QAFL: Best Players of the Season

Submitted by Chris Yeend. 

Name – Liam Dawson

Position – backline
Description – with four seasons at the top level to his name as a Brisbane Lion, the former Lions and AFL Academy product has been rock-solid in the backline and is rated as one of the best and most reliable players in the Nest by the Hornets. He is physical, difficult to beat in one-on-one contests and hard to stop.

Name – Will Wolbers

Position- Ruck
Description – rated as one of the best tap ruckman in the competition; he is incredibly efficient at ground level. The former Morningside and Southport product has player more than 100 games across NEAFL/VFL. His effort in winning the contested ball against the smaller midfielders is considered some of the best by a player his size.


Name – Josh Searl

Position – backline
Description – the leader of the team and one of the most respected and physical players in the competition. A premiership captain and an inspiration to the younger players, he does the simple things better than anyone in the competition.

Name – Sam Jasper

Position – forward line
Description – with nearly 40 goals to his name in 2022, this 2021 QAFL premiership player is the X-Factor in this team. He is strong overhead and has lightening pace. He is one of the fittest players in this team with the ability to cover lots of ground in limited time.


Name – Bryce Retzlaff

Position – midfield  
Description –  after dominating up forward with his strong contested marks and deadly accuracy in front of the big sticks for many seasons; he has reinvented himself in 2022 as one of the premier wingman in the competition. With dynamic pace, strong marking capacity and brilliant field kicking, he has taken his game to a whole new level and firmed as one of the best utility players in the competition.

Name – Lachlan Henderson

Position – backline  
Description – the former Blue, Lion and Cat across 197 games at the top level has been a revelation to Nick Malceski’s team that just missed a Grand Final spot last year. Great in the air, tremendous awareness of the play and is a valuable leader on the ground to instill confidence in the younger players.


Name – Mitch Scholard

Position – full forward
Description – one of the best one-on-one forwards in the competition; he has pure brute strength and able to outmuscle the best defenders in the competition; even several at once. He has great speed when the ball hits the deck and when on song, one of the most watchable players in the competition.

Name – Sam McLachlan

Position – midfield
Description – the hero for Maroochydore in the 2021 finals, he is the complete player when he’s at his best. He is courageous and strong in the air; an outstanding defender; ultra quick and can kick goals under pressure.


Name – Keegan Downie

Position – forward
Description – a strong, tall marking forward with outstanding agility for a player of his size. He is no stranger to kicking goals from the boundary line on the run or soaring to the heavens for a big-time mark. Is a match winner and showed that in style with nine goals against premiership contender Palm Beach Currumbin in Round 11. When the Panthers are on the prowl, he has his finger prints all over it.

Name – Darcy Cameron-Reeves

Position – half forward
Description – a quality mid-sized forward who applies tremendous defensive pressure to win the ball for his team in front of goals. He takes the game on with his break-neck speed and knows how to consistently find the goals. Not given the respect that he deserves most weeks, he is highly rated internally and his best football is well ahead of him.  


Name – Luke O’Sullivan

Position – midfield/half forward
Description – a genuine tough competitor who uses the ball incredibly well. He is a key ingredient in drawing the best out of his team when it’s struggling. His efforts have been noticed and has been rewarded with five appearances for the Brisbane Lions in the VFL where he has more than held his own against solid opposition. Has previously played NEAFL for Brisbane and Redland.

Name – Jonah Licht

Position – forward
Description – Licht by name, light in the air by nature. The leader of this team who draws the best defender each game and can turn the contest on its head when he is full of confidence. A strong impact player and difficult to outmuscle.  


Name – Tom Baulch

Position – midfield/forward
Description – the luscious mullet has left many an opposition player eating dust as he sprints from the wing to the forward line. Career highlights include WAFA Colts Team of the Year, NEAFL Rising Star and QAFL Team of the Year. Previously played with Aspley and Sherwood, ‘Prime’ is in the prime of his career as one the most passionate and energised players in the competition.

Name – Aaron Wilson

Position – forward
Description – classy forward who moves so smoothly and has outstanding field kicking. A goal kicker by trade, can launch into the skies to showcase his tremendous athleticism. If there was a Ferrari in the QAFL, it would be named after him due to his ability to cruise with the ball and do so much damage with it.


Name – Tyler Cornish

Position – midfield
Description – quality ball winner with great passion and confidence to dominate the midfield and lead his team to victory. At his best, he’s unstoppable and really thrives with efficient ball use under pressure.

Name – Cameron O’Leary

Position – forward
Description – formerly from the Bellarine Football League, he has handy ball skills at ground level and leads into the right places in the forward line. Has solid height that he uses to take contested marks and has a lethal left foot in front of goal. A real spark for this team


Name – Adrian Williams

Position – backline
Description – he is one of the premier backmen in the competition. He is so good in the air defensively, and thrives off contested marks. He creates space for his star-studded midfield by putting the ball into space for them to run onto when clearing from the backline. No-one is more reliable in the backline in the competition than he is.

Name – Matt Hammellmann

Position – full forward
Description- the best forward in the competition with more than 80 goals. The former Brisbane Lions product (12 games across three seasons) won the league goal kicking award in the VFL for Aspley in 2021 (the Frosty Miller Medal) with 42 goals. He is one of the most accurate kicks in front of goals and is so strong on the lead.  


Name – Bruce Reville

Position – midfield/half forward
Description – hard running midfielder who can push forward and kick goals. Previously part of the Brisbane Lions Under 18 Academy, has spent half the season playing for the Pies and the Brisbane Lions in the VFL. Very highly rated who is started to mature and really look to dominate games.

Name – Luke Mitchell

Position – backline/midfield
Description – quality user of the ball who is one of the most consistent players in this team. Shows great leadership around the contest and works tirelessly to win the contested ball and create spaces for players further up the ground.  


Name – Matt Green  

Position – ruck
Description – few players of his size are as tough and competitive as he is. Strong bodied and brilliant at the hard ball; he shows a competitive edge that made him so vital to the success of the team in its 2019 run to the Grand Final.

Name – Daniel Charlesworth

Position – backline
Description – a quality defender that backs up with multiple efforts. He often takes one of the big forwards each game and despite his team being starved of success in 2022, he has been rewarded with six games for Southport in the VFL where he has been a key as a reliable defender.


Name – Matt Payne

Position – midfield
Description – the most prolific ball winner in the competition and arguably one of the most courageous. His use of the handball to find team mates in space in contested situations is a talent that can’t be taught. He has achieved virtually all that there is to achieve in football in the region and will go down as one of the greats of Queensland football when he eventually retires.

Name – Matt Eagles

Position – utility
Description- one of the prized recruits  in the QAFL in 2022, he has taken over the captaincy duties to lead a young Wilston Grange outfit. Whether it’s ruck, forward or down back, he is outstanding in the air and is arguably the most fearless player over the height of six-foot in the competition. One of the must-see players in the competition which will become more evident as the Gorillas improve over the next few seasons and potentially play finals.  

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