Aspley has secured the prized signature of NT Thunder co-captain Abraham Ankers with the star midfielder set to join the Hornets in 2020.
Ankers, 24, became hot property following NT Thunder’s withdrawal from the NEAFL, with several offers from multiple State League competitions.
But the two-time Ilett medallist and NEAFL Team of the Year captain chose Aspley as his next destination, having previously lived in Brisbane as a teenager and developed links with the club for a number of years.
“I wish I was still playing with my mates at NT Thunder, but once you turn the corner and go through that grieving period, there becomes a lot of excitement about what could be next year,” Ankers told neafl.com.au.
“Aspley hasn’t missed finals for a number of years and to be able to play for a club like that - I am very thankful they’ve given me the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to earning my stripes and proving to all the players how much I want to be there.
“I’m very excited to join a club with a great history and to be able to stay in a competition that I think is really strong and is really good fun to play in.”
Ankers has grown into one of the premier midfielders of the competition in the past few years, earning representative honours in 2017 followed by back-to-back Team of the Year selections.
The Alice Springs product was ranked No.2 in the NEAFL for contested possessions and No.1 for inside 50s in 2019.
But the star midfielder is determined to keep improving and learning off his new teammates.
“It’s a bit of a cliché but I just want to play my role each week and do whatever it takes to win games of footy. That’s just the competitive person in me,” he said.
“I see so many imperfections in my game that I look forward to seeing how I can work with ‘Webby’ (coach Daniel Webster) and keep developing my game to a further extent.”
Whilst disappointed to be moving on from NT Thunder, Ankers will always be grateful for the club which has shaped his future.
“The last couple of years have been tough, no doubt, but to know your home club, and the club you care so much about isn’t going to be there anymore, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” he said.
“But life goes on and I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to keep playing State League footy.
“I’ll always be thankful for what NT Thunder has given me, the people I got to meet and the friendships I’ve forged. It’s definitely shaped the player and the person I am today.”
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