Thirty-seven of our 2020 listed players will suit up with fifteen different clubs from this weekend as footy kicks off all around South-East Queensland.
After the cancellation of the 2020 Toyota NEAFL season most players have found their way to community football clubs.
They are able to do this via the Type 2 Covid Permit which in effect leases out the player until October 30 when their registration reverts back to Redland Football Club.
Here’s a snapshot of where our players will be and how are they feeling about the season ahead.
The majority of our players will be playing in the QAFL, which is going to be a very exciting competition, especially because of the talent assembled.
Stephen Mills, Clay Cameron and Perry Lewis-Smith will be wearing the blue and white hoops for the Broadbeach Cats.
Millsy said, “There’s a great crew down at Broadbeach. There’s a good mix of NEAFL players coming back, academy kids and stalwarts running around. The club has been very welcoming in this whirlwind of a footy season and the chance just to play this season is pretty exciting.”
Lachie McDonald will go back to his junior club, Labrador, and Brodie Foster will do similar playing for his junior club – Surfers Paradise.
Lachie is loving being back at Labrador and said, “It’s awesome being back at Labrador. The vibe is great! We have a lot of new boys in the team coming from the NEAFL, but everyone’s been very friendly and getting around each other.”
Dynamic Duo Jai Larkins and Dan Fleming will be playing for the QAFL’s newest club – Maroochydore, up at the Sunshine Coast.
Jai said, “It’s really exciting to play for Maroochydore in their first year in the QAFL. As a group we all just want to exceed expectations and play our best brand of footy.”
Morningside will be very handy this year and will benefit from the inclusion of Matt McGannon as well as having Morningside juniors Matt Hammelmann, Ryan Dadds, Jack Rolls and Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds back playing for them this year.
Rollsy is very excited about the year ahead at the Panthers, “the list that Doggie (Morningside Coach) has been able to assemble is unreal and we can’t wait to get out on the park. Us Bombers boys have kept in really good shape. So, hopefully we can get a good run it.”
Mt Gravatt has also picked up a lot of our players including Mt Gravatt Juniors – Bill Sam and Luke O’Sullivan. The three musketeers – Justin Currie, Darcy Marsh and Tom Matthews will also be playing for the Vultures, as will promising talent Harrison Gobbie.
The energetic and enthusiastic Bill Sam said, “There is a lot of “fizz and bubble” around the group at the moment. We have a lot of returning vintage Vultures and a good mix of youth to compliment that. I’m also eager to bash into a few Redland boys throughout the shortened QAFL season.”
This weekend Bill will have the opportunity to bash into Sherwood juniors – Dan Edwards, Billy Johnson and Caleb Franks, who are back playing for Sherwood.
Dan Edwards – Sherwood’s 2019 Runner Up Best and Fairest Winner said, “there is a really positive vibe around the footy club at the moment especially after the resumption to training from the lockdown. It’s really good to play with close mates again and also see how far the club can potentially go this year.”
There will also be a few players that play in QFA Division 1, with Jack Wratten (Coorparoo) Jamie Ivers (Mayne), Will O’Dwyer, Maverick Pettigrove and Seb Rogers (Noosa) playing for their junior clubs.
The battle between these three clubs will be enthralling, as when the players were asked about the season ahead, they all said they were confident their club has what it takes to win the flag.
Keeping with the theme of junior clubs, QFA Division 2 North club Alex Hills have secured the services of last year’s Dowling Medallist and Alex Hills junior – Craig Malone.
Malone is also confident his club has what it takes to win a premiership saying, “I’m excited to be playing for my old junior club, playing alongside blokes I haven’t got to play with in a long time and hopefully we can win the flag.”
The South Australian livewire Teejay Halkias, will be heading to Wynnum Vikings another QFA Division 2 North club, to help them get revenge after they lost the Grand Final last year.
“We have lots of potential this year, everyone gels together really well. I reckon will be successful, and hopefully I can contribute to that success and help get revenge.”
The QFA Division 2 South Competition will provide a lot of interest for Redland Football Club supporters, with Aaron Christensen, Harrison Kerr, Adrian Williams, Scott Miller, Harrison Hunkin, Damian Steven all playing for Victoria Point Sharks.
Scott Miller said, “It’s really pleasing to be able to come back to where I spent a good portion of my youth footy and in some way say thanks to them for all they’ve done for me over the years. Us Redland Boys have all played a lot of footy together so we should be able to fit in fairly seamlessly. At the same time though, we have to remember that the Sharks have been good enough to allow us to come play, so the main priority for us is making sure that we buy into their game plan and follow their lead.”
Jarrod Huddy and KJ will pull on the green and gold for the Kenmore Bears, which will make this Saturday’s game between Kenmore and Victoria Point very entertaining.
To finish off, Peter Yagmoor has headed up to Cairns, and will lace up the boots for Cairns City Lions.
Thank you to all of the clubs for giving our players the opportunity to have a run in 2020 and we wish you all success for the season, and full credit to the staff and management at AFL Queensland who have worked tirelessly to get competitions up and running.