Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 26 Nov 2016



The Northern Territory news Sat 26 Nov 2016

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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52 SPORT SATURDAY NOVEMBER 26 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Essendon coach John Worsfold with No.1 draft pick Andrew McGrath in Sydney last night Picture: GETTY IMAGES SAM LANDSBERGER Liam Holt-Fitz was outstanding against Southern Districts ESSENDON believes No.1 draft pick Andy McGrath can walk into its best 22 next season along with the 10 superstars returning from drug bans. Chief recruiter Adrian Dodoro said McGrath was a brilliant prototype for the modern game as the Bombers marked the end of the four-year saga with their first ever draft dux. McGrath, 18, joins Darcy Parish and Aaron Francis as top-10 gems inside 12 months and the Bombers believe they can challenge for the premiership as early as 2019. Coach John Worsfolds premiership midfield at West Coast led by Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr helped eliminate any concerns over McGraths height. The explosive halfback stands 179cm and will evolve into a permanent midfield weapon with his athletics background enabling him to play taller. McGraths infectious run will help burst games open and he joins Essendons growing band of young leaders, led by Zach Merrett. It was a lineball call between McGrath and goalkicking midfielder Hugh McCluggage, who joined Brisbane Lions at No.3. Premier Western Bulldogs secured slider Tim English, 19, in a draft steal, the 205cm ruckman likened to Dean Cox. Carlton secured hot West Aus tralian Sam Petrevski-Seton after first bidding on Greater Western Sydneys academy midfielder Will Setterfield. The Giants cashed in picks 15 and 37 to secure Setterfield the selections the AFL threatened to strip over the Lachie Whitfield saga. Elusive midfielder Petrevski-Seton has been likened to Cyril Rioli and added a hard edge to his game this year. He won more than half his possessions contested and ranked top 10 for tackles in the WAFL Colts. Petrevski-Seton will complement clearance superstar Patrick Cripps in the Blues engine beautifully and made his senior debut for Claremont at 16. Dodoro texted McGrath, McCluggage and Setterfield before the draft saying he could not reveal who was No.1 and the selection was a surprise for McGrath. The No.1 was born in Canada and Australias national 400m champion before abandoning an Olympics dream to focus on footy. Retired star Nick Dal Santo helped improve McGraths kicking last summer and AFL academy coach Brad Johnson declared him ready to play AFL. Gold Coast nailed its list relaunch with the Suns raiding four of the hottest players. They took inside bull Will Brodie and silky midfielder Jack Bowes along with versa Bombers hit target in snaring gun McGrath tile defender Jack Scrimshaw and powerful small forward Ben Ainsworth. Sydney denied itself a top-10 pick by bidding on academy star Bowes before calling Oliver Florent. The Sandringham Dragon must now leave his mum and younger brother just months after the death of father Andrew, who lost a long battle with cancer in August. It was widely believed a Victorian club would take Florent to keep the family together, but Swans coach John Longmire flew down to interview the classy midfielder on Sunday. Sydney was sorely beaten for outside run in the finals and Florent will deliver an immediate boost. Territory trio shine at draft FROM BACK PAGE Its just a great feeling and an honour to get picked as an over-ager. I could be a mentor for people who miss out in their draft year and come back. I still had that dream to play AFL football and Im over the moon and its still sinking in and is so surreal right now ... I cant wait to go down to Melbourne and pursue my AFL career. Long burst back onto the scene with a series of great performances for the Territory and the Allies at national under-18 level this year. But it was his six-goal haul for Footscray in the VFL preliminary final that stamped him as a future AFL star. Long was a VFL premiership player a week later. Parfitt was an All-Australian as a 17-year-old in 2015 and an AFL Academy member but groin and knee injuries restricted him in his draft year. None of that mattered as Geelong scooped him up with their first pick. Cats regulars Lachie Henderson and Rhys Stanley had already welcomed Parfitt to Kardinia Park by the time the 18-year-old spoke to the NT News. I look up to blokes like (Joel) Selwood Ive watched him over the years and (Patrick) Dangerfield and now Im going to be rubbing shoulders with them, Parfitt said. Theres a bit of a Territory feel there, so they obviously like the Territory boys. Rioli reported feeling numb as the AFL dream he thought was long dashed was suddenly a reality. The small forward left Darwin behind to become the first Rioli to play SANFL football for Glenelg and now he follows cousins Cyril and Daniel into the AFL. All those extra sessions with the coaches and playing group are what I look back on now, Rioli said. Im grateful, because Glenelg has been a big part of it and my parents (Willie Rioli Snr and Georgina Virgona) as well. My goal if I did get picked up was to tell everyone not to give up hope. Fellow NT footballers including Tony Olango, Jamie Hampton, Rohan Armstrong, Lachie McKenzie, Patrick Taban and Isiah Farrell-Nelson get another chance in Mondays rookie draft. TOP 10 1. ESSENDON ANDY McGRATH (Sandringham Dragons) 2. GWS GIANTS TIM TARANTO (Sandringham Dragons) 3. BRISBANE LIONS HUGH McCLUGGAGE (North Ballarat Rebels) 4. GOLD COAST BEN AINSWORTH (Gippsland Power) 5. GWS GIANTS WILL SETTERFIELD (Sandringham Dragons/GWS Academy) 6. CARLTON SAM PETREVSKI-SETON (Claremont) 7. GOLD COAST JACK SCRIMSHAW (Sandringham Dragons) 8. FREMANTLE GRIFFIN LOGUE (Swan Districts) 9. GOLD COAST WILL BRODIE (Murray Bushrangers) 10. GOLD COAST JACK BOWES (Cairns Saints/ Gold Coast Academy) Age no barrier as dynamic Holt-Fitz eyes future at the top THE 16-year-old talked up as someone who is going to be something special believes this is just the start of what could be a wonderful career. Nightcliff small forward Liam Holt-Fitzs four goals in his teams 41-point win against Southern Districts on Saturday night saw him named as the Round 7 nomination for the 2016-17 Rising Star. While Willie Rioli and Brandan Parfitt are both the focus of Northern Territory football now that its AFL draft time, dont forget Holt-Fitz when he becomes eligible in two years time. Tigers playing-coach Troy Coates believes the sky is the limit for the diminutive youngster from Tennant Creek, playing in his first NTFL Premier League season. When asked if he believed Holt-Fitz would succeed in the Territorys top footy competition this summer despite his age, Coates replied: Yeah. We put him straight in there and he hasnt let us down, he said. Hes always training hard, always asking for feedback. Hes going to be something special. Hes probably in our topthree trainers and hes a 16year-old kid. When you see kids like that you just know theyre on the right path. Holt-Fitz an All-Australian under-15 and an underage player at Thunder has so much belief, he also knows the extra work hes done has put him on the right track. This is the start of it it was only my fourth game back from a back injury (against the Crocodiles), he said. The coach has given me these opportunities to play and youve just got to take your chances when you get thrown in the deep end. Holt-Fitz who booted a brilliant left-foot snap from the boundary line against the Crocs is thriving on the challenge of playing against hardened, bigger-bodied NTFL stars. I like a bit of a challenge I knew I was going to play this season so I got myself really fit, he said. Holt-Fitz has always had an eye on the bigger picture, and for quite some time hes known that the sky really is the limit. I didnt really play much footy in Tennant Creek, the St Johns College student said. My dad didnt want me to play seniors down there because he was looking at bigger and better things. JOSH SPASARO