The Redland Bombers narrowly missed the QAFL finals series but continue to build a solid foundation for the future.

After five years as the competition’s whipping boys, the Bombers finished fourth last season and were highly competitive with their 9-9 record in 2010 to finish sixth.

Having beaten Southport for the first time ever in their penultimate home game and accounting for the NT Thunder twice, the Bombers almost captured the prized scalp of Morningside in their final match at Victoria Point last weekend.

In a crowd-pleasing game that featured a string of brilliant goals by Ben Weightman, James Charlesworth and Phil Carse, the Bombers threatened to win on several occasions before falling 23.17 (155) to 20.17 (137).

“It was a good way to finish the year, it gives us confidence that we’re not that far off the top teams,” said coach Matty Francis, who will be at the helm again next year.

“There’s a lot of motivation to work hard over the off-season and improve the three or four goals that we need to be right up there to take these close games.

“We’ve finished slightly out the five and we know where we sit in the scheme of things. It’s exciting the challenge to close the gap between us and the top teams.

“We’ve seen some pretty solid games from the Thomsons, Myers, Hacketts and Passfields – they’re now getting up to 21 and played three or four years of footy.

“They’re getting bigger and stronger men every year, so there’s that to look forward to.

“As a group we can still improve.

“We don’t have to look to go out there to recruit a team, we just have to keep developing our list and if there are some good footballers out there looking to play in the QAFL, we’ve got to make sure we pick up two or three of the good ones.

“The (Aaron) Rogers’ (who was recruited by Morningside this year) and those type of blokes are pretty handy, so if we could pick up one or two of those it would be good for the footy club.”

Francis said the wins over Southport and the NT in Alice Springs were the season highs, with close losses to the Brisbane Lions and Aspley costing the side a finals spot.

“We are still undefeated against the NT and the win over Southport was memorable, so we can take a lot out of the year,” Francis said.

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