Friday Forecast Round 1 – Footy is back!

Saturday April 11, 2:45pm Salk Oval
Live blog will start at 2.30pm

The best thing about round 1 is the unknown it provides.

Fresh faces, new lineups, and new games plans all lead to one thing, toss of the coin games.

Saturday will be a very important day for Palm Beach Currumbin, as they unveil their state of the art clubrooms for official use.

In s sign of its importance, club sponsor QGR Accountants, has committed to sponsoring the game itself, with the winner being awarded the QGR Cup.

When it comes to who will hold up the cup come Saturday arvo, this one is harder to pick than a broken nose.

Both teams are coming off a strong 2014, but their respective line-ups will look vastly different this year.

Broadbeach coach Wayne Petterd recognised the importance of gelling as a unit come Saturday, with the team who does it the best, most likely winning.

“Expectations aren’t that high, we are still getting to know each other, from last year we will have 12 new faces in the side so the expectations are early to just gel as a group,” Petterd said.

“I think that last year we were very competitive with a young side and I think on paper this year round we look a little bit stronger and more experienced.”

The Cats turned the footy over in their pre-season grand final against Morningside, which Petterd says will need to be fixed in order to beat the Lions.

“Our biggest concern at the moment is handling the ball, it’s an area we need to work on and as a group we know that,” he said.

The Lions aren’t as tall as previous years, so new coach Chad Owens has tweaked the game plan slightly in order to achieve success.

“We have to play our game, we want to run and carry the ball a lot,” Owens said.

“We are a young side with good leg speed so we want to use that to our advantage.

“The boys are stoked, we have got the opening of our new club rooms, so that’s been massive.

“Broadbeach are skillful and fit, and they will be physical, they’ll be tough to beat, we just want to make sure our effort is high.”

The result of the game may be hard to predict, but one thing is certain, it’s destined to be a cracker.

There will be a somber note to Saturday unveiling of the new clubrooms at Palm Beach Currumbin.

Ron Branston, the driving force behind the project, passed away last Thursday.

Branston dedicated over 40 years to the Palm Beach Football Club and Sports Club, and without him, these rooms would not have been built.

Selected teams:

Saturday April 11, 2:00pm Cooke-Murphy Oval

It’s only round 1, and an official game has yet to be played, but Labrador has a target on their back as one of the teams to beat in 2015.

The hype surrounding them over summer has be huge, and all eyes will be on the Tigers when they take on Sandgate this Saturday.

Steve Daniel played down the expectations around the club, saying they are at the same level as everyone else.

“It’s round one and every one starts off on level pegging,” Daniel said.

“It doesn’t matter what happened last year, Sandgate will rock up, and they are on the same amount of points as we are.

“If you don’t come to play in round 1, teams will catch you when you least expect it, we are very mindful of this.”

After 203 days between their grand final loss and running out on tomorrow, the boys will be keen to get a result under their belts.

“It’s been a really long pre-season and you are only as good as your last game, we got smashed in the grand final,” he said.

“We have been waiting for round 1 to make a mends and get back up and going again, but we have been really happy with how the pre-season has gone.”

They take on Sandgate, who after a difficult 2014, are looking to win some pride back this year.

“Our goal is to get respect in the footy world again,” coach Graham Adams said.

“For that to happen we have got to make sure that every single week we turn up to play.”

On a clean slate, the Hawks will be looking to start their year in the best possible way.

“We all start fresh and everyone starts the same, and all we are going to do is have a crack game in game out all year.

“Everybody is excited, and everyone is genuinely looking forward to it, you wont see the same Sandgate in 2015.”

Selected teams:

Saturday April 11, 2:00pm Chelmer

If you’re going to make a statement in round 1, knocking a team off that hasn’t lost in 12 months is certainly the way to do it.

The Magpies will have their work cut out for them this weekend, taking on the reigning premiers and pre-season champs, but coach Glenn Humphrey believes they are up for the fight.

“We are hoping to go out and have a competitive hit out against the benchmark of the competition,” Humphrey said.

The Magpies will look to get the ball moving quickly from the stoppages and take it to Morningside through their run.

“I think we need to be mindful around the stoppages that we don’t allow them to control the exterior of the stoppages, and that we make sure that when we win the ball we feed it to out outriders and get it to our second and third possession getters and move the ball,” he said.

“We will need to stay away from the middle of the ground, they are very well versed in blocking up the middle so we have to use the exterior.”

These two teams met in week 2 of the Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup. It was Morningside who claimed bragging rights, but Humphrey doesn’t read too much into it.

“We don’t take much from that, we had 18 missing from our squad, I’m sure they had players unavailable, but I don’t take much stock from that at all,” Humphrey said.

Morningside coach David Lake didn’t pull any punches when he predicted what would happen tomorrow.

“They will try to beat us up, and we will win,” Lake said.

“I think they will come out a look to make amends of their pre-season loss against us, and they will have a certain game plan to do that, but we will stick to ours.”

Three from three over the pre-season meant that the Panthers added even more silverware to the cupboard, while looking all the team they did in 2014.

“Morningside are a very process driven club, and we always have been, winning form is always good form so I’m confident,” he said.

“The most pleasing thing about the pre-season was that we never had our full team in, this week’s team is the best we have put on the park this year.”

Morningside will this weekend wear black armbands in tribute to club stalwart, Ron Dalgleish, who tragically passed away last month.

Dalgleish had been involved in many aspects of club, from a junior player and coach, right through to assisting with team management duties last year, and will be sorely missed around the club.

Selected teams:

Saturday April 11, 2:00pm PBI Oval

This weekend gives Surfers Paradise and Wilston Grange the chance to show the footy world that they have taken the next step in their development.

After both missing finals in 2014, starting their season with a win will be the perfect way to do it.

The Demons have held the edge over the Gorillas of late, but coach Matt Trewhella has a good idea of what it will take to gain the ascendancy.

“They have always beaten us with their outside run, so our defensive setups all over the ground will be very important,” Trewhella said.

“I’m expecting a lot of pressure around the ball from our guys.”

The game will be won in the middle, with first use being vital.

“Their ruckman, Michael Cunningham, always plays well against us. He will go head to head with James McMahon,” he said.

“They have a strong on-ball starting lineup that we will have to counteract.”

Coach Peter Young believes the Demons have a point to make in round 1.

“It’s the first round so everything unexpected, but I want our boys to come out and want to prove that they belong in QAFL football,” Young said.

“We have got some young talent that’s going to play, who have played some really good trial games, they have equipped themselves very well.”

Numbers on the track have been huge, so depth is no issue for Surfers Paradise.

“We have got 20 boys this week who aren’t playing because of our numbers,” he said.

“We had upwards of 55 at training last night, so the boys are champing at the bit to have a crack.”

As for the game itself, Young believes they will be right in it from the opening bounce.

“We are quietly confident without going over the top,” Young said.

“We think we have got key position players that will play well and we think we have got some good running players who are quality.

“I’m excited to watch them all play.”

Selected teams:

Sunday April 12, 2:00pm Oval 7 St Lucia

Sunday’s stand alone game will see the battle of the up and comers of the QAFL.

Both teams, who boast young lists, will look to prove they will be in contention when the whips are cracking later in the year.

UQ will carry some momentum and confidence into round 1 after a promising pre-season, that saw them make the Alpha Sport Pool B grand final, following two convincing wins.

“Over the pre-season we were able to get a really good look at all the players on our list of 60,” coach Darren Pfeiffer said.

“We saw some key improvement in our structures over the three games so that was good to see.”

Under no illusions of how tough Sunday’s game will be, Pfeiffer expects a red hot Vultures team from the outset.

“I expect Mt Gravatt to be pretty fierce at the football, they have got quite a good, tough inside on ball unit and a very good back line so we are expecting them to be pretty aggressive towards us,” he said.

“We are looking for that intensity to attack the footy and also be able to play some calm football when it’s needed and settle early and control the game.”

There is no doubt that the game will be quick, with both teams looking to run and play on at all opportunities, which Vultures coach Brad Pollock believes will play into their hands.

“We are still an extremely young team, I think the run will be a strength of ours more than anything,” Pollock said.

As is the way when a new coach takes over, Pollock expect UQ to jump out of the blocks, but they will look to get it on their terms as quickly as possible.

“We are mindful that they have a new coach, picked up some new recruits, and they will be out to impress first up,” he said.

“We have to be on guard and expect them to come out firing. It’s a matter of weathering the storm early and making sure we play the style of game we want to play.

“There will be a few cobwebs to blow out so we will certainly need to settle into the game.”

Selected teams:

By Andrew Wiles

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