By Beth Newman
It’s all or nothing for the QAFL on Sunday, in their match against the VAFA.
Against the most highly-rated amateur league in the country, QAFL coach Steve Daniel said the biggest hurdle would be above the shoulders.
“The most important thing we’re looking for is effort and intensity to stay in the game,” he said.
“It’s straight forward, it’s 22 on 22 but we need to make sure our mindset is really switched on.”
Regardless of the result, Daniel said his priority had been ensuring everyone was on the same page.
“Our primary consideration when selecting players getting players who were really keen to represent Queensland,” he said.
Daniel hopes that Queensland’s extended summer will play into the home team’s hands on Sunday, in a match that will demand great fitness on the wide expanses of Burpengary.
“The ground is so big, so we’ve got boys with big tanks and plenty of speed.”
A four-quarter effort will be essential against a VAFA side that kicked seven final quarter goals to one in their pre-season match against the EFL, to blow out the margin.
The QAFL team will be captained by Morningside’s Paul Shelton, one of 11 Panthers representatives in the final 25.
The VAFA have made a host of changes since their win over the Eastern Football League in March, with only 12 from that team making the trip.
One of the new inclusions in the team is former Southport player, Tyson Kruse, playing for the Uni Blacks this year, while rookie ruckman, Uni Blues’ Cam Williams will make his Big V debut.
Simon Lethlean has coached the VAFA side to four consecutive wins, but says they will not be taking the Queenslanders lightly.
“Every win’s closer to having a loss – our record doesn’t mean too much when it’s all done and dusted.
Among those they have retained from the EFL match, is the best on ground on that day, Murphy Ambrose.
“He’s the epitome of how we want to play, he’s tough and wants to play,” he said.
“You always know what kind of output you’re going to get from him.”
The QAFL v VAFA match, kicking off at 2pm, headlines a state triple header at the Moreton Bay Regional Sports Complex – AFL Precinct.
A North Queensland representative side will take on South Queensland to kick off the day, with a Women’s All-Star match closing the day at 4:45pm.