1917 was the year of the Russian October Revolution, the United States declared war on Germany and joined World War 1 and the Australian 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments conducted a mounted infantry charge with bayonets in their hands, their only weapon for mounted attack, as their rifles were slung across their backs to capture the objective at Beersheba. And in remote Northern Australia, in the outpost town of Darwin, Australian Football was the agenda for the local community.
The Rirratjingu Football Program and Djarrak Football Club congratulate the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club on reaching a century of competitive football in some of Australia's most testing playing conditions, the humid and soggy wet season that the NTFL is defined by. An NTFL Foundation Club along with the Wanderers Football Club and Waratahs Football Club respectively, the Double Blues will take the field this Saturday 2:00pm at TIO Stadium and face off against Wanderers in a match replicating both clubs first clash 100 years ago.
The club was originally known as the Warriors and name changes since 1917 have included Vestey’s in 1918, Buffaloes in 1926, Darwin in 1963 and the Darwin Buffaloes from 2010. The club prides itself on its strong family connections and the Cooper, Bonson, AhMat, Stokes, Quall, and Lew Fatt families recur throughout the Buffaloes’ history.
A list of Buffaloes greats originally numbered at 100 has been reduced to a Top 40 with the final Team of the Century to be named at the Centenary Ball held this Saturday at the Sky City Beach Pavilion.
Rirratjingu Football Program player Cameron Stokes will line up in this weekends must win clash that doubles in importance with the chase for the fifth qualifying spot and centenary occasion. Stokes has played for Darwin Buffaloes since he could lace a boot and the Stokes family have a long history of plying their football skills in the double blue guernsey. Stokes's father Steven is named in the Top 40 and the Nichols Medalist will be a strong chance to feature in the Team of the Century.
When asked what the opportunity to play in the Centenary game will be and where it fits in his football career thus far, Stokes said "It will be one of the highlights really, it's my family club, it's where I grew up and with all the history and pride it will rate right up there with playing in the AFL". Stokes has been consistently one of Darwin Buffaloes key defensive players this season and the side will need all hands on deck to overcome a plucky Wanderers outfit that has twice come from behind to snatch wins over Buffaloes in the 2016/17 Season.
Rirratjingu Football Program Head Coach Hayden Rickard was full of praise for Stokes who has been an integral cog in the wheel of the program this season.
He remarked "Cameron has been bloody fantastic for our group this year and relocating to Nhulunbuy hasn't affected his performances at NTFL level. He personifies what it means to put your body on the line week in week out, his fellow Premier League players don't need to look too far for inspiration, just a relentless approach to empty the tank for your club and colours". He added "We are fortunate have had Cam around our young guys that have been really developing this NTFL Season. He will take charge as a playing Assistant Coach and be responsible for the Defensive zone for Djarrak in the Gove AFL campaign".
Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation Chairman Bakamumu Marika, board member Witiyana Marika and CEO Stuart MacLean will represent the corporation at the Centenary Dinner. The corporation is in its second year of a three year agreement that ensures both parties benefit from a number of football initiatives.