At the beginning of the year Panthers captain Matthew Logan said he was getting ‘a bit long in the tooth,’ so 2017 for him was going to be all about load management. He must have taken that to mean ‘shoulder the bulk of the load’ for his team, because his season was downright impressive and he finished a deserving winner of the Devery Kelly Medal. Logan won the award for Morningside’s best player in 2017, ahead of fellow midfielder Ash Evans and versatile utility Alastair Nash.
It was a tie for the Western Magpies’ Bill Peirce medal, between two hard working midfield bulls, skipper Drew Mitchell and veteran Gareth Crawford. The count went right down to the final two games of the season, in which Crawford caught up to Mitchell to force an exciting tie. Mitchell missed the last two games with injury. Skillful midfielder Tom Ielasi closely followed, in-front of first year ruckman Aaron Highlands.
Joe Murphy doing his knee right before Mt Gravatt’s finals campaign was one of the biggest tragedies of the 2017 QAFL season. Along with Sam Stubbs’ hand injury, the blown knee caused a devastating blow to the Vultures finals chances. It says a lot that the ball winning machine still managed to take out the Vultures best and fairest after missing games with concussion earlier in the year, then the knee at the end. A deserving Jim Fletcher Medalist.
Evan Panozza rounded off a successful QAFL year by winning Broadbeach’s Jim Stubbs Trophy. The strong midfielder was a vital part of the Cats’ deep push into the finals this year and will add the award to his QAFL team of the year selection. Panozza transitioned into the QAFL beautifully, after time at the Southport Sharks last year in the NEAFL and before that, the Casey Scorpions in the VFL.
More to come . . .
By Sean Melrose