There’s still quite a buzz around Jack Esplen Oval after the Panthers 2020 QAFL premiership glory.
Coming into the match as the underdogs, Morningside walked away the champions of the QAFL for the 10th time after they overpowered the Broadbeach Cats 8.11 (59) to 7.8 (50).
“The buzz around the club helps fuel the desire to build on that success for future years,” said Senior Coach Clint Watts, who’s back for his third year coaching the Panthers.
“I think we will see a quality competition this year, looking at the team lists ahead of the weekend there is a lot of talent within the QAFL clubs.”
Morningside seniors and reserves will unveil their 2020 Premiership Flags in round three at home, with the Panthers hosting the Cats in a 2020 grand final rematch.
“We’ve had a solid preseason, our numbers across all divisions have been through the roof and I’m sure it’s off the back of our success last year,” said Watts.
“We’ve been able to play three practice matches which has been important for us to look at our playing list, when you have so many players you have to try get them through.”
One of those practice games was against new QAFL team Noosa.
“We took the match more from a logistical point of view to see how it went, because it can be a hard road trip,” he said.
“When the draw comes out now you certainly take a look at how many times you have to travel.”
The Panthers have seen a significant player turnover this year.
“Several have gone to the play in the VFL, three have retired and two have moved down to Melbourne,” said Watts.
“We also had Blake Coleman drafted to the Brisbane Lions last year, which was reward for effort after his performance in the 2020 Grand Final.”
As far as incomers, sixteen colts players have had the opportunity to come into the senior and reserves system after outstanding preseason performances.
“We’re going to invest heavily into those players, as a coach you always have one eye on the future.”
Morningside will open their 2021 premiership campaign with a match against Palm Beach Currumbin at Salk Oval.
“We’re certainly excited to go up against a great footy club, they’ve brought in a couple of handy players from Southport so should be a tight match up.”
Morningside in 2020
Played 9; Won 7, lost 1 (bye 1)
Points for: 689
Points against: 493 (percentage 139.76)
Finished: 2nd (won the Grand Final)
Best and fairest: Matt Payne