AFL Queensland has today announced that reigning QFA Division 2 North Premiers, the Moreton Bay Lions, will step up into the QFA Division 1 Hart Sport Cup in season 2022.
After winning the 2019 QFA Division 3 title, the Lions then moved into a revamped QFA Division 2 North competition where they have won consecutive titles, including going through the 2021 season undefeated.
Community Football Manager – Queensland, Barry Gibson, said their elevation into Division 1 was the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance.
“It’s a classic rags to riches tale; for many years after its inception in the 1980s, the then Caboolture Football Club were considered the bad news club of the competition. However, through a lot of willpower and determination the club shook that tag and in doing so became the Moreton Bay Lions in 2014 and moved into a purpose built $15 million AFL Precinct in Burpengary,” he said.
“With three flags under their belt, a strong junior base and an elite facility, the timing is perfect for the Lions to make the transition into the highly competitive Division 1 competition.
“To Moreton Bay’s credit they have built a really strong program which is underpinned by a talented core of emerging youth. Their Burpengary facility is elite, they have a squad with depth and their coaching group is extremely well led by John Soccio, so we think the timing is right for them to move up.
“Having a division 1 team in the Moreton Bay region ensures there is a clear and aspirational pathway for players in the region.”
Moreton Bay Lions Chairman, Barry Allen, said he was buoyed at the opportunity for their club to continue the momentum they have built over the past number of years.
“I think as a club we have done an outstanding job of building a respected program where we are now being talked about as a club to come and play for, because success, as they say, breeds success,” he said.
“It has been a remarkable turnaround in four short years, to go from a club demoted to Division 3 at the end of the 2018 competition to be elevated to the elite Division 1 competition at the end of 2021.
“We are really proud that along the way we have produced a few champions that have gone on to bigger and better things, with Brisbane Lions AFLW player Lily Postlethwaite being our first ever player drafted, when Brisbane selected her in 2019.
“So, from its humble beginnings, to becoming the powerhouse club of the Division 2 North competition, our cub looks forward to the challenge ahead of taking on the great teams that form the QFA Division 1 Hart Sport Cup in 2022.”
The QFA Division 1 Hart Sport Cup currently has seven teams, with the possibility that number could expand even further before season 2022.