By Ant Wingard
Bond University v Coolangatta Tweed
Saturday, February 29 – 1:00PM
Former Brisbane Lions AFLW rookie Krystal Scott will make her return to the Bullsharks this weekend for the first time since 2018.
Scott returned to the shark tank where she was drafted having played eight games in the navy and gold two seasons ago, as one of many new faces for the 2019 runners up named for this weekend.
Bond University have named three new QAFLW debutants for their Gold Coast derby against Coolangatta Tweed including Gold Coast SUNS forward Alexia Hamilton, SANFLW recruit Shae Gundlach and Jasmyn Davidson – an emerging recruit from the coast.
The Bullsharks have won their previous three Gold Coast derbies against the Bluebirds and are 5-1 all time since entering the QAFLW in 2018.
Coolangatta Tweed have also named a strong line up for their opening round contest under new coach Nicole Graves which features Bluebird veterans Selina Priest and Maddy Roberts; both now on AFLW lists.
SUNS teammates Georgia Breward, who will play her second QAFLW game since 2018, and Sally Riley will also line up for the Bluebirds.
The contest should promise a lot, especially considering the two sides faced off a fortnight ago in a practice game whereby the Bullsharks prevailed by just five-points.
Yeronga South Brisbane v Coorparoo
Saturday, February 29 – 2:45PM
Leyshon Park, Yeronga (oval 1)
PLEASE NOTE: THIS QAFLW GAME WILL BE LIVESTREAMED
Aaron Russell is set to unleash a potent forward line against bitter rivals Coorparoo as the Devils aim to spoil the Kings’ premiership defence opener.
Yeronga’s star studded forward set-up features a mix of speed, x-factor and goal sense and includes uncapped Brisbane Lions spearhead Lucy Bellinger and the mercurial talents of Zimmorli Farquharson.
The pair both boast exceptional game smarts and have the ability to impact the game further up the group but will be complimented by the marking ability of Lexia Edwards and Courtney McDonnell inside 50.
Edwards and Bellinger are two of many Devils to make their debut in Round 1 in a long list that also features former Kedron premiership wining trio, Sophie Anderson, Annelise Crilly and Jacinta King, former Zillmere and University of Queensland ruck Rachel Anstey, Madisson Bennett and Tahlia Neszpor.
Meanwhile, Coorparoo’s premiership defence will commence with the Kings naming an almost new-look line-up.
Just nine of the Kings’ Grand Final winning team have been named for what will be a Semi Final rematch as a host of Lions and SUNS AFLW contingent will miss the game. Of the non-AFLW players to claim a 2019 premiership medal, midfielder Sally Young and key defender Charlotte Edmunds will both miss the contest.
In their place, the Kings have named a host of new faces as the side look more so toward the youth with a host of their regulars out. It is in the midfield Coorparoo have really looked elsewhere, with forward Jenae Govan named under centre alongside new recruit Ayla Fetahagic.
Aspley v Maroochydore
Saturday, February 29 – 4:45PM
Graham Road Oval
Aspley will head into their second season at QAFLW level with a heap of confidence, with the Hornets naming an experienced line up for their clash with Maroochydore this weekend.
The Hornets, usually one of the younger squads in the competition, will field a team featuring just five players aged under 18. Maroochydore on the other hand, boast a half dozen players in that same bracket.
Despite their youthfulness, the young Hornets contingent are littered with Brisbane Lions Academy players including names who have already proven themselves at QAFLW level.
Lucia Liessi headlines the young contingent for the brown and gold as well as debuting pair Jorja Guyatt and Isabella Kotatis.
Courtney Daniec will also make her QAFLW return this weekend against the Roos in what will be her first game in the Queensland state league since lifting the premiership trophy with Wilston Grange in 2018.
Maroochydore – one of the most improved sides last season – will obviously be on the hunt to replicate their sublime form from a season ago but will be forced to do so without a host of their regular contributors.
This will also be just the second time since Kate Surman’s QAFLW debut in 2018 where the Roos will be without her as they look to a new face to lift their midfield.
A quartet of Maroochydore players are set to make their competition debut in the contest including Kellie McPherson, Sophie Bale and talented Sunshine Coast pair Ebony Otto and Tahlia Petrie.
Wilston Grange v University Queensland
Saturday, February 29 – 2:00PM
Leyshon Park, Yeronga (oval 2)
The new era of Wilton Grange football will kick into gear this weekend with the side set to play for the first time under new coach Barry Standfield.
The Gorillas have been perhaps the most active club in the player recruitment drive over the offseason, bringing in a host of big names into the fray as they hope to return to finals action having missed 2019.
In their path are University of Queensland, who themselves are looking to make their early mark on the competition and while the Red Lions haven’t been as active in the recruitment process, the chance for a win looms large in perhaps the most equally balanced matchup of any this weekend.
Brianna McFarlane will play her first game in the red, blue and white after switching over from Coolangatta Tweed and has exceptional fortunes at Leyshon Park – the venue for this contest – after kicking two goals in her last game at the ground.
The Gorillas will be without midfielder Amy Kelly for the contest but will unearth new faces in Se Lee Po and Bettina Schilg.
University of Queensland will have none of their AFLW contingent for the contest, which includes Irish import Orla O’Dwyer, and will instead look to their QAFLW experienced troops to lift them to a win.
Megan Hunt and Jessi Henning loom as keys for the Red Lions at both ends of the ground while we have seen the talents of players such as Grace Brennan and Sara-Jane O’Grady also hold the side in good stead.