Part 1: Hawks to Vultures
As the Grogan Medal night fast approaches, it’s time to take a look at some of the QAFL’s top tier from each club and their chances of taking home the competition’s highest individual honor.
Key – M (Matches), TIB (Times In Best).
Brendan Forbes The Hawks’ big forward ended up with 32 goals from just eight games with an impressive average of four goals every time he stepped onto the park. The former Aspley player had some incredible outings and saved his best for last, when he kicked 11 goals against Palm Beach Currumbin in round 18. The tall target’s chances may be hampered by lack of game time though, after only managing eight games for the season, the second fewest in the top ten goal kickers, behind Barry Hall (28 goals). Expect him to have a strong patch of votes in his last three games for Sandgate, in which he kicked 24 goals.
Smokey Cody Stackelberg (11 M, 8 TIB)
Matthew Trewhella The wily old veteran from Wilston Grange had another great year in his last season of QAFL footy, coming third in the overall goal kicking with 43 goals and at times kept his Gorillas in the contest single handedly. Trewhella certainly stands out with his ability to take a big contested mark and added plenty of highlights to his collection with his work at ground level. Along with Harry Milford, Trewhella is the only Wilston Grange player to play all 16 QAFL matches. The burley forward was named in the best on nine occasions, setting him up as one to watch come Grogan night for the Gorillas.
Smokey Jordan McIvor-Clark (14 M, 6 TIB)
Sean Atkinson Utility Sean Atkinson has had a ripping year for the Demons, playing at half back, half forward and running through the middle. Atkinson’s class and composure around the footy has seen him named in the best for Surfers nine times, out of his 14 games. The smooth moving Demon did his best work through the middle of the year, in rounds 10 and 11, as Surfers got the better of Sandgate and Broadbeach. He collected plenty of the footy around the ground and pressed forward, kicking three goals across the two games.
Smokey Brody Haberfield (13 M, 8 TIB)
Tom Ielasi The clever, headband wearing ball-winner was crucial for the Western Magpies this season, particularly later on as injuries limited their flexibility. Ielasi had a pretty consistent year too, often featuring in the best (seven times) and used his pinpoint passing to great effect when he had time and space. In his last eight games for the Magpies, he averaged a goal a game, showing his ability to consistently push forward and register on the scoreboard. The difficulty for Ielasi will be the Magpies’ form, which tapered off as the season went on.
Smokey Drew Mitchell (14 M, 6 TIB)
Michael Hamill Michael Hamill was one of the Vultures more reliable players this year and his experience was important for them in the middle, where he often collected Sherrin poisoning. The tough midfielder worked his way through the packs in all of his 17 games this year, registering in his sides best a staggering 13 times with a cluster of impressive outings at either end of the season. The grunt that he provided through the middle of the ground, along with Zac Stone, Joe Murphy and Frazer Neate, is one of the reasons the Vultures appeared in the finals.
Smokey Sam Stubbs (15 M, 4 TIB)
By Sean Melrose