The Northern Territory news Sat 21 May 2022
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
72 SPORT Saturday, May 21, 2022 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said it was great to be able to bring three big games to the NT after missing out in 2021. Territorians can enjoy a feast of footy over the next few months with three AFL games taking place here, Fyles said. Its great to see the Melbourne Demons return to the Red Centre, where AFL is something of a religion. Theyll be playing in front of an excited crowd. As well as attracting interstate fans keen to follow their team, these games see the Territory displayed on TV screens across Australia. Melbourne chief executive Gary Pert said the club put a high value on its link with Alice Springs. With such a rich history, Alice Springs is a unique backdrop for an AFL match, and we are proud to be able to showcase the game in the heart of the nation again in 2022, Pert said. Over an extended period of time, new start excites shannon FORMER Wanderers coach Shannon Motlop said he had to leave the club if he was to coach again. The North Melbourne premiership player has signed on to guide PINT in its first Mens Premier League season in 2022-23. It comes after his two-year reign came to a sudden end in June last year in a heartbreaking split when his application for a new three-year deal was rejected by Wanderers. A then shattered Motlop, who had taken the club from second last to the preliminary final in 2020-21, said at the time it was going to be hard for me to have anything to do with Wanderers but would not consider coaching anywhere else. And that still seemed to be the case until recently when he received a call from PINT powerbrokers. It happened very quickly, Motlop said. I had no intentions to go back into coaching. I was very attached to Wanderers in many ways. I never really saw myself leaving Wanderers. When people asked me about (coaching again) I said: Nah, no way. He said his social connection with Wanderers had stopped him from moving to another club. I was scared of it, he said. I was very attached to Wanderers in many ways, but I realised if I ever wanted to coach again theres nothing available to me there. I really had no choice if I wanted to move on. Motlop was ultimately sold by the PINT clubs great reputation, led by hard-working volunteers. His father had also played with PINT before joining Wanderers and Motlop played in a few trial matches with the Greenants as a teenager. Theyve got it all together . . . it was just really appealing, Motlop said, who has signed for one year with the option of another. Theyve got a lot to work with, Ive just got to add my bit to it. Its really got me excited to coach again. Club president Spencer Harvey said PINT would like to recruit about 10 players to help its promotion. PINT lost the Division One grand final in March by 13 points to Banks. Motlop hoped to inject some pace but was mindful of respecting the squad which had come close to winning a Division One premiership. I think its important we look after the guys who have been busting their butt for a long time. Im really loyal to the players like that, he said. Motlop said most Wanderers people had wished him well with the move, after stepping away from any kind of official duties with the club during the 2021-22 season. Knowing what went down at Wanderers 12 months ago, people are happy for me to get the opportunity again, he said. Ive never been out of footy all my life and last year I was. Last year I just wasnt a part of it which was sad. However, he did not mince his words when asked how tough last Junes exit was, believing only a tiny few did not want him in charge of the Premier team. What happened to me at Wanderers was heartbreaking, he said. What went down, I didnt think was right. I had the backing of the players at the time, but certain people didnt want me at the club. Ben Cameron Unwanted by the club he loved, Motlop agrees to coach NTFL newcomer PINT Right: PINT Football Club president Spencer Harvey (left) welcomes new coach Shannon Motlop into the fold as the Greenants prepare for their debut season in the NTFL Premier League. Above: Motlop in action for Wanderers, where he was a star player and later head coach, taking the club from second last in 2019-20 to the preliminary final in 2020-21. THE AFL is returning to the Red Centre with dates locked in for a blockbuster clash between Melbourne and Port Adelaide. Reigning premier Melbourne makes its return to Alice Springs after a Covid-impacted 2021 to take on Port at TIO Traeger Park on July 17. As an extra treat for fans, the Demons will bring their AFL Premiership Cup for fans to see and touch. The Alice Springs game is the third AFL game in the NT for the year. Gold Coast plays two games in Darwin against Hawthorn in a Sir Doug Nicholls Round clash on May 28 and North Melbourne a week later on June 4. we have developed a really special connection with the NT and, in particular, the Alice Springs community, which is something we really value. We are excited to reconnect with the local community following a Covid-interrupted season in 2021, where we werent able to visit. Head of AFLNT Sam Gibson said it was thrilling for the Territory to be able to host three elite games. With the Darwin AFL matches almost upon us, we are thrilled to also welcome back elite footy to the Red Centre in July after a year off due to Covid impacts, Gibson said. Ensuring Central Australians have the opportunity to watch AFL live in their backyard is a high priority for us. Demons and premiership cup are headed to the Alice Nathaniel Chambers AFL IN THE NT May 28: Suns v Hawks TIO Stadium, Darwin June 4: Suns v Kangaroos TIO Stadium, Darwin July 17: Demons v Power TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs