Message from the Coach

The initial appointment of Willie Rioli as Head Coach back in July last year was met with a lot of excitement and joy from the playing group and the community in general. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Willie had to relinquish the role with Greg Orsto appointed as the co coach and would be based in Nguiu with Cameron Hotton, being based in Darwin.

Obviously the season didn’t go to plan, with the Toll Tiwi Bombers not making the finals for the first time in its short history.

Although, the on field results have been below par, there have been some positives that have come from the season. First year players such as Kevin Portamini (who played all 18 games) and Jerome Tipuamantimirri (who only missed the last game with conjunctivitis) will be better players for the Club in the future, having gained a lot of experience playing at this level. Chris Warlapinni (8 games), Gary Puruntatameri (8 games), Jonus Babui (7 games), Alex Puruntatameri (6 games), Jack Munkara (5 games), Hector Tipungwuti (5 games), Urban Kerinaiua (4 games), Gene Puruntatameri (2 games), Vivian Kerinaiua (2 games), Dennis Kantilla (1 game) and Bronson Mungatopi (1 game) were others to play their first games for the Toll Tiwi Bombers and could be future leaders in years to come.

Alistair Darcy was a Tiwi boy that came across to the Club from Waratahs this season and played 11 games to add to his 7 previous games at Premier League level. At only 18 years of age, he has the potential to be a key player in years to come.

Adam Tipungwuti was a shining light for the Club this year. He had played 9 games for the Bombers before this year, but in his 11 games this year, he played with the skill and poise well beyond his years. Being based in Brisbane meant that he couldn’t play the full season with us, and is unlikely to do so for quite some time as he has got a big future ahead of him if he continues to develop the way he has in the last couple of years.

Adam was one of four Toll Tiwi Bombers to receive a NT News-NTFL Rising Star nomination. Adam won his in Round 7 against Central Australia, with Kevin Portaminni winning his in Round 6 against Wanderers, Chris Warlipinni winning his in Round 9 against Waratahs and Jerome Tipuamantimirri winning his in Round 12 against Southern Districts.

In addition to the Tiwi boys that made their debut for the Club, we also had 14 non Tiwi’s that pulled on the jumper for the first time:

 

  • Mark Parmbuk & Francis Kinthari – from Wadeye
  • Mark Tunmuck – also originally from Wadeye but currently works at Tiwi College
  • Tom McNamara – ex team mate of Aussie Wonaeamirri at Melbourne Demons
  • Nick McElwee – Tasmania
  • Bart McCulloch – Tasmania
  • Mitch Hills – Tasmania
  • Gibson Turner – Alice Springs
  • Brendan Clark – Darwin
  • Sam Dyke – recently moved to Nguiu as a school teacher
  • Jackson Heagney – ex team mate of Billy Barden at Collingwood VFL
  • Ricki Newton – Melbourne
  • Liam Jurrah – Yuendumu
  • Anthony Vallejo – ex St Marys

 

These recruits, along with our usual suspects such as Billy Barden, Narby Kelly, Paul Scanlon, Dan McLinden, Tim Martin and Tim Bongetti make a huge difference to the structure and performance of the team. Unfortunately Kristan Height wasn’t able to get up for any games this year due to injury and previous engagements but hopefully we will get him up for a few next year.

 

Aussie Wonaeamirri led the way in his 10 games (which is his maximum due his Thunder playing commitments) and was in the best players in most of his games. Ross Tungatalum showed why he is so feared in this competition and consistently performed for the team. Last year’s Best & Fairest Winner, Jason Puruntatameri, was very good early in defence and was ably supported by Albert Tipungwuti. Gerrard Cunningham returned after serving his suspension and was a welcome return to the forward line to assist Roy Kantilla, and both produced some of their usual miracle goals. Dion Munkara and Bradley Palipuaminni played through the middle and forward this season with some good results and our captain and last year’s Nichols Medal winner, Shane Tipuamantmirri, along with last year’s MVP, Rupert Pupangamirri, gave us strength in and amongst the packs through the middle.

 

In what was a tough season, we want to thank Peter Atkinson for all of his efforts and support with the group. We also want to thank the board, the rest of the coaching group, the support staff and the sponsors who are all there to see the Bombers be the best they can.

 

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