Photo: David Layden/NEAFL.

By NEAFL Media


NT Thunder has announced Central Districts assistant Darren Reeves as their new head coach for the next two seasons.

A highly regarded coach with a Level 3 AFL High Performance certificate, Reeves has over eight years of senior football coaching experience and was most recently the senior assistant and reserves coach at Central Districts in the SANFL.

He will now become the sixth head coach of NT Thunder going into the club’s eleventh season, replacing Andrew Hodges who was appointed Manager of NT Thunder earlier this month.

Reeves said his desire to take his coaching to the next level by being part of an elite environment and the exciting style of footy he’d witnessed Thunder play is what drew him to the role.

“I want to become the best coach I can, and with all I know about the NT Thunder and AFLNT program, I know this is the environment to do just that. It will be a privilege to work with elite, talented players every day,” he said.

“I have some ideas that I’ve already discussed with Hodgey (Andrew Hodges) that will see the NT Thunder Football Club program continue to build and become a leading club in the NEAFL and hopefully gain recognition Australia-wide for how we grow and improve individuals as well as the collective group.

“I have been watching NT Thunder and keeping up with the NTFL and CAFL for the past couple of years, and there really is a ‘Territory style’ of play that I think is unique. In the coming days I look forward to meeting the leadership group and the rest of the players, learning more about them and sharing back my coaching philosophies and ideas.”

From 2015 to 2017, Reeves was coach of the Centre of Excellence for the Central Districts Under-18s team which proceeded the 2015 premiership he won with the Nuriootpa Football Club in the Barossa & Gawler Football League.

Reeves was also the head coach of the Salisbury Football Club in the Adelaide Football League for three seasons.

Hailing from the Blue Mountains in NSW, Reeves was a gifted junior football, cricket and rugby league player. He was a NSW state representative cricket player from Under-17 to Under-21 and was given an AIS Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy scholarship in 1997.

In 1998 he moved to Adelaide, and his focus was on being an elite cricketer with the SA state squad before he joined the Salisbury Football Club in 2003.

After nine seasons, 150 games and captain of the 2007 Salisbury premiership, Reeves turned his attention to his business venture of line marking and channelled his passion for football and building strong relationships into coaching.

Hodges is confident Reeves will build strong relationships with the players, support staff and wider Territory footy community.

“Darren is the right man to lead our club forward. Throughout the extensive selection process, it was evident his values and behaviours are very closely aligned with what NT Thunder stands for,” he said.

“He has a rich history and stories of success from footy and cricket which I’m sure will aid in the development and buy-in of our players.

“Darren is very well regarded within the AFL industry, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Reeves will be present for the first NEAFL pre-season training session next Monday, where he will meet some of his players.

He will then continue to come up for pre-season training sessions before relocating to Darwin permanently in January.


Darren Reeves

Playing career:
2002 – 2010 Salisbury Football Club

Coaching career:
2010 – 2013 Salisbury Football Club (SAAFL)
2014 – 2015 Nuriootpa Football Club (BLGA)
2016 – 2017 Centre of Excellence – U18 Head Coach – Central Districts Football Club (SANFL)
2017 – 2018 Reserves Coach/Senior Assistant –  Central Districts Football Club (SANFL)
2016 – 2017 AFL High Performance Level 3
2016 – 2017 AFLCA Next Coach Program
2018 – High Performance Leaders – Leading Teams


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