By Ant Wingard
2019 in a nutshell
Aspley endured a tough initiation into the Bond University QAFLW last season meaning it took some time to find consistency in their performances. They opened the season emphatically with a statement win over a weakened Coorparoo side but would only go on to add one more win throughout the season – a strong defensive upset over 2018 premiers Wilston Grange on the road. While the scoreboard didn’t favour them, on the field, the Hornets often matched sides, especially in midfield and proved they had the right foundations in place for future success. The Hornets had one representative in the QAFLW Team of the Year with Kaitlyn Cantrell being named on the interchange.
What’s new in 2020?
Aspley’s sophomore season in 2020 has seen them bolster their coaching stocks. Jacob Simmons-Bliss will head up the coaching team for a fourth-season and will once again be helped by senior assistant Jay Anderson. Former Coorparoo assistant James Seidel joins the Hornets as another assistant coach and will also assume matchday coaching duties for the Development League team. Other new faces include assistant coach Anna Van de Wiel and Player Development Coach Bernie Cantrell.
Isabella Kotatis (Redcliffe)
Since entering the QAFLW last season, Aspley has hedged their bets on their younger brigade of players carrying the team both in the present and into the future. The team boasts some of the most talented Under 18 prospects in the Brisbane Lions Academy, something which they have only added to through the signing of Redcliffe product Isabella Kotatis. Kotatis, a member of the Lions’ Under 18 Girls Academy, joins other familiar names in Lucia Liessi, Lucy Pengelly and Ainsley Rintala-Apps at the Hornets.
Aimee English (Kedron)
English last played football back in 2018 with Kedron in the QFAW Division 1 competition and before that, featured prominently for the Lions in their 2017 season. There, English booted 24 goals with Kedron – the fourth most in the competition – in a side that finished runner up to Broadbeach. She has joined the Hornets over the summer as she returns from her year away, with the Hornets looking to add more runs on the scoreboard this season, she could be just what the team needs to transform their forward set-up.
2020 will be a win if…
…Aspley can get off to a hot start.
The Hornets face Maroochydore and Coolangatta Tweed across the opening two rounds of the season, a string of games which could be the perfect opportunity to add some early wins on the board. We’ve seen over the past couple of years both Maroochydore and Bond University improve dramatically in their sophomore season in the competition and with more experience under the young Hornets’ belt, we could very well see the same transformation by the brown and gold in 2020.
2020 will be a miss if…
…The next generation isn’t ready yet.
There is absolutely no question about it, Aspley’s player ranks are littered with some of the best emerging talent in the competition however most find themselves only recent graduates of the Hornets’ youth girls teams. In all likeliness, that crop have what it takes to make the next step and help propel the Hornets up the ladder in 2020. However, with another busy schedule looming across the QAFLW, Lions Academy and other representative teams, their younger players may find it difficult to hold up in the extended season.