Gary Ablett finals preview

AFLQ community football ambassador, Gary Ablett, casts his eyes over this year’s finals.

It’s getting pretty close to September and regardless of what level of footy you play, that generally means finals time.

The chance to play in premierships, or any kind of final, is one that you never forget and gives you something in common with those 21 other people for the rest of your life.

Finals footy is unlike any other part of the season, and everyone wants to make it through to the next week.

Every little thing counts in finals, and the memories you get from playing finals live with you forever.

So, let’s have a look at which teams are playing finals in your region this year.


Springwood reigned supreme in the regular season in the Allied Pickfords Cup, earning a week off to start their finals campaign. The finals kicked off with a 2012 grand final rematch between Palm Beach and the Western Magpies, with the Sherwood side causing an upset and setting up a major semi-final clash with Springwood this Saturday.  Surfers Paradise defeated Wilston Grange, and face local rivals in the Lions, on Sunday, in a sudden-death semi.


The final four were cemented a week out from finals, with the Glenmore Bulls, the Rockhampton Panthers, the BITS Saints and the Yeppoon Swans making the cut. The Bulls gained a week off after beating the Panthers in week one, and now they face the Swans in a preliminary final, after they went down to BITS. The Saints await the winner of the weekend’s semi between Glenmore and Yeppoon, in the September 7 grand final. The Saints have led the way for much of the season and have seen off all other challengers, bar Yeppoon, and those two sides are the hot favourites to fight it out in the decider.

Darling Downs:

University holds all the finals cards heading into the Darling Downs finals. The students haven’t lost since round four and look likely to lock away the minor premiership and the week off. The Toowoomba Tigers, who have had a monopoly on the title in recent years, have slipped under the radar but will be a major threat this weekend. Warwick has returned to finals action after a year in the wilderness, along with last year’s wooden spooners, Goondiwindi. These two face a massive challenge, having to win four games in a row to claim the 2013 flag.


A late-season surge has seen defending premiers, Mackay City, back on top of the AFL Mackay ladder. The Eastern Swans are a game back in second, and look to be the major challengers for the flag. The much-improved Moranbah Bulldogs are two games back in third, vying for their first premiership since 1978. The North Mackay Saints sewed up fourth spot, and face the Bulldogs in the minor semi-final on Saturday.

North Queensland

Minor premiers, Thuringowa took out the major semi-final against Hermit Park on Saturday, putting them through to the 2013 grand final. Curra knocked University out in the minor semi, setting up a sudden-death preliminary final against the Tigers. The Bulldogs beat the Tigers convincingly in both of their regular season meetings but the Tigers have brought back 2012 premiership coach, Barry Gibson, which adds an extra unknown factor.

Wide Bay:

Across The Waves awaits the winner of a preliminary final between Hervey Bay and Brothers on Saturday. The Waves finished on top of the ladder, giving them an automatic grand final berth, while the other two teams will fight it out for the right to challenge them.

Good luck to all the teams competing in the finals!

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