Djarrak Football Club has named their squad of 24 players that are charged with the responsibility to win a premiership title against traditional rivals Gopu Football Club in the Gove AFL grand Final at Yirrkala Oval at 3:30pm on Saturday. The sides have met 4 times this season, most recently in the Qualifying Final, for 2 wins each and the result on Saturday will elevate the winner to the supreme title for 2017.
In a sign of the domination both clubs have displayed this year, the Djarrak FC and Gopu FC Womens teams will also decide who will be crowned the first structured Gove AFL Womens Premier. Coaches Corey Atkinson and Tim Blake along with Team Manager Araluen Maymuru have their charges well prepared as they look to topple Minor Premier Gopu FC in the early 1:30pm game.
Minimal changes have been made to the Mens team and Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was confident that the week off from straight qualification would not hurt his side. He said "The game off has been a blessing really. We crawled across the finish line and our key forwards played under injury clouds so the time off to freshen up has been a bit of 'just what the Doctor ordered' I think. We have had 4 quality sessions to prepare. We did our homework last weekend again and a lot of what we believe will benefit us has been further confirmed. He added "Gopu really looked like they wanted it more last week, and to me that was the difference. We have a very simple plan for this game and I know we have the quality across our 24 to execute it".
Darwin Buffaloes Co-Captain Cameron Stokes will again look to lead the defensive zone and his communication and management will be key. Joseph Smith and Dale Dhamarrandji played significant team roles in the last game and they will be instructed to produce similar spoiling duties in what has been a key strength to the Brown and Gold Army this season. Winston Yunupingu comes into the side in place of the unlucky Djamika Ganambarr. Yunupingu will add speed and height to the key defender position.
There is real class through the midfield with former North Melbourne live-wire and Darwin Buffaloes Senior Coach Matthew Campbell, former NT Thunder player and St Mary's Premiership player Luke Bath, Palmerston Magpies Ralph Dhamarrandji and Raven Marika all capable of turning the tide of the game at will. Add in the youth of the winger rotation that includes Nelson Bara, Billy Wanambi and Justin Talal and there is enough talent and work ethic to suggest the side will have quality to make best use of any possession.
The Ruck rotation of Sylvester Wunungmurra and Jeffery Gumana has performed all year when asked to shoulder the load and they will have key responsibility to own the stoppages and then provide dangerous options when working to the team shape.
Skipper Djayminy Marika has had a light running load complemented with some boxing sessions and indications are he will be fine to play his role up forward. Bernie Price has been slowly regaining movement and will again provide a tall target if the delivery is contested. Lee Mununggurr will rove forward and also behind the contest in order to bring his clean delivery skills into the game.
"I believe our side is primed and ready to go" Rickard said. He added "When I look at who hasn't made our final list, (Rhys) Mulholland, (Robbie) Wunaragun, (Djamika) Ganambarr, it really hits home how much class and depth the club has developed over the past two years. I particularly want Mulholland to consider joining our Buffaloes Program around his Rugby 7's commitments. Probably missing the qualifying final worked against him this week". An extended list of emergencies has been named for the clash.
Djarrak supporters are encouraged to get to the oval at 12:00pm midday for the Under 16 Boys Djarrak FC vs Gopu Grand Final followed by the Womens Gove AFL Grand Final with Djarrak FC and Gopu FC in action at 1:30pm.