Coach Murray Davis’ former Zillmere Eagles connection has landed the Northern Territory Thunder a prized recruit for the 2010 QAFL State League season.

Shaun Tapp, a key member of the Aspley Hornet’s inaugural QAFL team in 2009, has defected to play under his former Zillmere coach in Darwin.

It is a heavy body blow for new Aspley coach Russell Harding and a real coup for the Thunder because Tapp is among the most talented and versatile young big men in the competition.

Winner of the Sam Gilbert Medal in the Queensland U21 side this year after playing in the State Open side in 2008, he also fielded approaches from interstate but preferred to link up with his Eagles coach of 2006-08.

The 195cm and 98kg key position utility player, a member of the star-studded Australia Post Queensland U18 side of 2006, said he was excited to be heading north to play with NT Thunder.

“I got the opportunity to play against NT Thunder in Alice Springs this year and they impressed me with their professionalism,” he said.

“It was also great to play with three of the NT lads in Melbourne this year with the Queensland U21 side and I’m really looking forward to playing under Murray again.

“He was excellent for me when I was at Zillmere and it’ll be great to be part of a side that he’s coaching again” said Tapp. 

Tapp’s prized signature comes as the Thunder also resigned Tiwi Bombers captain Simon Munkara, and one of Centralia’s most talented players, Kenny Morton. They played 11 and 8 games respectively for the Thunder in 2009 and according to Thunder officials will be important contributors in the club’s second season.

The Thunder also has Nightcliff’s Zephi Skinner, who recently trained with the Western Bulldogs and played with Claremont last season and ex-VFL player Jake Dignan, who is in his second season with Palmerston.

Returning to the Territory is former NT Thunder junior Luke Tyrrell, who last year played with Noosa in the AFLQ Pineapple Hotel Cup and was awarded the Duncanson Todd Medal for the best player in the competition. He has played a handful of SANFL matches with North Adelaide.

Also new to the Thunder list are Nathan Pilakui, Roy Farmer, Samson Mungatopi and Donald Mungatopi, who have been rewarded for their efforts in keeping the Tiwi Bombers on top of the NTFL ladder.

Missing from the Thunder line-up next year will be Relton Roberts, who was listed by Richmond, plus Jayden Kickett, Phillip Wills and John Anstess, who have been advised they won’t be required.
Also leaving is Karl Lohde who has indicated he’d like to continue playing with St Marys.



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