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AFLW: NT Thunder finalise team for VFLW

Emma Swanson will play for the NT Thunder - AFLW
Emma Swanson will play for the NT Thunder

NEW VFL Women's team Northern Territory Thunder has scored a coup ahead of the upcoming season, signing Greater Western Sydney pair Emma Swanson and Renee Forth.

The Giants duo will be joined by 18 players who were on Adelaide's list this year, headlined by Crows co-captain Chelsea Randall, Angela Foley, Ebony Marinoff (who played for Darebin in the VFLW last year), Rhiannon Metcalfe and sisters Sarah and Jess Allan.

Swanson and Forth, who are from Western Australia, are moving to Darwin for work.

As with the Crows' AFLW side, the Thunder will be split across Darwin and Adelaide.

Playing in the VFLW will give Northern Territory-based players the opportunity to play during winter, given the state competition runs through summer.

Local stars who will represent their state include 2017-18 Gwynne medallists (league best and fairest) Lucy Adam and Lisa Roberts and 17-year-old small forward Madeline Gault, who was named best-on-ground in the NTFL Women's Grand Final.

Inside midfielder Adam is captain of the Darwin Buffaloes, while defender Roberts is Waratah's skipper.

Jasmine Anderson, Lauren O'Shea and Tayla Thorn, who played for Adelaide in 2017, have also made the cut.

Coach Tim Weatherald said he was impressed by the commitment shown by players from both cities.

"I believe we have found the right mix of players to be a competitive side and to represent the Northern Territory Football Club proudly," Weatherald told ntthunder.com.au.

"We want to be a successful team, so the addition of the AFLW players will help guide some of the younger, developing players and also the more mature locals who have not yet been exposed to this level of professionalism and competitive football before."

VFLW list rules state teams are not allowed to play any more than 12 AFLW-listed players but can have an unlimited number of AFLW players on their list.

Current Crows Sarah Perkins (Hawthorn), Erin Phillips (who has returned to the United States to complete basketball coaching commitments), Courtney Cramey, Abbey Holmes, Jess Sedunary and Stevie-Lee Thompson are not playing for the Thunder.

The Thunder’s season kicks off against reigning premier Darebin on May 5.

AFLW players on NT Thunder's list (Adelaide unless stated)

Jess Allan
Sarah Allan
Sophie Armitstead
Georgia Bevan
Dayna Cox
Angela Foley
Renee Forth (GWS)
Anne Hatchard
Jasmyn Hewett
Eloise Jones
Ebony Marinoff
Jenna McCormick
Rhiannon Metcalfe
Justine Mules
Marijana Rajcic
Chelsea Randall
Sally Riley
Emma Swanson (GWS)
Deni Varnhagen
Ruth Wallace