Djarrak Football Club will benefit from former North Melbourne player Matthew Campbell being included in the Round 4 Squad as a direct replacement for the injured Bernie Price when they take on Nguykal Football Club at Hindle Oval at 2pm Saturday. Campbell who was raised in Alice Springs, has an illustrious football history that includes SANFL experience with North Adelaide in 2005-06 before being drafted by the Kangaroos in late 2006 and donning Blue and White till 2012. A highlight of his career is being named an All-Austrlian and playing the 2008 International Rules series against Ireland.
Campbell will nominate for the vacant Darwin Buffaloes Premier League Senior Coaching role. If Campbell is successful with his proposal, he would make the Rirratjingu Football Program a priority for his talent identification. Djarrak Football Club Coach Hayden Rickard recently attended the Multicultural and Diversity Championships held in Sydney where Campbell took charge of the Kickstart NT Team. When asked on Campbell's football knowledge Rickard said "Matty was fantastic to deal with whilst away. He really had a rapport with his team and obviously his elite background at AFL level shone through with his coaching methods. He has taken an interest in the Rirratjingu Football Program, and by offering his services to the club, the Gove AFL fraternity will be able to host another AFL player after Daniel Motlop and Andrew McLeod graced our playing ovals last season".
Also adding value to Campbell's appearance will be the fact he gets to monitor three participants in the Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Program. Campbell is coaching on the program and will have a close eye on Dale Dhamarrandji, Raven Marika and Nelson Bara who are preparing to complete their program duties in Melbourne in two weeks time where they will have the opportunity to play a curtain raiser before Richmond Football Club take on Essendon Football Club in the 'Dreamtime at the G' match as part of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the AFL's round to acknowledge the contribution made to Australian Football by the Indigenous Community.
A number of changes have been confirmed from the last match against Nhulunbuy Saints with Price, Djayminy Marika, Lenny Maymuru, Richie Morton and Brendan Marika (Dhamarrandji) all injured and Rhys Mulholland and Tyrone Dhagapan unavailable. Coming into the side will be Dale Dhamarrandji returning from an ankle injury, Groote Eylandt Football League players Joel Ikupu, Campbell Wurramarrba, Robbie Wunaragun and Nelson Bara. Palmerston Magpies Football Club player Raven Marika will be used through the middle of the ground to add contested experience to his flourishing outside game.
In a coup for the club, St Mary's Football Club Premiership player and former NT Thunder on-baller Luke Bath will bring NEAFL and NTFL experience to the midfield. The Geelong native has been in the Territory for the past two years and is looking forward to living on the Gove Peninsula after a stint in Darwin. Bath has already had a significant impact around the club with his football IQ, voice and clean skills.
Price will take over coaching duties for the forward line with Rickard moving to midfield this week with Steven Raymond out of town. Rhian Oliver has been assisting Cameron Stokes with the backline on match day. Dale Dhamarrandji has been named Captain in the absence of injured Djayminy Marika.
This weeks game is expected to be the clubs sternest test thus far with Nguykal FC also undefeated. The reigning Premiers looked solid in their clash with Baywara FC on the weekend and Rickard was excited when probed on the clash this Saturday. He said "This will be a really good opportunity for our squad to gauge where we are against the form team and current Premiers. I expect there will be some quality match-ups across the field on Saturday and I see this as an ideal time for some of our young players to rotate onto some of their threats".
Players are reminded that transport departs Yirrkala Store at 12:15pm.