The Sandgate Hawks Football Club has today informed AFL Queensland it has opted to withdraw from the QAFL competition in 2020.
After several challenging years on and off-field, the club has determined a reset of its senior men’s football program is required in order to re-establish a strong and sustainable program in the future.
Sandgate FC President, Scott Albury, said it was a difficult decision for the football club to make but one that was in its best interests.
“We appreciate the players and families who came to the club to follow the QAFL pathway, however at this stage we don’t feel like we are able to fulfil that obligation,” Mr Albury said.
“We haven’t given up on returning to the QAFL in the future. For now, we need to move backwards to go forwards and this decision is in the best interests of the football club.
“There has been a lot of development at the club in recent times with an oval upgrade, dressing room project and our change from a gaming venue to a community-based football club. We’re planning to consolidate that and then move forward again in the future.
“We want to thank the players and support staff who have kept us going the past few years in tough times, and for their continued support in the future.”
Although disappointed to see the withdrawal of a traditional QAFL club, AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren supports the club’s decision.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision; however, it is one that will ensure the future growth and sustainability of the club,” Mr Warren said.
“Sandgate has a strong junior base and a talented Colts squad which we believe will hold the club in good stead to possibly return to the QAFL competition in the future.
“The club has also worked extremely hard off-field over the past two years to re-structure its governance and upgrade its facilities, which included resurfacing of the oval and a major changeroom redevelopment.
“We are confident Sandgate FC’s foundations will continue to get stronger and for the club to play an important role in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.”
Sandgate will look to field a side in the Friday night Division 3 competition next year.
The QAFL will remain a nine-team competition in 2020 after Maroochydore was announced as the league’s newest team earlier this year.
The season will consist of 16 home-and-away rounds with the fixture to be released in early 2020.