Shillabeer continues to star in NTFL

BAROSSA District superboot Darren Shillabeer has continued his relentless run of goal-kicking during his second season playing for the Darwin Buffaloes in the Northern Territory Football League.
The 28-year-old, who has spearheaded the Bulldogs’ attack for the past two Barossa, Light & Gawler seasons, has slotted 55 goals from 18 matches since arriving at the Buffaloes.
Eight of his goals this season came in one match against the Tiwi Bombers – a team that features former Melbourne Demon Austin Wonaeamirri.
The NTFL hosts a large number of former AFL players, such as Leroy Jetta, Raphael Clarke and Brett Eddy.
Shillabeer – a former North Adelaide player – said he finds the ex-AFL players to be good competition.
“It’s great to have been back up there again, the boys have had a good pre-season,” he said.
“It’s not too bad, there’s a few of them up there the likes of Jared Brennan and Mark Jamar.”
Despite the off-season benefits, the NTFL is played during the territory’s wet season, meaning Shillabeer finds it difficult to bring any styles of play back to Williamstown.
“The one thing you learn up there quickly is that you don’t go too hard too early,” he said.
“The (BL&GFA and NTFL) are two very different game styles and competitions.
“The weather plays a huge part of it, it can be monsoonal rain or it can be humid.
“The local lads are quite quick, and there’s a lot bigger grounds.
“(Along with Barossa District coach) Todd Miles, who also plays up there, we can’t really bring a lot back down here due to the differences.”
Despite the differences in both competitions, Shillabeer said he couldn’t split the quality of the NTFL and the BL&GFA.
“They’re the same in that the NT and the BL&G are both fun to have a kick with the lads,” he said.

Jack Hudson

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Growing up in Gawler, Jack has taken on a variety of journalistic roles while still studying for his Bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing degree. He began his career at The Bunyip as a weekend football writer, before taking on roles with The Footy Budget and The Cricket Chronicle and then earning his first part-time gig at the Barossa Herald. Now returning to The Bunyip, Jack also has a keen interest in footy and soccer, as well as a passion for gaming and reading.

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