2019 in a nutshell
Maroochydore were perhaps the most improved side in the competition in 2019, going from just one win in 2018 to a breakthrough season, including their first ever top-four finish in the QAFLW. The Roos were bolstered by a number of key players in their ranks, namely Kate Surman and Lily Postlethwaite through the midfield and Shannon Campbell, who was perhaps the competition’s most dangerous forward. Between Rounds 2 and 6, the side emerged as a dark horse in the premiership race when they won four of five games. Despite their breakout season, Maroochydore would never string together more than three wins in a row. Their season brought up finals qualification, the Roos were the first team to bow out in a 53-point loss to Coorparoo at home. Surman, Postlethwaite, Campbell and Tahlia Randall were all named in the QAFLW Team of the Year.
What’s new in 2020?
Stu Jackson has not returned to coach the side in 2020 despite the team’s success on field and his popularity with the playing group. Instead, the Roos will be headed by AFL Sunshine Coast Hall of Fame Member Steve Moody. Moody returns to the club where he both played and coached following other stints at Caloundra and Noosa. Other new faces in the coaching box include senior assistant coach Leigh Baker, Russell Johnson (ruck coach), Hetti Malone (player development coach and Scott Bowden (strength and conditioning).
Rianna Maloney (East Brighton)
Maloney joins the Roos after plaing for East Brighton in the Southern Football Netball League. She played 13 games in total but showed off a knack for hitting the scoreboard, booting 11 majors across the season. Maloney also showed her quality elsewhere, earning five votes in the league best and fairest medal – good enough for equal 15th in the competition.
Sophie Bale (Clarence, TSL)
Maroochydore have unearthed a hidden talent in Bale who has moved to Queensland from Tasmania. On the Apple Isle, Bale played 25 games over two seasons for both Clarence and Tiger City. Interestingly, Bale last played football in 2017 with the Kangaroos but could prove herself with the Roos in the QAFLW this time around.
Tahlia Petrie (Kawana Park)
Petire is the youngest of the featured names here but possesses uncanny talent. A Sunshine Coast representative at the past two Under 17 State Championships, Petrie has taken the leap to senior women’s football in 2020 and with Maroochydore’s great track record of developing talent, Petrie could excel.
2020 will be a hit if…
The Roos can’t find a new midfielder to carry the load. With the SUNS entering the AFLW competition this year, both Gold Coast and Brisbane drafted or signed a large portion of their lists from the state league. And while that is an impressive acknowledgement to the clubs and the competition from a developmental standpoint, it is expected that these players will miss a portion of the season. Kate Surman was by far the Roos’ best player in 2019 but with her now with the SUNS, it is someone else’s turn to shoulder the load and provide some spark out of the middle.
2020 will be a miss if…
2019 was a single act. Both the Roos and Bond University were the biggest improvers in the competition last season and we know a lot can change from year to year. While it isn’t expected to unfold, if Maroochydore’s 2019 season was a mere blip on the radar, the Roos could face a tough season ahead.