By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

We are in for a treat with two epic matches in the QAFL Senior Men’s competition with last year’s Preliminary Finalists fighting for a place in the Grand Final again, but in week two of the finals as Aspley host Redland Victoria Point.

Broadbeach host Wilston Grange in a sudden death Semi Final but it’s important to note that Wilston Grange is the only visiting team this year to taste victory at Subaru Oval




Meetings this year

Round 8

Aspley 12.9.81 defeated Redland Victoria Point 7.9.51

In a battle between the top two teams; it was the reigning premiers who reigned supreme with an impressive 30-point win on the road. Aspley led by five-points at quarter-time, four goals at the main break before kicking six goals to three in the second half to set up the win. Ten players shared the 12 goals for the winners with Liam Dawson best on ground while Matt Hammelmann kicked four goals for the Sharks.

Round 20

Aspley 17.16.118 defeated Redland Victoria Point 9.9.63

With the minor premiership on the line for both teams and a double chance on the line for the Sharks, it felt like finals had come early when these two teams took to the field.

A highly entertaining first half had the Hornets lead by nine and eight points at the opening two breaks before they kicked five goals to two in the third term to open up a 30-point lead at three-quarter-time. The chaos didn’t stop there as they kicked five goals to one in the final term to win by 55-points at home.

Connor Stackleberg kicked six goals for the winners while Will Wolbers impressed in the ruck, while Josh Brown and Reuben William combined for five goals for the Sharks in the absence of powerhouse forward Matt Hammelmann.

Record against top six teams

Aspley – 6/1/1

RVP – 3/4

Leading Goal Kicker

Aspley – Connor Stackleberg – 70

RVP – Matt Hammelmann – 90

Season so far

Aspley – This group hasn’t done a lot wrong this year. The season opener against Broadbeach where it unfurled the 2022 Senior premiership flag ended in a famous draw and since then, only blemishes at the hands of Broadbeach and Labrador prevented a near-perfect season. To lose Liam Dawson to an arm injury in the middle of the year, but the group responded with some key players coming in from the Reserves to play well in his absence, especially Mason O’Sullivan. It does head into this game with a 3/2 run from its previous five matches with important wins over the Sharks and Demons.

RVP – To finish in the top two is a wonderful achievement for this group, especially after missing the Grand Final last year at the hands of the Hornets in 2022. Its record against teams that finished in the top six is mixed but features two losses to Aspley, while also defeating Palm Beach Currumbin, twice. It has kicked 100 points or more in 10 of 18 games which is the best of any team this season. The job is only half done as this is a team capable of winning a premiership and has been for the past two seasons.


Aspley Ins – Lachlan Rayner, Will Wolbers

Aspley Outs – James Nelis, Lachlan Sherwood

The reigning premiers made two changes and neither through injury which is a great sign for any team. Rayner and Wolbers return after missing the Round 21 over Surfers Paradise to add some genuine ruck power to the team. Nelis and Sherwood will hope to play key roles in getting the Reserves over the line.

RVP Ins – Thomas Matthews

RVP Outs – Tajuan Bromwich

Tom Matthews comes back into the team and will slot in at half forward.

Why each team can win and why

Aspley – It has been the team to beat this season and you have to be in exceptional form and have full faith in your team if 2022 premiership players Lonergan and Nelis can’t get in the starting 22. The talk has been centered around how good Liam Dawson is in the backline this year. Step aside because Jackson Allen has been almost as important, setting this team up to take on Brown and Hammelmann.

RVP – Arguably the best midfield in the competition; a super strong defence and a quality one-two-punch forward line with Hammelmann and Brown. Need to get the game on its terms early because it has been left chasing Aspley in its previous two matches.

Who will win

Aspley to win here. As a football fan, if Matt Hammelmann kicks two or three in this game, kicks a bag of five or six in the Preliminary final to guide his team to victory and then kick his 100th goal on Grand Final day, that’s special and the season deserves it. (I once saw Stephen Milne kick his 100th goal for Strathfieldsaye in the Bendigo FNL Senior Grand Final and it was a spectacular sight.)




Meetings this year

Round 9

Wilston Grange 12.13.85 defeated Broadbeach 9.5.59

In one of the shocking results of the QAFL Senior Men’s competition, Wilston Grange did what few teams have been able to do in the past four seasons and taste victory at Subaru Oval. It led by eight and 10 points at each of the first two breaks, Broadbeach kicked four goals to one in the third term to take a six-point lead before a six-goal to-one final term from the visitors produced a 26-point win.

Billy Richardson and Jake Fazldeen shared five goals for the winners with Dan Lanthois outstanding, while Jacob Townsend (four), Joel Filippone (three) and Sam Jasper (two) kicked all goals for Broadbeach.

Record against top six teams

Broadbeach – 6/2/1

Wilston Grange – 3/5

Leading Goal Kicker

Broadbeach – Sam Jasper – 29

Wilston Grange – Hugh Fidler – 40

Season so far

Broadbeach – This team went through the 2022 season and into the Grand Final without a loss to its name before going down to Aspley in the decider. What this team has been able to produce in 2023 is far greater than 2022.

Here are some names that played in that Grand Final that are not on the list this year – Jackson Fisher, Jordan Moncrieff, Jarrod Harbrow, Brad Lynch, Liam Nelson, Michael Selsby, Riley Winter, Alex Moloney and Callum Searle – nine of its 22 from the 2022 Grand Final not on the list for 2023 with Riley Bowman spending time in the VFL this year. Broadbeach finished third and lost four games for the year.

In that time, Jye Lockett, Jared Eckersley, Leo Lombard and Riley Bowman have dominated representative and VFL football, while Taine Dawson makes his debut in the VFL before his Senior debut at Broadbeach and has averaged more than 30 hit-outs per week since his debut while still just a teenager. To top it off, being the only team to beat Aspley and Redland Victoria Point this year.

Jacob Townsend and Kasey Nicholas have been two of the recruits of the year. Not a bad season.

Wilston Grange – This team is loaded with so much potential and at times, just couldn’t quite make the most of its talent. After going down to Morningside with a kick after the siren (on the back of leading by more than five goals late in the game), it was able to respond with some good wins. The best period for this team came from Rounds 8 to 10 with wins over Maroochydore, Broadbeach and Morningside; two of those teams who just missed finals and the other against a team that is the only one to beat the top two teams in the competition. This group lacked consistency at times but managed to get key victories when it mattered. To lose Matt Eagles during the season opened up the door for former Shark Kailem Baker to forge himself as one of the best leaders in this competition.

Its performance last week was the best win this club has had in a long time; leading by 48-points in the second term and hold on for a win against a team that was highly tipped to contest for the flag. Last week’s win, considering everything that happened from siren-to-siren, was the best win of any team this year. Will the real Wilston Grange please stand up? Last Saturday, it truly did.


Broadbeach Ins – Hamilton Howard

Broadbeach Outs – Jared Eckersley

Just the one change with Hamilton Howard coming into the team in place for Jared Eckersley who is likely to be part of the Suns VFL finals campaign.

Wilston Grange Ins – Jackson Gordon

Wilston Grange Outs – Jack Campbell

Just one change this week with Jack Campbell coming out of the team after that horrific incident last weekend at Surfers Paradise. We’re pleased to advise he has made a positive recovery with no serious injuries, which is great news for the AFL Queensland community.

Why each team can win and why

Broadbeach – With its blend of youth and strength across the ground and an impressive game plan led by the star-studded coaching staff, this is a well-drilled outfit that continues to win matches based on each player beating their opponent.

Wilston Grange – Billy Richardson, Hugh Fidler and Lachy Rhook have formed a lethal forward line that makes it very challenging to beat. Rhook’s effort last week was nothing short of heroic; feats that Fidler himself has executed on many occasions.

Who will win

Broadbeach at home is always a tough task but Wilston Grange is the only team to sing the song after the final siren this year from traveling teams.

The question remains is: did Wilston Grange play its Grand Final last week? It’s a big challenge to back up and deliver that same performance again and should it do so, would make the win even greater.

Broadbeach will be too strong, even with a greater level of consistency across the season.

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