Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
There are shades of Essendon’s 1999 to 2001 run about Broadbeach as it heads into the 2023 season. After being one of the most dominant teams in the COVID-impacted season of 2020 and going down in the decider; it clawed its way to the promise land in 2021, and despite being the power-house team of 2022, it fell away in the third quarter of the decider against Aspley.
Three dominant years for a return of one premiership under Craig O’Brien’s leadership; just like Essendon had under Kevin Sheedy at the turn of the century.
Last season was outstanding on all levels for the Cats. With a dominant line-up that had a tremendous amount of depth that filtered deep into the Reserves list, O’Brien and his men were unstoppable for the entire season.
Broadbeach kick-started its premiership defence with the unfurling of the flag in the season opener against a re-charged and revamped Noosa with a solid win; and then took down Labrador and Redland-Victoria Point in consecutive weeks on the road. To take down three of the other five finalists for 2022 to start the season was a big test, and one it ticked off to perfection.
The fourth win of the season came against Surfers Paradise to the tune of 129-points to show just how good this team was.
Broadbeach won in all kinds of fashion in its premiership title defence but none better than at home in Round 13 when reigning Grand Final best on ground winner Liam Nelson kicked a goal after the siren to put his team over the line against Labrador in arguably, the match of the season.
The Cats celebrated a great season with a team that had multiple changes week in, week out; highlighting that it was a team of role players on any given day. Unfortunately for them, on Grand Final day, its role players were simply beaten in the wrong parts of the ground in their 45-point loss.
Craig O’Brien will lead the Cats into his fourth consecutive season at the club after previously coaching the team from 2003-2005. His success rate in his current tenure is simply outstanding with three Grand Finals from as many years in the role.
O’Brien has a wealth of support behind him on the sidelines with previous Labrador Senior coach and 2012 AFL Grand Final hero Nick Malceski as his Senior Assistant alongside Peter Hill. The defence will be led by Matt Gambell; midfield will be led by Matt Lloyd; the forward line will be led by Travis Bell and Scott Abercrombie will lead the opposition analysis and strategy.
The coaching department is stacked with quality talent.
JACOB TOWNSEND – GWS/Rich/ESS/GCS. Southport VFL last season over 40 goals and 2017 AFL Premiership player.
KASEY NICHOLAS – Perth WAFL – CHB WAFL Team of the Year last season, 57 WAFL games.
REID POLAK – Kalannie FC, PERTH WAFL – League Medals/ B&Fs/ premierships in WA bush footy
JOEL FILIPPONE – Seaford – MPFL Team of the year / Seaford 2022 B&F
SHAWN WATSON – Mt Eliza – returns to the cats – played in our 2018 GF
SAM BANKS-SMITH – Tasmania Devils NAB league Captain 2022
TOM REEVES – Labrador – sharks listed, quality player.
BAXTER MENSCH – Geelong West Giants/Palmerston – B&F GWG 2022
LEO LOMBARD – Burleigh – Arguably one of the most talented underage players in the state.
Jordan Moncrieff (retired), Nick Burton (retired), Brad Lynch, Alex Moloney, Riley Winter, Jarrod Harbrow, Jackson Fisher and Liam Nelson.
YOUNG PLAYERS TO WATCH COMING UP THROUGH THE COLTS THAT COULD PLAY SENIOR FOOTBALL
Noah Lewzuk-Davie, Oliver Townley plus many more. The club blooded more than 10 players through the Colts in 2022 alone, a significant achievement for the future considering it went through the home and away season undefeated.
Jacob Townsend and Brad Lowe
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SEASON AHEAD
“We have played in the last three Grand Finals and with the recruits added into our club and talent remaining on our list and coming through there is no reason why we can’t compete deep into September again in 2023. The fire is in the belly of our players, coaches, staff and supporters to get back to the last day in September in 2023. There is exciting times ahead for the QAFL.” – Craig O’Brien
OPPOSITION TO WATCH AND WHY
“Aspley is the obvious, and seem to have had good retention, and have got some players back from around the traps,” – Craig O’Brien
PLAYER TO WATCH FROM YOUR TEAM
Fixture rating based on 2022 final Home and Away standings
11, 6, 10, 3, 8, 9, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 8, 2, 11, 10, 1, 4, 9 = 115
Broadbeach start the season on the road to Aspley for the unfurling of the 2022 QAFL Premiership Flag at Graham Road. There is little doubt that this contest will fire up this team for the rest of the season.
The Cats play half its matches against the 2022 finalists with matches against Aspley and Redland Victoria Point essentially book ending the season.
The middle of the season will see them play teams that didn’t make finals who have shown significant improvement in the off-season.
Without a doubt; however, Broadbeach proved in 2022 that every team can throw the kitchen sink at it, and they will still lose. It beat Aspley three times before going down in the decider.
While there has been a change in playing personnel, factoring in the INS to replace the OUTS, and on top of a quality off-field coaching department, there is no reason that at the very least; Broadbeach will storm home in the final 10 games and take down everyone that stands before them. This beast of a team is still to be feared.