether or not those dreams could possibly come true.
To view the 2019/20 Premier League draw, go to: https://www.aflnt.com.au/sites/defaul...ure_v2.pdf
For more information on all aspects of Northern Territory footy ahead of the new season, go to: https://www.aflnt.com.au/
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