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Northern Territory Football League

General Information
Founded 1916, Darwin, Northern Territorymarker
Previous names Northern Territory Football Association (NTFA)
Current clubs St Mary's Saints
Nightcliff Tigers
Darwin Buffaloes
Wanderers Eagles
Waratah Warriors
Palmerston Magpies
Southern Districts Crocs
Tiwi Bombers

Current Stadiums Marrara Ovalmarker
Traeger Park
Tiwi Oval
Gardens Oval
Nightcliff Oval
Southern Cross Oval
Norbuilt Oval

2008/09 Season
Premiers St Marys Saints
Minor Premiers St Marys
Wooden spoon Darwin
Nichols Medallist Iggy Vallejo - St Mary's Saints
Total attendance -
Average match attendance -

The Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) is a 8 team Australian rules football semi-professional league operating in Darwinmarker in the Northern Territorymarker.

The premier grade is the largest Australian rules football league in the Northern Territory. The league consists of a single division with under 13, under 14, under 15, under 16, under 18, reserves and open (professional) levels of competition.

Most NTFL matches are played on Marrara Ovalmarker (TIO Stadium).

The Tiwi Islands Football League consisting almost solely of Indigenous Australian players traditionally acted as a feeder competition for clubs such as St Marys, but fielded its own team in 2006, the Tiwi Bombers for eight games. The NTFL became an 8 team competition in the (07/08) with the full time inclusion of the Bombers.


Current clubs

Club Nickname Home Ground Entered
St Mary's Saints Saints Marrara Ovalmarker 1952 27
Nightcliff Tigers Tigers Nightcliff Oval 1950 3
Darwin Buffaloes Buffaloes Tiwi Oval 1917 23
Wanderers Eagles Eagles Marrara Ovalmarker 1917 11
Waratah Warriors Warriors Gardens Oval 1917 14
Palmerston Magpies Magpies Southern Cross Oval 1971 3
Southern Districts Crocs Crocs Norbuilt Oval 1984 2
Tiwi Bombers Bombers Marrara Ovalmarker 2007 0


Image:Darwin_Buffaloes_Jumper.svg|DarwinImage:Richmond_Tigers_Jumper.svg‎|NightcliffImage:Collingwood_Magpies_Jumper.svg|PalmerstonImage:Southern_Districts_Crocs_Jumper.svg|Southern DistrictsImage:St_Marys_Saints_Jumper.svg‎ |St Mary'sImage:Essendon_Bombers_Jumper.svg|Tiwi IslandsImage:Wanderers_Eagles_Jumper.svg|WanderersImage:Waratah_Warriors_Jumper.svg‎|Waratah


See Australian rules football in the Northern Territory

The NTFL chose to play in the Northern Territory's 'wet season', primarily due to hard playing surfaces during the 'dry season'. Most other leagues in Australia operate during the winter, but since the Territory does not have a winter, it is played at different times.

The Wanderers Football Club were the founding members of the league in 1916.Waratah Football Club also joined in 1916 and are the only club to have competed in every single season since the formation of the league.Darwin (Buffaloe Football Club) was formed a year later in 1917.Nightcliff formed in 1950.St Marys formed in 1952.Palmerston entered the league in 1973 as North Darwin.Southern Districts entered the league in 1987.Tiwi Bombers entered 2006 with full entry in 2007

In the 1990s, the league ran into financial problems primarily due to the Northern Territory government luring the league to the new purpose-built stadium at Marrara Ovalmarker after its construction in 1991. The move pushed the league's operating costs up drastically despite contrary promises from the NT government. Marrara Oval is now known as TIO Stadium, as part of a naming rights deal with NT health insurance company Territory Insurance Office.

During this history of the league it has exported successful players to other leagues, notable players have included Michael McLean, Maurice Rioli and Michael Long.

In 2006, it was announced that a team representing the Tiwi Islandsmarker, called the Super Tiwis would be added to the 2006/07 season for eight games against teams that would normally have the bye. They will become a permanent part of the league in the 07/08 season as the Tiwi Bombers, clad in Essendon Football Club style guernseys of black and red.

There was also a push for an NTFL representative club to compete in the SANFL. The first of a series of trial matches was held in 2006, with a long term view of admitting a Darwin side into the SANFL. A strong crowd at Marrara Ovalmarker witnessed North Adelaide defeat a composite NTFL squad by 27 points, demonstrating that a Darwin team could be competitive. There is a push to make the event an annual match.

However, the governing body of the NTFL decided on fielding a side in the AFL Queensland State League from 2009 and the Northern Territory Football Club was formed.



The NTFL attracts strong local crowds.The 2005 Grand final attracted a crowd of over 5,000 people.



In 2006, NTFL matches were broadcast nationally for the first time ever on ABC2 each Sunday afternoon from February to March. Previously the matches had only been shown in the Territory on ABC Darwinmarker. In 2008, it reverted to local broadcasting.


See also


External links

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