2024 Bond University QAFLW Season Preview – Aspley Hornets

By Hannah Davies


In 2023, the Aspley Hornets became the Bond University QAFLW’s biggest improvers of the new decade – going from a winless 2020 campaign to grand finalists in just four seasons.

In a span of just weeks, they knocked off competition leaders, Southport, to make their first ever grand final appearance, won joint Leading Goal Kicker with Jessica Stallard, won Coach of the Year with Luke Glacken, and four players received Bond University Team of the Year honours.

But the road to success isn’t yet complete for the Brown and Gold.

“We’re not happy with just making it to the grand final – it was a great achievement to look back on, but it’s definitely not where the story stops,” head coach Luke Glacken said.

“Since preseason started, we’ve already stepped up our expectations on what we wanted from this year and the standards we want to live by at the football club. In term, it’s put a really healthy pressure on the girls to perform, and we’ve had a healthy injection of talent. We’ve got 65 hungry girls waiting to make their mark on the competition.”

The 2023 home and away season was solid for Aspley – winning nine and losing four matches – but nothing remarkable. However, it was their ability to build right up until the preliminary final where they produced a shock win over Southport to make the big dance that made them impressive to watch.

So how do they go one better in 2024?

“The biggest thing we learnt (from the grand final loss) was that transition takes time,” Glacken said.

“We effectively went from a team that had never played finals, or had much success in the QAFLW, to a grand final team. The biggest learning we had was that everyone needs to be on the same page. It is the now that will build us success, not looking too far ahead, so we want to stay present with our expectations.”

Across the offseason there have been several changes to Aspley’s roster that will be worth watching as the season progresses. First is a change of the guard in their leadership team, with Courtney Daniec stepping into a Vice Captain role and Emma Pittman taking on the top leadership spot as Captain. There’s also been 24 new players to come across to the club, and a few major losses – Hannah Giles, Anais Kirvan and Mikayla Martin, to note. All three do not currently remain within the QAFLW, instead moving on for work and personal reasons.

With Giles and Martin departed, Aspley will face the challenge of a new-look midfield. But while there are several new recruits who could fill that role, Glacken has said he’s also hoping to look to some of his existing players, namely Lucia Liessi and Daniec, to step into that role. And for the ruck role, left by Kirvan, Glacken is putting his confidence in Lucy Pengelly and Rachael Anstey.


Key Recruits

Jessica Davy – Superstar of the QFAW Div 1. In 2023, Davy became a premiership captain with the Moreton Bay Lions, took home Best on Ground in the grand final, and won both her Club and League Best and Fairest awards. The inside mid is an exciting talent just waiting to be tested in the top league.

Tiarna Ernst – Former AFLW player with the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast SUNS. The half-back returns to the game after having a baby last year.

Jasmine Kawa – Most recently signed with Williamstown in the VFLW, the former Aspley player moves back north and will bring maturity and growth in the midfield.

Isabella McDonough – Lions Academy/Sandgate product. McDonough has had a very impressive preseason and will look to fill the half forward space.

Kitara Whap-Farrar – Former Gold Coast SUNS player. Glacken says she has “blitzed” the preseason and looks to play forward.


Key outs

Anais Kirvan – relocated north

Hannah Giles – relocated north

Mikayla Martin


Player to watch

Louise Tyson – “Louise has gone from strength to strength in the preseason. After winning the Club Best and Fairest she’s only managed to up her professionalism – she’s showing elite speed and tearing up the track,” Glacken says.



“We spoke about this at our preseason camp, and we have challenged the girls to be more competitive this year. For the most part, the external noise to make another grand final – we’re blocking that out. We want improvement throughout the entire program, and we feel if we achieve that, the scoreboard and results will speak for themselves,” Glacken says.



The culture at the Hornets in recent years has undoubtedly been of success. With their men’s side reigning back-to-back QAFL premiers and their women’s side grand finalists in 2023, it’s hard to view either their QAFLW or QAFL teams as anything but finals contenders in 2024. Expect to see them in August.

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