It’s been a breakout year for the QFA Brothers Bulldogs, resulting in the Wide Bay club preparing to line up this weekend against Maroochydore in the finals.
It has been a remarkable season for the squad, who have more than doubled their win count from last season to finish equal first this year.
Local physical education teacher and coach of the Bulldogs QFA squad, Jason Baulch attributes the major turnaround to hard work over the preseason and being underestimated by their opponents.
“We had an outstanding preseason where we worked to where we needed to be which led to a strong performance in the first half of the season. This allowed us to get the drop on everybody because people have been writing us off for the past couple of years,” said Baulch.
What makes the Bulldogs season even more special is that 20 of the 22 senior players are or have been through the club’s junior system, with some even being Jason’s students from school.
“All bar two of our players are or have been in our junior system recently. I teach at Shalom college in Bundaberg and heaps of our players are at or have just graduated at Shalom,” he said.
In his first year as coach, Jason has brought a wealth of knowledge to the club after a series of coaching gigs in Victoria.
“This is my first year in the senior job and I came from Victoria and New South Wales coaching and playing a lot of senior footy down there so that’s been a big change around the club having that extra experience,” said Baulch.
There have been some stand out young Dogs in the QFA team this season including forwards Brennan Dempsey and Blair Bretay, alongside midfielder Jack Sickerdick.
Jason spoke highly of these young players but also praised his whole team being solid from number 1 to 22.
“Both Brennan and Blair are really good players with Brennan playing particularly well higher up the field. But overall it’s a very even team and I often say to them our last half dozen guys are always better than the other team’s,” said Baulch.
It looms as a cracker final this weekend against Maroochydore with the Bulldogs not having beaten them in two seasons.
Jason says that his team wasn’t at full strength last time they met and so he and his team have a lot of belief they can break the two-year drought.
“It was the school holidays that week and we had 6 young guys missing from our senior squad alongside others playing in a rugby league carnival. We have no nerves coming up against Maroochydore and we believe that with the right squad available this week we can get the win,” said Baulch.
The Brothers Bulldogs play the Maroochydore Roos this Saturday August 12 at Maroochydore Multisports Complex at 2pm on Oval 3.
By Aaron Goodwin