Match of the round:
Saturday 3:45pm – Coorparoo Vs. Yeronga South Brisbane (Giffin Park, Coorparoo)
Here’s the scenario. Yeronga and Coorparoo are sitting first and second on the ladder, both tied with seven wins. If Yeronga win this match and remain undefeated through the last few rounds, they’ll finish on top. If Coorparoo win it and do the same, they’ll finish on top instead. No doubt the stakes are high for this one, and it will take either side’s best football to snatch the four points from the other.
Yeronga come into this one with a few changes to their full-strength side. Sam Virgo is still out of action with a troublesome thumb injury, while Esther Allen has been ruled out for the season after succumbing to a nasty ankle injury in a match a few weeks ago. Demi Leach, who is currently sitting in fifth on the QWAFL leading goal-scorers list, will make her return to the senior side after getting through unscathed in the Yeronga QWFA Division 1 side’s victory last week. Leach was battling a knee injury, but is now back to full fitness after a successful operation to repair her meniscus. AFLW draft hopeful Jordan Zanchetta is also back after an extended layoff, but will gain some match fitness in the QWFA this week before running out for Yeronga in the QWAFL.
Coorparoo will have Lions Emma Zielke, Britt Gibson, Jessica Wuetschner and Ally Anderson all fit and firing for the crucial clash, along with ex-Lion Kate Deegan. The trademark for the Kings this season has been their transition with the footy from half-back and their delivery into the forward line. While they’ve been lacking at times in front of goal this year, the ability of their players to switch the play and hit up a teammate on a lead has got them over the line on more than one occasion. While Yeronga would probably be considered the favourites heading in, if we see this same type of footy produced by Coorparoo on the day I wouldn’t be surprised if they took the four points and first spot on the ladder.
Young guns firing:
Round 2 of the NAB AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships is in full swing on the Gold Coast this week, with a few bona fide QWAFL stars getting amongst the action. Coorparoo’s Tarni White has been a revelation for the Queensland side across their four games so far, consistently racking up the contested possessions in the engine room. The 16-year-old is still two years away from draft eligibility but has surely caught the eye of multiple AFLW coaches and development staff. Coolangatta’s big three in Arianna Clarke, Ruby Blair and Kalinda Howarth have all showed promise in multiple positions and put their hand up for the draft at the end of this year.
UQ’s Gabby Collingwood was excellent in Round 1 and is backing up that form this week despite copping a knock to the head on Wednesday which kept her out for over a quarter. She collided in some friendly fire with fellow top-age prospect Courtney Bromage (Yeronga) who has taken the game on with real determination in Round 2. Another one to keep an eye on is Zillmere product Sophie Conway who scored a goal and was one of the best in the loss to Vic Metro. The U18 representatives will be absent from Saturday’s QWAFL action with their final game taking place today at midday against the Allies.
Bulldogs and Bluebirds:
Keeping a keen eye on all the Under 18 action this week have been a few big names in women’s footy. Brisbane Lions AFLW coach and AFL Queensland Female Football High Performance Manager Craig Starcevich was on hand to witness the two Queensland games this week, while Richmond’s AFLW football operations manager and ex-Collingwood AFLW footballer Kate Sheahan was spotted observing the action on Wednesday.
Another big name present was Western Bulldogs coach Paul Groves, who was monitoring both the Vic Metro and Vic Country games. Groves is staying on the Gold Coast this week and surprised the Coolangatta QWAFL side by showing up to their training session on Thursday night. Coolangatta coach David Thorpe is an ex-Bulldog himself, and has close ties to the club which resulted in this special visit. Groves has already seen two Bluebirds in action at their training camp in Melbourne but may have his eyes on a few more heading into this year’s draft. Regardless, it would have been a memorable training session for those who are aspiring to one day make it to AFLW level.
Round 10 Matches:
Saturday July 15
3:45pm – Coorparoo Vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Venue: Giffin Park – Coorparoo
4:45pm – Coolangatta Tweed Vs. Wilston Grange
Venue: Coolangatta Tweed – Peak Oval
4:45pm – University of Queensland Vs. Zillmere Eagles
Venue: UQ Oval 9 – St Lucia
By Josh Cheadle