The Northern Territory news Mon 25 Jan 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
MONDAY JANUARY 25 2021 SPORT 45 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA NTFL Buffaloes Kyle Emery and Glenelgs Chris Curran compete for the ball during the representative match at TIO Stadium. Picture: Glenn Campbell A TRADITION continued at TIO Stadium on Saturday when the NTFL men and women beat SANFL club Glenelg. The historical significance of both wins the men winning their first representative clash since 1995 and the women winning at their first attempt was not missed on the players, coaching staff and fans who made up the Australia Day reunion. It had already been 16 years since a Buffalo side ran on to TIO Stadium, a time capsule that included Territory Thunders expensive, decade-long time in the NEAFL. All of a sudden, the black, white and ochre jumper was back in vogue, when playing for the Territory and not a standalone football team meant everything to the players. In a twist, the origins of representative football began with a 1961 clash between Darwin and the former Queensland mining community of Mary Kathleen in September of 1961. Darwin sneaked in by 177 points in Wanderers dual Nichols medallist Ted Coopers only game in a rep jumper, while Joe Bonson, Ron Woodroffe and Waratahs great Snowy Close also had a brief feel of a representative jumper. North Adelaide arrived for a two-game appointment in 1966, Collingwood in 1967, the VFL Galahs (Royce Hart, Bob Skilton and John Nicholls among them) the same year on their way to America and London and, later, St Kilda in 1969. That was the talk in the hallowed space of the NTFL members bar on Saturday night, a trip in a time machine back to the good old days when rep footy meant everything. Those spectators jammed up against the back row of the stands on Saturday night got the same feeling playing in a Territory jumper meant a hell of a lot to the 24 players who ran out against Glenelg. There were plenty of echoes from the past, including the last time the men played and beat Glenelg in 1985, Buffaloes Mark Motlop, Michael Athanasiou and Ted Liddy recalling the greats of that era and discussions on a long run of wins under legendary coach John Taylor through the late 1980s. But something that was lost in all the talk of representative football was the great vision shown by the governors of the Territory game who made everything happen. Collingwood and St Kilda, the Galahs, South Fremantle and the first state game between the NT and Queensland in Brisbane in 1974 did not just happen. They were the result of visionaries like long-serving NTFL president Hunter Harrison, Tony Shaw, Darryl Window and my old sparring partner Vic Ludwig. Those men wanted Territory players to touch the sun in their pursuit of football excellence, to strive to play against the best on a regular basis, and to act as role models for young people of all colours, race and cultures to aspire to the same thing. As AFLNT chairman Sean Bowden said at Saturdays prematch dinner, it is important to acknowledge those administrators who made it all happen. They were the men and women who ploughed a pathway for Territory footballers from Santa Teresa to Gove and Yuendumu to Ngukurr, to want to play football with the greats and learn important facets of life like respect, humility and faith in your teammates. So what of the future of representative football and the Buffalo jumper? There were plenty of officials and supporters of the process and making it all happen after the sound of the final siren was lost over Mindil Beach. But in the end the boardrooms of the AFLNT, successive NT governments and supportive business houses will make the final decisions. Territory footballers have two men who prefer the word do as opposed to maybe in chairman Bowden and chief executive Stuart Totham. The combined input of that pair on the making, retention and implications of rep footy will make for interesting reading in the coming years. MORRIS ON MONDAY Buffaloes blast from past GREY MORRIS Wins over Glenelg bring back rep memories