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Bowden wows em

Young Ethan Bowden is keeping his 2022 footy campaign going, playing for SKOB's sister club, St Mary's in the NTFL. His early season good form up North has seen him rewarded with a nomination for Rising Star in the NTFL. The following report is from the NT News.


A full season with St Kevin’s Old Boys down in Melbourne during the off-season has helped take St Mary’s rookie Ethan Bowden’s game to a new level.

The 18-year-old, who moved to Melbourne at the start of last year to finish his VCE, played 14 matches at Premier Reserves level in the Victorian Amateur Football League in 2022.

And the experience has paid dividends, with Bowden, who started on a wing last Saturday, slotting four goals in a 154-point demolition of Tiwi Bombers in Round 2 of Men’s Premier League at Gardens Oval — ensuring his NT News Rising Star nomination.

It was Tiwi’s biggest loss since a 190-point belting at the hands of Wanderers in January, 2021.

And it was Bowden’s second Rising Star nod, after playing three Premier League matches in 2021-22 and scoring a nom after his Round 18 performance — a 117-point flogging of the Muk Muks where he scored a goal.

Bowden, nephew of Territorian Richmond players Joel, Sean and Patrick, said he felt a lot more confident at the level after a full season of VAFA football, and “relished” the opportunity of testing himself against more seasoned opponents.

“I feel a lot better,” Bowden said, a teacher’s aid at Woodroffe Primary School.“I played with men the whole time (in the VAFA), so I’ve adjusted to bigger bodies.“I feel a lot more comfortable at the level ... I love being out there.”

Bowden’s quartet helped the Saints bounce back in a big way after a 101-point mauling at the hands of Waratah in the opening round.

“The message was still pretty positive from (coach) Chopper,” Bowden said. “’Let it go now and focus on the next week’, and that’s what we did, we came out firing, looking for a bit of redemption. “I’ve never been in a game where we’ve won by that much before.”

He was moved into a small forward role in the second half after an injury to Mitch Musgrove, slotting back-to-back majors, and three in total, in the final term.

The son of former Port Melbourne footballer and Melbourne first grade cricketer Kane, Ethan moved back to the Territory about a month ago to “keep my footy rolling”.

He said his overall fitness allowed him to finish the Gardens game strong in stifling conditions.

“I feel like I’m pretty fit so I’m able to run out the games,” Bowden said, who plans to study a double degree next year in business and banking and finance at Monash University.

Congrats to Ethan and good luck for the summer season.

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