After weeks of training throughout the Northern Territory including the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre as well as satellite sites including Adelaide, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, the AFLNT State Academy Under 18s team to take on Tasmania in Round 1 has been named.

From an initial selected squad there are 23 young Territorians who will travel to Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday.

Robert Bull from Southern Districts Football Club and Jack Kluske from St Mary’s Football Club will pull on the famed NT representative jumper for the first time.

They join the likes of NAB AFL Academy Level Two footballer, Domonic Grant and NRL-turned-AFL-convert Rodney Baird.

The team also consists of players from Alice Springs (Rohan Armstrong, Jamie Hampton, Jackson Renzi), Tennant Creek (Matthew Green, Liam Holt-Fitz) and Ti Tree (Jeremiah Scrutton).

Under 18s Head Coach Jimmy Driscoll believes his outfit has done the hard work and has the right attitude to be competitive against Tasmania.

“I am pleased with how well the team has gelled and the effort that has been shown at training.

“It is always difficult for the players to back-up after the NTFL but we believe if we play our best footy there’s no reason we can’t be really competitive,” Driscoll said.

Round 1 vs Tasmania is at 10am AEST (8:30am NT time) Sunday 26 March.
Round 2 vs Sydney Swans and Round 3 vs Brisbane Lions will be played as curtain raisers to the NT Thunder senior games at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
AFLNT Under 18s

Round 1 vs Tasmania

Sunday 26 March

B: Josh O’Brien, Coen Hutt, Nelson Sonntag

HB: Jamie Hampton, Marcus Valastro,Rodney Baird

C: Liam Holt-Fitz, Domonic Grant, Rohan Armstrong

HF: Beau Schwarze, Jasper Hutt, Jackson Renzi

F: Matthew Blake, Ryan Prowse, Ryan Althouse-Cooper

FOLL: Jeremiah Scrutton, Ankin Abbott, Zac Bailey

INT: Matthew Green, Xavier Cubillo Jack Kluske, Robert Bull, Ryan Mu

The full squad is available for download here.