While South East Queensland footy will be taking a break over Easter, the NEAFL will be in full swing with a double header at the Southpine Sports Complex, jam packed with homegrown talent.
The teams are yet to be confirmed, but here are some players to watch out for:
11.30 AM – Brisbane Lions vs Southport Sharks
After being drafted at pick 55 Jacob Allison hasn’t made his AFL debut yet but showed promise in his round 2 NEAFL outing. Look for the young Aspley product to continue to develop across halfback and on the wing for the Lions NEAFL side.
Under 19 Brisbane Academy listed Sam Copland should also play for the Lions, the crafty half-forward is likely to demand close attention from Sharks defenders in the forward 50. Copland played 16 games for the Western Magpies in 2015 and spent his junior days kicking the footy around for the Coolaroo and Sherwood juniors.
For the Sharks, Brothers (Capricornia) junior and 2016 Labrador Tigers player Connor West has battled with injury in recent seasons, but will hopefully take to the field on Saturday and start building some form. The 19 year old utility can play in most positions so can be a handy contributor come game time.
Beside West, Round one NEAFL debutant Brandon Chadwick should take his place in the Sharks midfield, the former Broadbeach Cat making the step up to NEAFL footy this year. Brandon played his junior footy at the Glenmore Bulls.
Last year’s Palm Beach Currumbin ruckman John Croad has also crossed over to the NEAFL for 2017 and is likely to don the Sharks jersey on the weekend.
2.30 PM – Aspley Hornets vs Gold Coast SUNS
Former Western Magpies player Cal Carseldine should line up for the Hornets after making the switch from QAFL to NEAFL this year. As QAFL fans will attest, the 26 year old 2015 Grogan Medal winner is a damaging inside midfielder and forward, so nobody will be surprised to find him under the packs and around the big sticks come Saturday.
Also likely lacing up for the Hornets will be Everton and Mayne Tigers product Jasper Craven. The small forward and winger played in the 2016 South Queensland representative team and will be looking to add some dash and outside run for Aspley.
Another one is Coolaroo junior and former Caloundra mid-forward Thomas Rudolph, who’ll likely be playing for the Hornets. Thomas played in both the 2015 and 2016 Queensland South representative teams.
The SUNS side will be sporting a strong contingent of Gold Coast local talent with five Academy players under 19 expected to play. Each of the five players began their journey at Gold Coast junior clubs.
The list is headed by 17 year old ball magnet and AFL prospect Jacob Dawson, who managed 12 games in 2016 as a 16 year old, saying a lot about the youngster’s talent. Dawson was a Burleigh junior.
Also set to line up for Gold Coast will be Palm Beach products Max Spencer, Brad Scheer and possibly making his NEAFL debut, Tom Frazer. Thuringowa and Labrador prospect Charlie Offermans should also feature in defense.
By Sean Melrose