Djarrak Football Club face off with an improving Nhulunbuy Saints Football Club to kick off Gove AFL Round 7 action at Yirrkala Oval at 2pm on Saturday. The Brown and Gold Army will welcome back Dale Dhamarrandji and Raven Marika after completing Footy Means Business duties including playing on the MCG last week where Marika won Best on Ground honours with a composed display from half back flanker.
Yirrkala based Djarrak FC have prepared for a highly motivated Nhulunbuy side after the last clash where a clinical first half saw the result beyond doubt in Djarrak FC favour at the major break. Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was wary when asked how the team expects this encounter to unfold. He said "Saints won't be lacking for motivation and will be looking for a get square. We can't control that so we will address our own standards and improvements we need make. We know its a hard match around the contest, and what we give away in size we make up in heart. We have a fortnight off playing following this game so the message will be to leave nothing in the tank".
Cameron Stokes will provide a foil down back in his last game based in Nhulunbuy. He has taken up an employment opportunity in Darwin that will fortunately still see him spend time in Nhulunbuy each month so he will not be totally lost to the club. The club wish Cameron and Candice all the best for their future endeavours.
Dhamarrandji will slot back into the defensive zone and will again team up with the Burarrwanga defenders James and Gapirri in an area that has been a strength for the club this year. Raven Marika, Lee Mununggurr and Joseph Smith will be charged with controlling the tempo through the middle. Justin Talal will again work on the outside with licence to roam both high and deep. Billy Wanambi returns to action and will be busy through the wing. Captain Djayminy Marika will again be the main target up forward and his athleticism and mobility has ensured defenders have a tough time around him. Djamika Ganambarr returns from time on homelands and will be keen to continue his season in the same vein before he departed for Gan Gan.
The improving Sylvester Wunungmurra and Jeffery Gumana will be charged with controlling the ruck and will have a tough task ahead in an area where Nhulunbuy Saints often excel. The two talls have often been outsized this season but have toiled away and used movement and deception to counter size.
The side has lost Rhys Mulholland to commitments in Darwin and Winston Yunupingu misses his second match through illness. Joel Ikupu misses through effects of a head knock and will follow return to play protocols before being named again. Basil and Bradley Bara are the Groote Eylandt representatives for this week.