By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
Aspley takes centre stage in the QAFL after decorated stints spread across the NEAFL and the VFL.
The Hornets finished in 21st position on the ladder in a COVID interrupted season in the 22-team VFL competition in 2021 and there were still plenty of highlights to enjoy despite winning just one game from its 10-outings.
Matt Hammelmann became the first player in the history of the VFA/VFL to secure the leading goal kicker award in the competition by a team that finished ladder. He celebrated the season with 42 goals while team mate Connor Stackleberg kicked 20 goals as the pair in goals alone kicked 46-percent of the team’s score across the season.
With injuries to big name players and the inconsistency to string a regular list of 22 players across the season, it was a massive challenge to build any momentum on top of the major interruptions across the season itself through COVID.
Aspley provided a great opportunity for players performing at an incredible level in the QAFL from the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast region to play in a higher standard of football against AFL talent; something that no doubt provided tremendous benefit to QAFL clubs in 2021; and that experience will continue to be of value for those players in 2022.
QAFL fans will be mesmorised with the opportunity to take to the field at Graham Road which is one of the more enjoyable venues to watch football, but an incredible surface to play on.
The Hornets will be guided into its next exciting chapter through Daniel Webster who has been at the helm for the in recent seasons. He has a tremendous coaching background having been awarded the 2015 AFL Queensland Assistant Talent Coach of the Year; and has been involved in the Queensland State Academy and Lions Academy squads, while also being Midfield Coach at the Brisbane Lions AFLW side.
The team already benefit with his presence in the head role having just come out of coaching the Hornets in the NEAFL and VFL over the passed few seasons. That experience in itself is invaluable. He has previously coached Mt Gravatt and was Senior Assistant Coach under John Blair across four seasons.
Webster will be well supported by assistant coaches Adrian Pilgrim (formally from Coburg), Marc Seen and Jarad Marsh.
Daniel Joseph – Former NEAFL representative 2015 best and fairest winner(Glenorchy) and will be a key across half back.
Michael Best – A key across half-back and through the midfield; crosses from Rowville Football Club in Victoria after an impression stint with Inverleigh in the Geelong District Football League
Ned Brennan – A promising midfielder that joins the team from Fremantle CBC and also played State Representative football.
Young players to watch coming up through the Colts that could play Senior football
There is a lot of young talent coming through the Colts that will seek to impress in 2022.
Josh Chapman; Kye Mckenzie; Lleyton Brown; Mitch Howson; Josh Cooper; Izaak Gejaz, Jesse Patrick Dohert and Locky Harrop (past Rising star nominee in 2019); most of whom played in the 2020 QFA Colts premiership win over Victoria Point.
Coen Harker – the former Pine Rivers product had a mesmorising 2021 season where he won plenty of the ball and was handy on the goal front. He is explosive around the contests and uses the ball well. He was a member of the South Queensland squad that took on North Queensland in the Queensland representative clash last year.
Expectations for the season ahead
The Hornets hope to play finals in season 2022.
There is a lot of unknown about this Hornets team as it joins the QAFL competition for the first time. There has been a few changes to the list from the one that competed in the VFL competition in season 2021; but there is still plenty of talent and depth in the list to push for success in season 2022.
When you are a new team to the competition, coming from a different standard of football; there is a lot of the unknown about where the Hornets are positioned; but that adds to the intrigue of watching them and seeing how they perform against the powerhouse teams of the competition.
Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos