The Rirratjingu Football Program has begun in earnest with contingent of 7 players making the flight to Darwin to compete for our host club Darwin Buffaloes FC this coming Saturday. RFP has had a busy past month including the history making contest for the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation Cup between the Darwin Buffaloes FC and Wanderers FC at the home of football in North East Arnhemland - Yirrkala Football Ground.
Veteran Michael 'Longy' Maymuru has began the season well for Premier League but unfortunately sustained an injury and will miss between 2-3 rounds. Cameron Stokes is now based full time in Nhulunbuy and he has relished his role and joins Djayminy Marika and Dale Dhamarrandji as our program mentors.
The program rookies have had opportunities in Darwin and Justin Burarrwanga and Billy Wanambi have had the chance to refine their football craft in Division 1. Burarrwanga has been used in a midfield rotation by Darwin Buffaloes Division 1 Coach Nathan Wills and this will allow him to improve his inside ability after mainly being employed on the wing and half-forward flank during the Gove AFL Season. Tyrone Dhagapan also travelled in Round 2 and will be looking to adjust to the bigger bodies that are littered throughout the NTFL.
The program has Shaun Mununggurr and Brendan Marika travelling for the first time this weekend. Both players polled well in the Djarrak Football Club Player of the Year award and their inclusion rewards very influential seasons in the Gove AFL. Mununggurr plays his best football around the source of the ball and may be used in a rotation at some stage. Marika is a left footer with ability to work on the ball but is also capable when near the sticks with a number of goals kicked at crucial times during the domestic season.
In a sign of the influence the Rirratjingu Football Program is bringing to the region, The Geelong Cats will meet with program staff next week to discuss the future Geelong Cats Academy that will be aimed at Junior Players across the peninsula.
The RFP is funded by Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation.