It’s just two days until Queensland take on the Western Australia Amateur Football League on June 3 at Yeronga, which means the final state squad of 23 is closed to being named.
In the days leading up to that announcement, Andrew Wiles will take you through the players from each club in the mix to pull on the Queensland jumper.
Today we finish off with the Western Magpies
The reigning Grogan Medalist will crack in at the contested ball all night long. His strength through the hips means he is hard to tackle, wins the footy, and kick starts forward momentum. If the dew hits late, his contested work could be instrumental.
Scott is the best swingman in the competition, having the ability to play an influential role behind the footy, or as a target up forward. Battled an injury early on in the year, but has been back to his best of late. He reads the ball superbly in flight, has strong hands, and brings teammates into the game.
The shut down full back. ‘Truck’ goes to the big forward every single week, and is rarely beaten. He was a big reason why Labrador were so successful last year, and looks in as good of form right now. If selected, will go to the WAAFL’s full forward.
Daniel has been playing a different role across half-back this year, and it’s started paying dividends. His size means he can pretty much play anywhere. Good hands, quick off the mark, and a beautiful kick.
His biggest asset is the run he provides. Works up and down the ground, is hard to stop on the outside, and will keep the footy moving forward. Will enjoy the space of Yeronga.
Thornsen is an in and under midfielder who thrives in the contested ball, but can also be an option out wide. Has a huge work ethic, gets to every contest, and finds space where others can’t.
Quick is a versatile defender. Can play the lock down role on the monsters down forward, but also sets up the play by foot, and kick starts the running game. Pretty agile for a big man, so can play on a number of sizes.
Probably the most athletic defender in the QAFL. Buntain reads the footy beautifully in flight, and uses his giant leap to take strong overhead marks, or spoil the ball when he looks out of position. His height means he can play a key post.
The oldest player in the squad, but you wouldn’t know it if you watched him play. Evans is a ball winner, it’s that simple. Classy user going forward, opens the game up by foot, and spreads well. Could play in the midfield or off a half-back flank.
After missing the back half of last year, Logan hasn’t missed a beat returning to the Panthers line up. He can play that hard-nosed midfield role, but also is very dangerous floating across half-forward. Good above his head, and always hits the scoreboard.
The best ruckman consistently over the last three years, Mollison’s tap work is elite. Might not be the tallest or biggest player going around, but he is rarely out-positioned. Also becomes a marking target around the ground.
Dalton could play that medium sized forward role. Strong mark and lovely shot for goal, elusive when the ball is on the deck, but can run through the midfield as well. Got a few strings to his bow.
The workhorse of the Panther’s midfield, Nash wins his own footy, but can also play an outside role in transition. He is a strong bodied bull, that is hard to move off the footy in congestion, but also hits the scoreboard when forward.
Last year’s Rising Star winner has taken his game to a new level in 2016. He has quickly become one of the premium outside midfielders in the game, consistently running away from the congestion with the ball, and getting it forward. Excellent user of the footy.
The x-factor of the squad. Estall’s strength is his ability to play tall and small in the forward line. Whether it’s leading up at the footy, or picking it up off the deck, Estall is a hard man to stop when up and about.
Smith may start in the ruck, but pretty much plays as an extra midfielder. Has given Mt Gravatt first use more often than not this year, but also won a heap of the footy around the ground. Strong leading target in the forward line as well. If picked, will start in at the centre bounce.
Palm Beach Currumbin
The big fella has made waves since landing at Palm Beach over summer, taking out the Syd Guildford nomination in round 1. The ruckman is great above his head, reads the play beautifully, and is a genuine target while in the forward line. Nothing but impressive this year.
The Lions’ inspirational leader has been outstanding this year. Can win his own footy in the middle, but also has the flexibility to play a shut down role down back if required. Sets the tempo up by foot.
When the going gets tough, you want blokes like Emblem in back half, because you know they aren’t going to lose many one-one-ones. Emblem is a good user of the footy, setting up a lot of Palm Beach’s run, and manages to get a timly fist in, even when looking unlikely. Super defender.
It hasn’t taken long for Douglas to be noticed in the QAFL this year. Most dangerous as a nimble forward. Whether the ball is on the deck, or he is using his speed on the lead, Douglas always looks likely.
Woolford is a player who instictivly knows how to find the footy. Whether its in the midfield, or up forward, he can rack up the numbers, and is an extremely classy user of the ball by foot.
Popey is the engine room. He is the bloke you want at the bottom of the pack feeding you the footy. If the game gets tight, Pope’s roll as an inside midfielder becomes invaluable. Has been the catalyst to a lot of Surfers’ run this year.
A very classy user of the ball, Macnash has been huge for the Demons’ since arriving back from Southport this year. Is constantly able to find space around the contest, and his huge tank allows him to push forward and become a genuine target. Can play in the middle, or deep in the forward pocket.
There aren’t too many defenders in the state that can stop Green when he is up and about. His strength is, well, his strength. Is continually able to edge his opponent out of the contest in the forward line, and always looks capable of kicking a bag.
Fraser is one of the most exciting talents floating around in the QAFL this year. He is very good above his head, but more recently has started racking up a heap of possessions across the half-forward line. He is one of those players that you can stick anywhere and he will have an influence, but will be most effective in the forward 50.
The youngest squad member, at just 19, but more than capable of dominating at this level. Stackelberg holds down a key post at Sandgate, being able to play centre-half forward or back, but with some of the bigger bodies in the Queensland team, might line up on the flank if selected. Competes well, rarely beaten, and is a good kick.
Cormick is a very classy midfielder. Very slick with his movement, provides a good link up option, and spreads well. Can be utilized as the inside mid, or a runner out wide if needed. Don’t be shocked if he lines up on a half-back flank.
Ainsworth is your classic in-and-under midfielder. Has a very hard nose at the contest, will put his head over it, and feed the ball out. Will become very valuable around the stoppages.
Hannaford is the modern day midfield prototype. Big frame, strong around the contest, explosive off the mark, and uses the footy well. At well over 6 foot, he is a hard man to stop when in full flight. Has been in sensational form for UQ this year.
Brittain could be one of the most versatile players in the squad. On ball, key forward or down back, Brittain can play a role anywhere. The Wilston Grange skipper missed round 7 of the QAFL with an ankle niggle, but should be available for selection.
Brittain’s biggest asset is his strength around the ball. He is a contested bull, and very hard to move around.
Nixon-Smith really put himself on the map last year with Wilston Grange. If picked, he would most likely start on a wing. He runs the lines very well, constantly finding himself with the footy in the pocket, within range to have a ping at goals. Can be very dangerous if given any space.
McIvor looks at his best when running off the half-back flank. He spent a bit of time with Aspley and the Lions in the NEAFL this year, which would have helped his game. McIvor is a very important link up player for Grange, kick starting a lot of their run. Is very dangerous if allowed to quarterback the contest and set up by foot.
By Andrew Wiles