Tag: Gold Coast Suns Academy

Watson thrives on Aussie rules aggression

ORIGINALLY hailing from the rugby league heartland of Sydney, Serene Watson grew up trying her hand in multiple sporting codes. She was “born and bred” through rugby league, went on to find herself fouled out in her attempts at basketball, but found a true home for her competitive spirit on the football field. It has been a steady rise from her first experience with the oblong ball, since.

“(I love) the aggressiveness,” Watson said of Australian rules football. “I used to play basketball and I used to get called off for a lot of aggressive things so I was like ‘Oh, it’s a bit easier to do it on the footy field. “My brother started playing footy around 2010 when we first moved up (to Queensland) from Sydney… I just went and supported. “The girls (team) coach came up to me and asked me to play local footy and then from there it just went uphill, I started getting into rep teams and it just escalated from there.”

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy product has become a key member of those representative sides in her top-age year, donning the famous Maroon jumper in her adopted home state during July’s AFL Women’s Under-18 National Championships. Just pulling on the Queensland colours is something Watson said has been an “honour”, while doubling as an opportunity to showcase her strengths.

“You don’t really get to do it much and not many girls get to do it at all but it’s such an honour to represent Queensland, especially for AFL,” Watson said during the camp. “(The camp) has been really good, all the girls have bonded really well even though we (lost) I think the camp’s been really good and we’ve all enjoyed it.

“It’s different because there’s obviously Brisbane Lions Academy and SUNS Academy (players) so it’s harder to jell but I think we’re learning because we all know each other and we realise how we play now… it’s getting better and definitely getting easier.”

“(My strength is) my rebounding off the half-back because I’m a backline player… just getting the ball out if it comes in, that’s probably one of my biggest assets.”

Watson’s best was on full display in Queensland’s heavy Round 3 carnival loss to Vic Country, where she stood tall in an under-siege defence to collect a team-high 21 disposals and seven rebound 50s. Despite finding a home in the back six, her selection of idols hints at a move further afield.

Patrick Cripps, just watching him play as a tall midfielder – that’s probably what I want to be like… he’s skilful and just such a talented player,” Watson said. “If not him, then probably someone like Leah Kaslar or Shannon Campbell from the Brisbane Lions… Leah and Shannon, they’re just insane. “They just go hard at the footy and still have skills so that’s why I look up to them.”

With her inspirations setting the bar high, in terms of aspirations, Watson’s ultimate goal is clear.

“I think for everyone it’s the AFL Women’s draft, but just getting something out of each camp and playing footy because you love it is probably the biggest thing,” Watson said.

NAB League Boys Round 4 wash-up: SUNS shine in NAB League Boys

THE NAB League ladder has a new leader after all the action from Round 4, as three Northern Academy sides got the better of their Victorian Metropolitan counterparts. With Tasmania also picking up a win, it was a good weekend to be an interstater, albeit with the Victorian sides depleted on the back of trial games.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.2 | 5.4 | 5.6 | 7.9 (51)
GWS GIANTS ACADEMY 3.3 | 4.5 | 8.13 | 10.17 (77)

By: Cameron Ross

GOALS:
Northern:
C. Barbera, L. Mcmahon, S. Brazier, L. Waldron, J. Boyd, N. Howard, O. Simpson
GWS: L. Delahunty 3, L. Conlan 2, J. Lucas 2, M. Hamblin, J. Peatling, S. Driscoll

BEST
Northern:
N. Howard, S. Philp, C. Barbera, A. Taylor, E. Macpherson, S. Brazier
GWS: M. McGrory, J. Lucas, J. Peatling, L. Delahunty, S. Driscoll, H. Grant

GWS Giants Academy travelled to Melbourne this weekend to take on the Northern Knights at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. This first quarter was hotly contested. The Giants shot out of the blocks in the first two minutes, when James Peating won a holding the ball decision directly in front and goaled. The Knights fought back and after Sunny Brazier goaled from a snap shot, they started to gain some momentum. Ruckman Nathan Howard was dominant in the first quarter, giving the Knights first use, yet he was equally impressive around the ground. A serious knee injury to Lucas Perry caused a significant delay, as the young Knight writhed in pain. Both teams were visibly shaken as the midfielder was stretchered off the field. The Giants kicked two late goals – Lucas Conlan from a tight angle and then Liam Delahunty who goaled with only a minute remaining to give the Giants a seven-point advantage into the first break. The second quarter was owned by the Knights – they had most of the possession, and took advantage of it. Ruckman Howard continued on from his fine first quarter by kicking a late goal. GWS’s Tom Green was outstanding for the Giants. The big bodied midfielder kept his side in the match, winning clearances and contested possessions, and at half time GWS were only down by five points.

The Giants flew out of the blocks in the second half. Green started where he left off, winning four possessions, two centre clearances and a goal assist in the first two minutes. The final five minutes of the third quarter changed the match. Knights could barely get their hands on the footy, as Green and Peatling took over. Jeromy Lucas kicked two goals in the final minute, and the Giants had put the game to bed. The Knights who had been in this game up until midway through the third were nearly broken. The Knights started the fourth quarter well after an early Ollie Simpson goal, but they still needed to find four more in under 20 minutes of play. Sure enough, only a minute later, Lorne Waldron took a contested mark directly in front but missed what would have been a momentous goal. The Knights continued to find opportunities to win the game but missed a further two convertible chances in the next two minutes. A terrible turnover from GWS across goal gave Cooper Barbera another opportunity, but when he missed also, it was clear that it wasn’t going to be the Knights day. The Knights had most of the possession in the final quarter, but the Giants kicked two late goals to finish off the game as 26-point victors. Green was the best player on the field with 31 possessions, while Howard did everything he could for the Knights. GWS play the Gippsland Power at Blacktown in Round 5, while the Knights head to the QEO in Bendigo to take on the Pioneers.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 2.3 | 5.5 | 7.9 | 12.11 (83)
SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY 5.1 | 10.4 | 14.6 | 16.9 (105)

By: Alex Gibson

GOALS:
Sandringham:
K. Yorke 3, A. Hanrahan 2, J. Florent 2, A. Perkins 2, H. Loughnan, L. Garnaut, R. Bowman
Sydney: B. Campbell 4, H. Maguire 3, T. Tyson 2, S. Thorne 2, H. Ellem 2, E. Gulden, K. McGrath, A. Watling

BEST:
Sandringham:
N. Burke, R. Bowman, J. Le Grice , J. Castan, A. Perkins, K. Yorke
Sydney: H. Ellem, N. Brewer, B. Campbell, L. Parks, A. Watling, S. Thorne

With the ongoing Vic trials, 14 changes were made for the Sandringham side which faced a classy Swans Academy outfit. Sydney’s pressure from the outset was immense, led by Samuel Thorne (21 disposals, two goals) and Harrison Parker (seven tackles) allowing the Swans to get the early jump on the ladder leaders. Sandringham from there on had to play catch up footy and on ball duo Angus Hanrahan (29 disposals, two goals) and Bill Mackay (21 disposals) did their best for the Dragons, however it was no match for the Swans who laid 22 more tackles for the match. The new look Sandringham forward line consisted of youth and rawness which consequently lacked a strong solid target in Charlie Dean’s absence, which hurt the Dragons all day. In contrast, the Swans big forwards dominated the second term thanks to Josh Maguire (three goals) and Hamish Ellem (two goals) who were able to control the forward 50 as the Swans lead extended to 29 points heading into the main break. It was a better second half for the Dragons as ruckman Riley Bowman (40 hitouts) was able to get on top, however bottom-ager Errol Gulden (26 disposals, two goals) took the game away from the Dragons with his classy left boot. In a game that tested Sandringham’s depth, they were able to remain competitive all day with their youth showing good signs but they were outplayed by the Swans big bodies which eventuated in a 22-point victory for Sydney who remain undefeated.

GOLD COAST ACADEMY 1.3 | 6.4 | 10.8 | 14.11 (95)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.1 | 2.2 | 3.4 | 3.6 (24)

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:
Gold Coast:
P. Murtagh 2, E. Dawson 2, M. Selsby 2, J. Gore 2, M. Conroy, C. Budarick, H. Oea, A. Davies, E. Semaan, R. Nicholls
Oakleigh: M. Steiner 2, J. Robertson

BEST:
Gold Coast:
C. Budarick, C. Joyce, A. Davies, H. Oea, J. Gore, D. Koenen
Oakleigh: J. Woodfull, K. Schreiber, J. Ayton-Delaney, H. Mastras, B. Jepson, R. McInnes

Gold Coast SUNS Academy became the third non-Victorian side to pick up four points on the weekend, opening Sunday’s Queensland double-header with a 71-point win over Oakleigh. The Chargers came in heavily depleted like most of their fellow metro sides, but it didn’t show early as they battled well in an even first term. It was all Gold Coast from thereon though, as the Suns pulled away to a 26-point half time lead. With eight goals to one, it was more of the same in a dominant second half from the home side as they pushed to claim top spot at round’s end. Connor Budarick again had a day out, leading the Suns with 28 disposals, eight marks, eight tackles and a goal, while Corey Joyce and Ashton Crossley won the ball well with 22 possessions apiece. Josh Gore could have had a huge game, claiming 2.5 from his 20 disposals as one of four Suns multiple goal kickers, with Mark Steiner booting two of Oakleigh’s three goals for the match. Chargers over-ager and 2018 Vic Metro representative Joe Ayton-Delaney (26 disposals) was influential through midfield alongside Kaden Schreiber (24, seven marks, five clearances), but both were beaten to being named best by ruckman Jacob Woodfull who managed five clearances from 15 disposals. With two losses on the trot, Oakleigh will look to bounce back after the break against Dandenong, while Gold Coast is set to face another metro side in Eastern as its NAB League stint edges over the half-way mark.

TASMANIA DEVILS 0.1 | 5.1 | 8.1 | 10.3 (63)
CALDER CANNONS 0.1 | 1.4 | 3.6 | 7.9 (51)

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:
Tasmania:
J. Callow 4, J. Hennessy 2, J. Menzie, W. Peppin, P. Walker, R. Mansell
Calder: C. Brand 3, M. Fletcher 2, H. Minton-Connell, J. Sutton

BEST:
Tasmania:
J. Callow, O. Shaw, J. Chaplin, R. Ashlin, L. Gadomski, J. Steele
Calder: H. Minton-Connell, N. Gentile, J. Martin, M. Simpson, K. Baker, S. Callander

Tasmania Devils ground out its second win on the trot, prevailing 10.3 (63) to 7.9 (51) against Calder in its first NAB League appearance on home turf. After a slow burn in the first term with the sides only managing a behind each, the Devils kicked away in the next stanza with five goals to one to set up a game-winning lead, slowly extending it to 25 points at the final change. While Calder stood up to win the fourth quarter, it was all too little, too late as the hosts held on to a two-goal final margin. Jackson Callow was the standout Devil with another bag of goals to amass almost half of his side’s total, while Oscar Shaw spread well to reel in 12 uncontested marks from 17 disposals. Patrick Walker and Nicholas Baker were the key ball-winners with 24 disposals apiece, while usual suspect Mitch O’Neill was a little quieter than usual with 16. For Calder, Cody Brand booted all three of his season goals at once, while Mason Fletcher joined him as a multiple goal kicker as he was thrown forward. Harrison Minton-Connell was the visitors’ best with a game-high 26 disposals and eight clearances, and could have had a bigger game had he made better of his 1.3. Crashing back down to earth after last week’s win, the Cannons face a winless Geelong side next time out, while Tasmania will hope to continue its winning run as it does battle with Western.

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY 3.0 | 5.1 | 11.1 | 12.3 (75)
EASTERN RANGES 4.4 | 6.7 | 8.7 | 13.8 (86)

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:
Brisbane:
B. Coleman 4, T. Wischnat 3, N. Cumberland 3, D. Marsh, T. Abberley
Eastern: B. Hickleton 3, S. Mason 2, C. Black 2, S. Feagaimalii 2, J. Tilly, J. Clarke, C. Weightman, J. Jaworski

BEST:
Brisbane:
T. Jeffrey, W. Martyn, C. Michael, C. Stackelberg, B. Coleman
Eastern: S. Feagaimalii, J. Clarke, J. Duffy, B. Hickleton, J. Gilbee

An fighting final term turnaround saw Eastern Ranges earn its third-consecutive win, overcoming the Brisbane Lions academy by 11 points in Southport. Having broken to a 12-point half-time lead, the Ranges were reigned in quickly thereafter as the hosts booted six goals to two to steer clear heading into the final break, but the Ranges turned the two-goal deficit almost completely around as the heavens opened to snatch an unlikely victory. Eastern bottom-ager Salele Feagaimalii had an blinder, taking full advantage of playing full-time midfield to rack up 28 disposals, seven clearances and two clutch final-quarter goals as his side’s best. Fellow 17-year old Joshua Clarke also stood up when it mattered, slotting the goal of the day on the run from 50 as part of his 21 disposals, while Chayce Black was dangerous early up forward, ending with 2.3 behind Ben Hickleton‘s 3.0. For the Lions, Blake Coleman claimed a game-high four goals from his nine disposals, with Tom Wischnat (19 disposals, 3.2) to thank for two of them, while Noah Cumberland also claimed three majors. Skipper Will Martyn lifted from last week’s performance to rack up an impressive 37 disposals and 12 marks, while former-captain Cody Stackleberg was influential with 26 touches and seven inside 50s. With Eastern locked into the top four, a game against another Queensland academy awaits, while Brisbane will look for a second win in its away clash against Sandringham.

WESTERN JETS 3.8 | 9.14 | 12.19 | 18.24 (132)
NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER 4.3 | 5.4 | 8.7 | 9.7 (61)

GOALS:
Western:
A. Clarke 4, S. El-Hawli 3, C. White 3, C. Mackenzie-George 2, A. Manton 2, L. Failli, S. Clifford, L. Conway, J. Horo
Northern Territory: T. Woods 3, B. Ah Mat 3, W. Derksen, S. Cumming, B. O’Connell

BEST:
Western:
J. Horo, A. Clarke, D. Bolkas, C. White, D. Andrews , W. Kennedy
Northern Territory: M. McGregor, T. Woods, B. Ah Mat, B. Jungfer, S. Cumming, J. Stevens

The Western Jets picked up their second win for the NAB League season, closing out the round with a thumping 71-point win over Northern Territory Thunder. After the travelling side broke to a narrow quarter-time lead, the Jets flicked a switch and piled on 15 goals from 31 scoring shots for the remainder of the game to come out as dominant winners. Jets spearhead Aaron Clarke was again amongst the goals, leading group of five multiple goal kickers with 4.6 in what could have been a huge outing. Fellow tall Will Kennedy was also dominant, leading his side’s disposal count alongside Daly Andrews with 25, while also having 28 hitouts and five clearances. For NT, Tyson Woods and Braxton Ahmat each booted three goals, with Marly McGregor (17 disposals, five clearances) named their best despite Brandon Rusca‘s 25-disposal effort. The winless NT academy will again play in Melbourne, facing the GWV Rebels at Windy Hill, with Western travelling to Tasmania to face the Devils after the Easter break.

NAB League season previews: Northern Academies

IN a first as part of the new NAB League Boys competition, the four Northern Academy sides take their place over the next five rounds competing against each other and some Victorian teams, as does Northern Territory. The five teams and Tasmania will look to put their best foot forward ahead of the National Under 18 Championships where the top stars from the sides will combine to form the Allies. We take a look at each of the teams and their fixtures below.

 

BRISBANE LIONS:

Brisbane Lions Academy have some familiar names in their squad who showed promising signs last year. Will Martyn is a crucial member of the Lions squad, showing off his versatility as an inside midfielder and forward. The Lions midfield is quite strong, with fellow AFL Academy members, Saxon Crozier and Bruce Reville able to create some run off the wings, while Tom Griffiths is another AFL Academy member who will play off half-back at times. Key position forward Kobe Tozer is a huge talent but has been unlucky due to injury over the past couple of years since starring at the National Under 16 Championships. In the five rounds, the Lions begin their campaign against the GWS GIANTS Academy before tackling cross-state rivals, Gold Coast SUNS Academy. They then meet Eastern Ranges, Sandringham Dragons and Dandenong Stingrays in which should be a huge test for the Lions against some strong Victorian talent.

Fixture:

R2 = vs. GIANTS Academy
R3 = vs. SUNS Academy
R4 = vs. Eastern Ranges
R5 = vs. Sandringham Dragons
R6 = vs. Dandenong Stingrays

 

GOLD COAST SUNS:

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy have a number of bright prospects who will no doubt shine on the big stage for the Allies once the NAB League Boys five-round series is done. The SUNS will face Northern Territory up first in a game that they should be favourites in, before tackling cross-state rivals, Brisbane Lions Academy. They finish with three sides from Victoria, as the Suns test themselves against the highly-fancied Oakleigh Chargers – albeit without their schoolboys, Eastern Ranges and GWV Rebels. Connor Budarick is a name who many became familiar with last year at the National Under 18 Championships, playing predominantly forward and averaging 10 disposals, 5.5 tackles and 1.5 goals in a pressure forward role. Expect him to spend more time in the midfield this year, and along with Ashton Crossley and Alex Davies will cause some headaches for the opposition midifield. Other AFL Academy members who will be ones to watch include the exciting Hewago Paul-Oea and key defender Jack Johnston.

Fixture:

R2 = vs. Northern Territory
R3 = vs. Lions Academy
R4 = vs. Oakleigh Chargers
R5 = vs. Eastern Ranges
R6 = vs. GWV Rebels

 

GWS GIANTS:

The GWS GIANTS Academy have just the three AFL Academy members, with midfielders Matt McGrory and Thomas Green, and versatile tall, Liam Delahunty. However Green is considered among the top prospects in the draft crop, and will likely cost the GIANTS a high draft pick given his 73 per cent contested possession rate from almost 20 disposals at the National Under 18 Championships. The inside bull does not take a backwards step, and along with Delahunty who will likely predominantly play forward, but can play in defence, will create a couple of playmakers for the GIANTS. Jeromy Lucas, Nick Murray and James Peatling are among the overagers returning to the squad. Over the next five rounds, the GIANTS will take on the Brisbane Lions Academy before looking to win the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ against Sydney Swans’ Academy. They face the Northern Knights, Gippsland Power and Murray Bushrangers in what will be likely the hardest draw of any of the Academies with those sides close to full strength if all available.

Fixture:

R2 = vs. Lions Academy
R3 = vs. Swans Academy
R4 = vs. Northern Knights
R5 = vs. Gippsland Power
R6 = vs. Murray Bushrangers

 

 

SYDNEY SWANS:

Sydney Swans Academy are the only Academy side to face just one fellow Academy team, taking on cross-state rivals, GWS GIANTS Academy in Round 3. First up they play Tasmania Devils who will be fresh into the competition after a bye in Round 1. They then tackle Sandringham Dragons, Murray Bushrangers and Geelong Falcons in what will be a huge test for the Swans. Josh Rayner will be a crucial player in midfield and when he goes forward, while captain Sam Thorne will lead from the front in the midfield. Jackson Barling is another key onballer to watch out for, while Braedon Campbell and Errol Gulden are a couple of talents to keep an eye out for next year’s crop. Luke Parks at centre half-back will straighten the Swans up and hopefully repel attacks going forward.

Fixture:

R2 = vs. Tasmania Devils
R3 = vs. GIANTS Academy
R4 = vs. Sandringham Dragons
R5 = vs. Murray Bushrangers
R6 = vs. Geelong Falcons

 

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY:

The Northern Territory are always an exciting team to watch, and will have a great opportunity to showcase some lively types. With only one Academy clash in place against the SUNS and a bout with Tasmania to start off their five-week campaign, the Thunder will also face tough NAB League opposition in Sandringham, Murray, and Northern. A trio of forward maestroes headlines the top Territory talent, with Malcolm Rosas Jr, Joel Jeffrey, and Maurice Rioli Jr all winning rising star nominations in the recent NTFL season. Richmond fans are already excited at the possibility of adding another Rioli to their ranks, and will get a good chance see how the bottom-ager competes against the nation’s best. Over-aged brothers Matthew and Stephen Cumming are also set to bolster the side’s key position stocks, with plenty of zip buzzing at their feet.   

Fixture:

R2 = vs. SUNS Academy
R3 = vs. Tasmania Devils
R4 = vs. Sandringham Dragons
R5 = vs. Murray Bushrangers
R6 = vs. Northern Knights

Queensland weekly wrap: Maroons set to star in futures showcase

WITH both Queensland AFL sides watching finals action from beyond the fence, all eyes are on the next generation of stars set to grace the hallowed MCG turf, as well as all of the off-field post season action which comes into effect shortly. 

Queensland prospects to play at the ‘Big Dance’

On Tuesday, the teams for the Under 17 Futures game were announced. Included amongst the two teams are some talented Queensland prospects who will strut their stuff before they’re eligible for the 2019 draft.

The two teams have been named after recently-retired AFL stars Nick Riewoldt and Jimmy Bartel

Gold Coast Academy’s Connor Budarick is the sole Queensland representative on Team Riewoldt while Team Bartel will feature Hewago Paul Oea (Gold Coast Academy), and Will Martyn (Brisbane Academy).  

Oea or ‘Ace’ is an exciting Papua New Guinea prospect that joined the Suns Academy earlier this year on a two year international scholarship. ‘Ace’ who began his journey with strong performances representing PNG in the Under 16 Queensland State Championships in 2017, and went on to play for Queensland in the national championships before being selected as the first PNG player to be part of the NAB AFL Academy.

The hype around Budarick is already substantial due to his proven ability to dominate games at the senior QAFL level. Along with teammate Oea, Budarick is one of only two players from his age level in Queensland to be selected in the National Academy, back in 2017.

Martyn, from the Brisbane Academy has had a strong year at the state level. This includes two best on ground performances – one against Vic Country where he kicked two goals late in the contest to almost power Queensland over the line, and the other against state rivals NSW/ACT back in July where Martyn really dominated, grabbing 30 touches and laying 10 tackles.  

The Under-17s ‘Futures’ game will be broadcast live from 10am on Grand Final day, and will be streamed on afl.com.au and the AFL Live Official App.

Lynch makes his choice

The race for free agent Tom Lynch is over with the Gold Coast Suns captain making his decision to go to Richmond. It is understood both Hawthorn and Collingwood have been told they have missed out on the most wanted out of contract player this off-season.

No official announcement on where he wants to sign is expected to be made until after the finals, or after Richmond have finished in the finals, which is likely to be one and the same thing with the top of the ladder Tigers expected to make the grand final.

AFL Queensland finals fever

Finals fever has hit Queensland AFL right now with grand finals decided across various divisions, as well as other competitors squarely in their finals campaigns. For more information head to the AFL Queensland website for a wrap of the whole state’s finals landscape.

AFLW U18 Championships previews: Queensland

DESPITE losing its first two matches in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Queensland has a promising list of players that are likely to perform well in the carnival. We took a look at the side’s key players and its upcoming fixture ahead of round two of the National Championships on the Gold Coast.

Key players:

Dee Heslop

Heslop was named best-on-ground in both Queensland’s matches against Western Australia in round one of the Championships. At just 16 years of age, she is already showing the maturity of a senior player with some solid football across the first two games. Heslop is a member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy and plays for the Gold Coast Suns in the AFLW Winter Series, which gives her some key experience ahead of the National Championships.

Lauren Bella

Lauren Bella is the vice-captain of the Queensland side and is one of the tallest players in the Championships. She is a Bond University student who gave up a promising netball career to devote her time to football. Bella also plays for the Gold Coast Suns in the AFLW Winter Series and Bond in the QWAFL. She is a part of the Gold Coast Suns Academy and will bring that experience to the Under 18 Championships. Originally from Mackay, Bella has moved to Bond to pursue her football career further and it has paid dividends, as she was the side’s MVP last year and earned a spot in the All Australian team.

Lily Postlethwaite

Postlethwaite is a member of the AFLW Academy and was named second best in Queensland’s first game against Western Australia. She was an impressive performer for Queensland in last year’s championships, and was named in the Brisbane Lions Academy Youth squad. She has been shining in the game since she was as young as 15, as she was named in the All Australian side at that age. Postlethwaite is an exciting midfielder who has also represented her state at the School Sport Australia National AFL Championships.

Tori Groves-Little

Like Postlethwaite, Tori Grove-Little is also a member of the AFLW Academy. The 17 year-old hails from Coorparoo and just three years ago, she was named as the joint MVP and All Australian at the 2015 Under 15 National Schoolgirls Championships. Groves-Little plays for the Gold Coast Suns in the AFLW Winter Series, and is also a member of their Academy, meaning that she gets to develop her football at two different football academies. This will prove invaluable as she looks to help her side record a win in the tournament.

Kitara Farrar

Kitara Farrar is a South Cairns local who has found herself in the AFLW Academy on the back of some stellar form for her local side. Farrar took out the South Cairns Best and Fairest, Rising Star and best-on-ground in her side’s grand final win. She has had a good start to this year’s Championships, as she was named amongst the best in Queensland’s narrow three-point loss against Western Australia.

Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson is the youngest player in the side, but this has not seemed to faze the 16 year-old, who has got her Nationals campaign to a good start. She was named amongst the best in both of Queensland’s first-round matches against Western Australia and comes into the competition with an impressive array of accolades next to her name. In 2017, she was awarded the MVP and Player of the Series accolades for her efforts in U16 Queensland Academy Championships. In the previous year, she was named as the co-captain of the Queensland All Nations team at the AFL National Diversity Championships and was selected for the Australian Medleys team.

 

Fixture:

Game 1: vs. Victoria Country

Monday July 9 at Metricon Stadium

An intriguing battle will be set up when 2017 All Australian, Lauren Bella goes up against AFLW Academy member, Rene Caris. Bella is four centimetres taller than Caris and has a netball background that could hold her in good stead in this match. It will be exciting to see the likes of Lily Postlethwaite go head-to-head against Country stars such as Tyla Hanks, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell, who have been tearing it up at the TAC Cup Girls level.

Game 2: vs. Victoria Metro

Wednesday July 11 at Broadbeach

Plenty of young talent will be on display here as Zimmorlei Farquharson and Dee Heslop will get to showcase their skills against some of Victoria’s finest female footballers. Young guns, Gabby Newton and Isabella Grant have already showed plenty of promise in the big ‘V’ but could be challenged by the speed and excitement that the Queensland duo can demonstrate.

Game 3: vs. Eastern Allies

Friday July 13 at Bond University  

The Queensland side will come up against two states full of female talent in this match but some players will feel right at home. Georgia Eller, Charlotte Hammans, Serene Watson, Emmii-Lee Zanker-Close, Taylor Smith and Lauren Bella all play for Bond and are likely to know the ground well. Hammans has already scored a goal in each of her outings for Queensland so far in the tournament and will be keen to get some more majors on the board. However, Eastern Allies defender, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will be hard to get past on the day, thanks to her TAC Cup Girls and state representative experience.

Queensland weekly wrap: QAFL monthly round-up; QLD Academies finish level

IN the past week the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns’ Academies finished their Under 18 Academy Series with two wins each, while we recap the past month in the QAFL.

QAFL Seniors Monthly Recap:

The Queensland AFL (QAFL) community has been treated to a high quality and competitive first month of QAFL footy. With the addition of live streaming and commentary for games adding to the competition which is seeing a change of the guard at the top of the ladder. After four rounds, the Mt Gravatt Vultures have a perfect record and have catapulted to top spot. Based off preseason external and perhaps internal expectations, the Vultures have surprised the league with tough wins over Labrador, Western Magpies, Wilston Grange and Broadbeach. The Vultures have demonstrated their ability to hold their nerve and structures in close games with an average winning margin of 12 points through their first month. Key forward Jordan Bain has been excellent kicking 15 goals so far this season. The Vultures have a bye next round before facing Surfers Paradise away from home in round six.

From second to fourth sit three Gold Coast sides all with 12 points and three wins apiece. Palm Beach, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise all look like teams that will likely be playing finals footy later this season. Palm Beach Currumbin could easily be in top spot if they haven’t already had a bye. Currumbin have flexed their muscles early on including a demolition job over Labrador in the Grand final rematch.

Morningside, Wilston Grange and Labrador have one win apiece and are placed fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Labrador have continued their form slump from late last year with only a win over the languishing Gorillas for the year. Alarm bells will be ringing in the Labrador coaching box as their side has managed to concede over 400 points in four rounds of footy, the worst in the league. Labrador will be hoping for more contributions across the 22 instead of heavy reliance on big’s Jake Goldsmith and Bryce Retzlaff.

The Grange Gorillas have been brave so far this season being very competitive in all their losses and perhaps could have taken another game or two with more experience in the side. In second bottom is the unluckiest team in Queensland footy, the Western Magpies.  Much like the Vultures, the Magpies have been locked in tight contests so far this season but have lost their three close games by an average of 12 points. This includes going down by six against the Vultures and 13 against Palm Beach. The Magpies will be hoping persistence pays off next round when they face Surfers Paradise at home.

In last are the Sandgate Hawks where many expected them to be. The young Hawks will want to pick up a few wins this season as they continue rebuilding with youth. Aside from a belting from Palm Beach, the Hawks have been gallant in losses to Wilston Grange and Surfers Paradise. Sandgate perhaps smell a win next round when they face Morningside.

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Lions and Suns finish U18 Academy Series neck and neck:

The two Under 18 Queensland academies must have a sense of theatre and state rivalry as the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academies both finished their Under 18 Academy Series with two wins and three losses. The Lions however hold bragging rights beating the Suns by 12 points in week two of the competition. The Under 18 Brisbane Lions Academy were unable to claim victory in their last game against the Northern Territory in the Under 18 Academy Series. Brisbane did themselves no favours giving up a four goal to zip opening quarter making victory unlikely. However, they managed to claw their way back over the next three quarters kicking 11 goals to NT’s 10 to fall short by just 14 points at TIO Stadium. The Lions finish their series with a 2-3 record with wins over GWS and Gold Coast academy which should leave the coaching staff fairly content overall.

Northern Territory             4.1       7.2       10.3    14.5 (89)
Brisbane Academy           0.5       4.5       8.7       11.9 (75)

GOALS

Northern Territory: M.Cumming 3, Ferreira, Mummery, Wyatt 2, Box, Brown, Jungfer, Kossack, O’Connell
Brisbane Academy: McFadyen 5, Ansell 2, Jeffrey, Wratten, Franks, Stackelberg

BEST

Northern Territory: Jungfer, Baird, Mummery, Schwarze, Ferreira, M.Cumming
Brisbane Academy: McFadyen, Coleman, Cowan, Reville

For the Suns, their final encounter of the series was a nail bitter going down to the Swans Academy by just two points. The sides were impossible to split on the day as the match went against the form guide of the competition being much closer than externally expected. Top 10 prospect Nick Blakey was again sensational, booting three goals for the Swans and ultimately being the difference between the sides in the end. Like the Lions, the Suns finish 2-3 with wins over the Northern Territory and GWS.

Sydney Academy                    2.1       5.2       6.3       8.8 (56)
Gold Coast Academy              3.1       4.3       6.3       8.6 (54)

GOALS

Sydney Academy: Blakey 3, Reinhard, Ellem, Stern, Loone, Barling
Gold Coast Academy: Scott 2, Lowah 2, Crossley, Gore, Portelli, Graham

BEST

Sydney Academy: Wicks, Blakey, Stern, Kilpatrick
Gold Coast Academy: Scott, Greenwool, Portelli, Bowie

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QLD Private School League launching in 2019:

AFL football will be rolled out in term one next year across eight private schools in Queensland. The announcement was made by the Associated Independent Colleges (AIC) offering AFL to students from grades 5-12 on a two-year trial. This change to private school sport comes after a 2017 AIC sports review found parents and students wanted AFL to be introduced as an option.  This announcement is another mark of growth for AFL football in the sunshine state.

Queensland weekly wrap: Mixed bag for Queensland academies

THIS weekend saw the continuation of the Under 18 Academy Series, with mixed results for the Queensland sides across an even competition. More locally, the state’s Under 16 Academy Championships commenced, setting up what looks to be a competitive series.

Under 18 Academy Series – Round Three

For the Queensland academy sides, round three of the Under 18 Academy Series produced polar opposite results. The Gold Coast Suns Academy produced their first victory of the competition whilst the Brisbane Lions Academy were touched up by the Tassie Mariners.  

The Suns ran out 20-point victors over the Giants thanks largely to a blinder from possible father-son prospect Bailey Scott. At Broadbeach on Saturday, Scott notched a team-high 22 disposals, four clearances and  a goal in another strong showing in his third game of the Under 18 Academy Series. He is eligible to be drafted by three clubs (as well as having the option of entering the open draft), as the son of former Cat (132 games) and Kangaroos (111 games) player Robert Scott, as well as being a part of the Gold Coast Academy.

The Suns came out fast kicking three goals to zip in the opening term to help setup the win. Their second term was also strong for the homes side, kicking four goals to two, giving them a 46-20 lead at the half. The second half was much more competitive with the sides going almost goal for goal, but the Suns escaped as victors. They face the winless Northern Territory next round.

The Lions Academy were simply poor against the undefeated Tassie Mariners. The Mariners stamped their authority from the outset kicking four goals to one in the opening stanza. The second term was a scoreless one for the boys from Brisbane as Tasmania put through another four in the term to have an unassailable 54-6 advantage at the half. The second half was pretty much an carbon copy of the first as the Mariners never took the foot of the pedal to easily run out 110-14 victors in a day to forget for the Lions, who face the Giants next weekend.

Queensland Under 16 State Championships

Last weekend saw the 2018 Queensland U16 State Academy Championships get underway at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex in Burpengary. It was the battle of the Story Bridge to get the championship underway between Brisbane North and South. Brisbane North walked away 35-point victors and must wait until Thursday afternoon to determine who they will face next, as do all other teams. Meanwhile, the representatives from the Gold Coast region had a comprehensive win in their opening game against Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay, getting up by 64 points.

The ladder will be determined at the conclusion of round one, thus deciding the match-ups for round two. Round three is the concluding round where first will face second, third plays fourth, and fifth takes on sixth to finalise the standings. The final game of round one will be at Maroochydore from 12:30 between the South Pacific and North Queensland.

Queensland weekly wrap: Q-Clash weekend provides thrillers

THE Q-Clash was the centre of focus in Queensland football this week at both the AFL and Under 18 levels. While the senior Suns clung on to victory at the Gabba, the Lions academy claimed bragging rights to even the ledger. The other big story of the week was the landmark occasion of the first ever QAFL games being live-streamed.

AFL Round 5 | Q-Clash 15 – Gold Coast Suns vs. Brisbane Lions

Gold Coast were able to edge out Brisbane on Sunday afternoon to win the fifteenth Q-Clash by just five points. It gave the Suns their third win of the season, whilst the Lions remain winless after five rounds.  The Suns led by as much as 27 points in the third term and had to withstand a final quarter Lions comeback, but hung on to win 11.10 (76) to 10.11 (71) after successive losses in Perth. Brisbane’s number one draft pick Cam Rayner had a flying shot at goal from 50m in the final seconds to draw the contest but pulled it wide for a behind.

Touk Miller of the Gold Coast Suns showed how to play a team role to perfection at the Gabba. Miller went to Dayne Zorko and made the Lions star’s night a miserable one. At every opportunity, Miller got stuck into the All Australian, pushing, shoving and giving him no breathing space.  Zorko finished with a paltry 10 disposals and had minimal influence, while Miller became more and more involved as the night wore on, racking up 21 touches, including seven clearances. Co-captain Steven May played easily his best game of the season, while David Swallow, Brayden Fiorini and Jarrod Harbrow also excelled.  The goal of the night was a toss-up between Fiorini’s one step bomb from a stoppage just outside forward 50, and Charlie Cameron’s snap goal in the final term.

The loss will sting the Lions. It is the fourth time in five rounds they have had a chance to win in the final term, yet they remain winless.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE          2.3     4.7      7.9      10.11     (71)                 
GOLD COAST     4.2     7.3     10.6     11.10     (76)         

Goals:

Brisbane:  Hipwood 3, Cameron 2, Taylor, Bailey, Rayner, Zorko, McStay.
Gold Coast: MacPherson 2, Lynch 2, Fiorini 2, Lyons, Young, Day, Holman, May.

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Under-18 Academy Series – Brisbane Academy vs. Gold Coast Academy

The Q-Clash rivalry was in full effect in the second round of the Under 18 Academy Series as the Lions and Suns faced off. A brilliant seven goals to zero first term by the Lions helped set up their 12-point victory. The Suns would claw their way back throughout the match kicking 11 goals to four over the final three terms in a display of guts and determination.  

Standout performers for the Lions included small midfielder Jesse Quint, racking up 20 touches and a goal. Caleb Franks totalled a massive 37 disposals to lead all the ground in that category, while snagging two goals himself. Thomas Griffiths was also impressive gathering 25 touches and rebounding well across half-back.

For the Suns, Bailey Scott again was in the best players, collecting 19 disposals and two goals. Labrador midfielder Cooper Portelli had 25 disposals and eight marks, while Matthew Smith kicked three goals up forward.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE LIONS           7.1       9.5       10.10   12.11 (83)
GOLD COAST SUNS        0.0       5.3       7.4       11.5 (71)

Goals:

Brisbane: Franks, McFadyen, Tomkinson 2, Pettigrove, Quint, Matthews, Jeffrey, Smith, Ansell
Gold Coast: Smith 3, Scott 2, Portelli, Katsiris, Haua, Wingrove, Burke, Miles

BEST

Brisbane: Quint, Tomkinson, Franks, Stackelberg, Matthews, Pettigrove
Gold Coast: Portelli, Smith, Scott, Gore, Stone

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First ever QAFL games live streamed

AFL Queensland provided their first complete live streams of QAFL matches over the weekend.  On Saturday, QAFL viewers were treated to an absolute thriller between senior sides Mt Gravatt and the Western Magpies. In a game that was neck and neck throughout, the Mt Gravatt Vultures escaped six-point winners at home.

On Sunday, the second live streamed match was between Surfers Paradise and last year’s runners up Labrador. After a three goals to zero opening stand by Labrador, Surfers responded in the second term, kicking five goals to two to lead by four points at the half. The sides would go back and forth in the second half with Surfers helping themselves to a big opening round upset thanks to having 28 scoring shots to Labrador’s 17.  

At a minimum, one QAFL game each week will be streamed at www.aflq.com.au/qafl-live throughout the season. An additional six games will also be broadcast to showcase the bigger matchups of the year.

Queensland weekly wrap: Lions win Youth Girls Academy Series

BRISBANE Lions Youth Girls Academy were the top performers at the weekend’s Northern Academy Series, while their AFL counterparts pushed Port Adelaide all the way in Adelaide, but the Gold Coast Suns went down to Fremantle in a “home” game at Optus Stadium.

Lions and Suns compete in Youth Girls Northern Academy Series

Brisbane Lions have triumphed in the Youth Girls Northern Academy Series with three victories over the GIANTS, Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans. The Lions defeated the GIANTS by one point in the opening game, before a 46-point victory over the Suns and 20-point victory over the Sydney Swans followed. The Suns won their two other matches with a 23-point victory over Sydney and a 42-point victory over the GIANTS, restricting both sides to a combined two behinds in their matches. A total of 60 players took part in the series from Queensland, with 28 representing Brisbane Lions and 32 representing the Gold Coast SUNS.

For more information on how the series went down, head to the AFL Queensland website.

AFL Round 3 

Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide Power

Port Adelaide survived a goalless last quarter to beat the incredibly brave and luckless Brisbane Lions by five points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Inspired by Stefan Martin, who had an amazing 30 disposals and 48 hit-outs, the Lions came back from 18 points down at three-quarter time and battled hard. The Power looked completely drained after a six-day break from a tough away encounter against the Sydney Swans. Port was expected to win – they have been touted by many to finish in the top four – but the Lions seemed to believe they were always a chance.

The Lions turned up in hot conditions ready to produce a highly respectful performance, going down fighting to the bitter end. Charlie Cameron started at full-forward and kicked three telling early goals on his old hunting ground, and for Brisbane to lead by 11 points at half-time was a huge wake-up call for the Power. When they did, they were back to their controlling best, but again not without needing to work hard for each possession. Port regrouped after half-time and found their cleaner flow, definitely with more vigour. They tested the resilience of the Lions, switching the play and forcing them into growing errors amidst the extended pressure.

For 43 of the first 75 minutes of match play the Lions led and looked like deserving winners. Of course, ultimately Port clawed their way back through tenacity and a rise in intensity, but for the Lions to hang in there for so long speaks volumes for the path coach Chris Fagan is taking them on. There were Brisbane’s hardy perennials like Luke Hodge who masterminded the defence, Dayne Zorko who was brilliant in the midfield, and Mitch Robinson who was inspirational with his attack on the ball, but it was Stefan Martin with some magnificent ruck work that really gave the Lions a big chance. Port kicked seven goals to the Lions’ five in the second half to escape with the game which went right down to the wire. Next Saturday afternoon the Lions face reigning premiers Richmond at the MCG.

Final Scores: Port Adelaide 14.13 (97) defeated Brisbane 14.8 (92)  

Gold Coast Suns vs. Fremantle Dockers

Gold Coast Suns’ undefeated run came to an end on the weekend at the hands of a Nat Fyfe-inspired Fremantle Dockers outfit at Optus Stadium. With the Commonwealth Games in full swing on the coast, the Suns sold their home game to the Dockers and it proved to be a winning factor in the game. While the crowd wasn’t nearly as strong as the previous numbers Perth’s new stadium has yielded, the Freo fans surely helped to will their side over the line. It took special performances from Michael Walters (23 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and Ed Langdon (27 disposals, five marks, five tackles), alongside their skipper, for Fremantle to break the half-time deadlock and come away with the four points.

While it was a fairly even contest for most of the game, the Dockers ended up dominating the key stats – winning the disposal count 387-324, clearances 37-29 and contested possessions 154-135 – and the margin could have been more had they kicked more accurately in front of goal with 31 scoring shots to 18. For the Suns, Jarryd Lyons continued his admirable early season form with a complete performance of 30 disposals, ten tackles, seven clearances and two goals. Jack Martin pitched in with 21 disposals, six marks and a goal alongside Kade Kolodjashnij (22 disposals, seven marks) and Touk Miller (19 disposals, six tackles, five clearances).

One of the more pleasing performances came from the injury riddled Sam Day, who booted three goals from his ten disposals and five marks with Tom Lynch kept quiet. Besides the loss, coach Stewart Dew will also face the concern of potentially losing star wingman Pearce Hanley to another shoulder injury after he suffered a dislocation in the first half. Overall, the result came from a mix of Fremantle’s brilliance and a somewhat disappointing Gold Coast effort. The Suns will again head to Optus Stadium to face West Coast in round four. Final Scores: Fremantle 13.18 (96) defeated Gold Coast 10.8 (68)