Match Centre

QAFL 2015: Morningside preview

2014 season wrap

Not much needs to be said in terms of Morningside’s 2014 season. In what was a perfect year record wise for the Panthers, they finished the home and away season with 18 wins from 18 games, four games clear of second place Palm Beach Currumbin. A comfortable 51 point win over Palm Beach in the semi final saw a grand final match up against Labrador. Always in control on the day, Morningside ran out 53 point winners to become the 2014 QAFL premiers in a dominating display, not just on the day, but throughout the entire year.

Who’s in?

Morningside product, and ex Sydney Hills NEAFL player Ben McNiece will return home in 2015. Joining him from the NEAFL ranks will be highly touted Ryley Buntain, who has made the move from Aspley.

After missing last year due to injury, Billy Pendlebury will be a huge inclusion to Morningside’s lineup, as will Ryan Johnson who is returning from a broken foot.

Who’s out?

When a captain leaves a football club, they leave behind a big hole. Unfortunately for Morningside, two of the three 2014 co captains, Paul Shelton and Tyson Upton, have moved on from Hawthorne Park. The football circle of life has also taken place, with Hayden Wilson, Dustin Gordon and Josh Brown all retiring over the summer. Brown however, will take up a role within the senior coaching panel. Rhys Power has also decided to try his hand with Redland, but after a nasty leg break during the pre-season, could be back in Panthers colors later this year as he continues his rehabilitation.

Pre-season focus

Morningside definitely don’t need to reinvent the wheel coming into 2015, but coach David Lake wants Morningside to become even more difficult to play against. They have adjusted their game plan, known as ‘mark II,’ in order to achieve this. Lake says that this game plan revolves around each individual playing the role that they are assigned to achieve their goal, and when that is achieved players may add their own personal flare to the game.

Coach David Lake’s thoughts on 2015

“Like last year, anything outside the top three is unacceptable. Inevitably we will lose a game, that’s footy, and that’s for someone else to enjoy but for us not to get lost in. You can lose, as long as you lose doing what you do. We just need to get better and better at our game plan and the way we play. Sometimes a loss is apart of that, but ultimately winning the games your supposed to win is the big thing.”

Who has the X factor?

One name Morningside fans will become very familiar with very quickly is Ryley Buntain. The versatile tall can save a game down back, change a game up forward, or can become mobile by playing in the ruck. Lake’s biggest problem will be deciding where to play him.

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