Carlson claims Rd 16 Syd Guildford nomination

In a generally even team performance, UQ’s Al Carlson was the standout for his team in their second win of the season.

As the Red Lions snatched an unlikely victory over the Magpies, it was Carlson who led the way, as he has for much of the season, earning him the Rd 15 Syd Guildford Trophy nomination.

Carlson came to UQ last season, from Mt Gravatt and had an immediate impact on the club, starting from the back line and then this year flourishing in a midfield role.

UQ coach. Matt Stewart, said Carlson’s influence across the ground made him one of the side’s most important players.

“He’s absolutely instrumental for us,” he said.

“He’s one of those guys that just does everything that you need him to do.

“He’s not a big speaker in terms of telling people what to do but the guys just go up a notch around him.”

Playing in a team where wins have been few and far between this season makes Carlson a lesser celebrated player outside his club, Stewart said.

“He’s probably one of the most underrated players going around,” he said.

“He prepares himself well, trains hard and does all the things to play well at this level.

“He’s one of those leaders who jut leads by example.”

Training for a marathon this season, Carlson is the fittest he has been through his career and Stewart said it showed in his ability to adapt to his new midfield position.

“He’s been able to get to more contests and that means he’s winning more,” he said.

“That just allows him to push between the 50s really hard.”

In the match with the Magpies, Carlson’s versatility was vital, with the 29 year-old able to slot back into defence when required.

“He was a step above everybody else,” he said.

He won a lot of contested ball and a lot of contested marks, he dropped back in the back line and his influence was as good as any.

With his continual improvement, Stewart said he cant’ see Carlson giving the Sherrin up anytime soon.

“Hopefully he’s a bit like Benjamin Button,”he said.

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