2022 QAFL Preview – Wilston Grange

By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

If you were to look back at the ladder of 2021 and see Wilston Grange finishing the premature end to the home and away season in 10th position with three wins; it would be easy to think from the outside that it wasn’t quite the successful year that it could have been.

In reality; 2021 was about the bigger picture for the boys from Hickey Park under new coach and former Lion, Demon and Cat Brent ‘Beama’ Moloney.

One only has to look at its Round 13 clash with Surfers Paradise to get a true indication of the direction that this club is heading.

Prior to the game; a special presentation was held on centre wing in front of the club’s supporters where the stars of tomorrow; were individually introduced to their buddy for the day; a player from the Senior team. The junior player would spend the rest of the day alongside their Senior buddy; building a relationship and a connection that internally and externally unite the Junior and Senior clubs as one in a truly spirit lifting act.

On the field that day; the lowly ranked Gorillas ran with the Demons for about 2.5 quarters before the 2019 Premiers stormed to victory.

With Moloney taking over the reigns; the club spirit lifted to another level. It’s Round 1 win over Noosa in a stand-alone Easter Saturday clash by one point was impressive. It took down Mt Gravatt mid-season by three goals; it challenged Sherwood and Palm Beach Currumbin; the trio of teams who were knocking on the door of the six and really threatened, and sometimes were victorious against the top sides. Grange book ended the season with wins over Noosa; but most importantly, registering an extra ‘w’ in the wins column to give the club something to work with.


Brent Moloney will again coach a young side that has added some valuable pieces to the jig-saw puzzle to build some strength and depth around the younger members of the group. ‘Beama’ is a best and fairest winner at Melbourne with more than 160 games of AFL experience

On March 19 in the practice match at home against Maroochydore, Moloney’s true character and confidence in coaching stood firm at the three-quarter time huddle. With four goals across 75 minutes of play and trailing by 28-points; Moloney instilled that belief in his players that they could still win.

The Gorillas kicked five straight goals to hit the front and they took the game right up to the reigning Grand Finalists before going down on the last kick of the day.

Yes, this was just a practice match, and the overall result of the game didn’t really matter in the scheme of things, but to this Gorillas team, it counted for something. It showed that it could turn the game in their favour and have that belief to win. While it was just a practice match, it was to practice building that self belief to win when everything else says it can’t.

Moloney this year will be supported by assistant coaches Michael Richardson and Matt Eagles in the backline; Matt Waters in the midfield and Scott Richardson with the forwards.


Matt Payne – crosses from Aspley in the VFL and is a huge signing for the club.
”It’s amazing to watch how hard he trains, and he has been a great mentor for our younger players,” – Moloney

Matt Eagles – crosses from Aspley in the VFL after previously playing with the Brisbane Lions. He has bought into the football program and has been a real leader. He has the capacity to play forward and in the ruck but expect him to play a more prominent role in the backline.

Daniel Bowles – crosses from Nightcliff in the Northern Territory Football League and the club is really looking forward to seeing him play at Hickey Park.


Taylor McCubbin

Lachie Nixon-Smith

Zac Stanton


Jack Manly

Hunter Osborne

Jackson Mills

Sam Pettigrew

Riley Mcmillan

Nash Stevenson

Dan Lanthois


Hugh Fiddler

Oscar Stewart


Broadbeach – reigning Premiers

Labrador – recruited well

Aspley – dropping back from the VFL

Redland Victoria Point – have strengthened again

Palm Beach Currumbin – one to watch

Its going to be a very strong competition, and we are looking forward to the challenge,” – Moloney


Aspley – Round 1 “North side derby”

Noosa – Good Friday – stand alone game

Broadbeach / Labrador – benchmark teams


Marly McGregor

Trent Melville

Will McKenzie

Zach Westerberg

Bailey Gordon


There is a lot to like about where this team is heading. Success will come in different forms for this group this year and they are under no illusion of where it is experience-wise in comparison to the top teams in the competition.

There is enough talent and depth building within the list to suggest that success on the field will be far greater than in 2021; and with the addition of a number of experienced bodies from the AFL/VFL/NTFL system and the star power of the likes of Hugh Fiddler, Oscar Stewart and Will McKenzie in key parts of the ground; there is enough in this list to highlight that it will surprise a few this year.

Having watched a Brisbane Lions intra-club and a practice match at Hickey Park in the pre-season; there is a strong community vibe that fills the ground and its infrastructure the moment you walk in. This is a club that thrives off all aspects of the community and will provide a fantastic environment for more quality players from other clubs and competitions demanding that they be part of the next epic chapter.

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