QLD U18 Scorpions captain, Isaac Conway, talks about travel and QLD’s win over NSW/ACT, in this week’s Scorpion’s Tale.
This week, all the Scorpions boys have had a bit of a preview of the lives of AFL footballers.
Down in Melbourne for the last two U18 nationals matches everything is scheduled out for us, with our recovery, training and free time all mapped out, but it’s been really good so far.
As well as playing footy, we’ve been doing education sessions at AFL House, dealing with some of the important off-field issues that come up a lot, like anti-doping, drugs and alcohol, vilification and sexual assault.
We’ve also had a bit of spare time, to go shopping and play a bit of golf and that sort of thing.
It’s really different being in a footy-dominated city like Melbourne, seeing footy all through the paper and there’s little kids walking around in Aussie Rules jumpers, which you never see in Brisbane.
Being from Queensland, we still go a bit under the radar with a lot of the attention on the Div 1 sides, but it is really good seeing how passionate everyone is about the game down here.
This trip got off to the best start, with a really important win over NSW/ACT on Saturday.
It felt like our State of Origin, and to come back and win like we did, with such a good final quarter, really lifted the boys’ moods.
That opening result really sets the tone for the rest of the trip and winning has meant everyone is really upbeat and bubbly.
Everyone was really disappointed after the Tasmania game and we really wanted a chance to show ourselves, even though no-one really backed us against NSW/ACT.
They started getting away from us a bit early, but at half time I just reminded the boys that we were still in it.
We have this motto, ‘it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it,’ and you could see in each one of the boys’ faces afterward, that everyone felt those hard yards were worth putting in.
In the last quarter, we tried to take a few more risks and we ended up playing the best quarter of footy all season.
After kicking the first two goals, our confidence really picked up.
A few of the guys played in the U16 team that came back from 28 points down against NSW/ACT last year, so they took some belief from that experience.
Talking to the NSW captain, Lloyd Perris, after the game, they had no idea what to do to stop it.
That win has really changed the whole week, where a loss would have really dampened the side’s mood for the carnival.
The other good thing about the result was that since we’re travelling, we can keep that mood going.
We talk about the game and and how we felt it went and I think being able to stay as a group has been really good, because all the boys are able to help each other improve.
For this week, we’re almost like a family and everyone is getting along pretty well, which is good.
Tomorrow is the last match, against the NT and I’ve got mixed feelings about it, really.
On the one hand I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play my best footy again and for the team to try and pick up another win.
On the other hand, it’s a bit sad to think this is my last game for Queensland.
It’s going to be strange to leave state footy and saying goodbye to everyone after nationals is over.
For the last six months, state footy has basically been our lives – everything is centred around Monday and Wednesday trainings and it’s going to be weird not seeing everyone every week.
You don’t know when your next state game will be once nationals is over, and I really want to finish the carnival on a good note.
So, for now, I really want to give it everything against the NT and give us the best chance of challenging for the title.