Two of north-west Tasmania’s Wynyard Football Club recruits have travelled the length of the country to join the Cats for the 2022 North West Football League season.

Tiwi Islanders John, 19, and Stanley, 20, Tipiloura have made the trip south through a Tasmanian connection between Wynyard player-coach Beau Sharman and one of their Tiwi Islands Football League teammates Callan Newman, an ex-teammate of Sharman.

“I actually just coincidentally watched Cal play in the grand final on Tiwi”, Sharman said.

“He said do you like any of them, there might be a few interested in coming down (to Tasmania).”

“There was an obvious player that I picked out and said I’d have him in a heartbeat, which was Stanley.”

However Stanley wasn’t the only Tipiloura who caught Sharman’s eye in the final.

After more research, he also became quite interested in also recruiting John.

“John actually played really well in that grand final as well”, Sharman said.

“When Cal explained that John was interested in coming over too I went and watched some (Northern Territory Football League) games and said yeah, we’d love to have him over as well.”

Cats recruit John Tipiloura in against Ulverstone. Source: Instagram

Arriving in Tasmania late June after a grand final win for their local Muluwurri Magpies, the pair had an immediate impact in their first game in the navy and white.

They each kicked three goals on debut in the reserves and were named in Wynyard’s best in a comfortable 61-point win over local rivals Burnie.

They were then selected for their senior debut the following week where Stanley starred, kicking six goals.

A fortnight later John was named in Wynyard’s best, kicking two goals off half-forward in challenging and unfamiliar conditions, where according to Sharman his athletic ability and skill stood out from the rest.

“John’s light on his feet, he’s quick, elusive and has got some tricks,” Sharman said.

“We played in the wet on the weekend and he made it look dry.”

After his first few matches John has found the Tasmanian competition more similar to the Territory’s NTFL than the Tiwi competition.

“The NTFL is really the same as in Tasmania, it’s physical and structured”, he said.

The local league in Tiwi is less physical but much faster.”

The pair explained both the football club and broader Wynyard community have welcomed them with open arms.

Stanley Tipiloura in action for the Wanderers in the Northern Territory’s NTFL competition. Source: Instagram

“It’s a really good community, good footy club, good people”, Stanley said.

“It just feels like home away from home.”

John reiterated his nephew’s comments, explaining the pair were already feeling comfortable in their new environment.

“The community is really welcoming, the club, the players, the outsiders, everyone”, he said.

After only a few performances so far coach Sharman is looking forward to seeing John and Stanley excel on the football field, especially once the pair have more time to get used to the significant cultural differences between Tasmania and the Tiwi Islands.

“I think there’s a lot more in them and they’ll get a lot better really quickly”, he said.

“I’m not overly concerned with how they’re going at the moment with kicks and handballs, it’s more about how they acclimatise to everything around footy.”

“Then I think we’ll get the best out of them.”

The pair aren’t the only Tiwi Islands representatives donning the Wynyard navy and white this season, with the club also luring Tapalinga Superstars and Tiwi Bomber Jeffrey Jr Simon to the club.

Although Stanley is currently carrying a slight shoulder injury, Sharman is hopeful that the trio can line up in Wynyard’s senior squad for the first time in this weekend’s match against top of the ladder Devonport.

The pair plan to return to their hometown Muluwurri Magpies upon the conclusion of the Tasmanian season as well as again ply their trade for the Wanderers in the NTFL.