A huge injection of star power has been added to the ranks of the QAFL for 2022 with a list of big names recruited across the competition.
The host of ex-AFL and VFL players bring elite talent and experience at the highest level to the premier Queensland football competition setting up for one of the most exciting seasons yet.
Fresh from retiring from the AFL and making the move to Queensland, Carlton’s Liam Jones is calling Palm Beach Currumbin home in a player/assistant coach role.
Down the road at Tiger land, AFL Premiership player and now Labrador Head Coach, Nick Malceski, has recruited 200-game player and ex-Geelong star Lachie Henderson.
Henderson, who played in the historical 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final at the Gabba, teams up alongside Southport icon and ex Gold Coast SUN Andrew Boston.
Former Brisbane Lions forward Jonathan Freeman heads north to headline the list at Noosa in their second season in the QAFL.
While at Wilston Grange, the signing of former NEAFL royalty Matt Payne alongside former Brisbane Lion Matt Eagles strengthens the Gorillas’ stock.
In joining the QAFL in 2022, Aspley boast 18 accomplished NEAFL/VFL players on their books.
The coaching ranks are also stacked with ex-AFL talent too with Brent Moloney (Wilston Grange), Adrian Fletcher (Sherwood), Craig O’Brien (Broadbeach), Tony Lynn (Mt Gravatt) and Malceski all back on board as Head Coaches.
Community Football Manager Queensland, Barry Gibson, said it was the most talent laden QAFL we’ve seen in recent histories.
“The QAFL’s reputation as high-quality competition has been building over the past few years and with an injection of elite level talent this season, that reputation will be further enhanced,” he said.
“Any competition that can boast the likes of Lachie Henderson, Liam Jones and Matt Payne will no doubt create a lot of interest.”
AFL Queensland today released the 2022 fixture, with the competition kicking into gear on April 2nd with six blockbuster matches.
The 21-round home-and-away season will be followed by a four-week finals series, with the QAFL Grand Final scheduled to be played on the weekend of September 17th at a venue to be confirmed.
After winning their first senior premiership in a quarter-century with their 38-point win over Maroochydore last year, Broadbeach will unfurl their Premiership flag in front of their trusty fans at Subaru Oval when they take on Noosa in Round One.
While in Brisbane, local rivalries will be put straight to the test with Mt Gravatt facing off against Sherwood, and Wilston Grange hosting Aspley.
On the Easter weekend, a standalone game will be played on iinergy Oval at Hickey Park with Grange versing Noosa.
A favourite on the calendar, ANZAC Round will be played in Round Four, before Rounds Eight and Nine mark Sir Doug Nichols Round in late May.
The competition will play a Pride themed round on July 16th.
The QAFL will be led and managed this year by new Queensland State League Manager, Mitch Simpson, who’s transferred to Southeast Queensland after a successful three years as Competition Manager – Darling Downs.
“The QAFL competition has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons, and with a number of new and exciting projects on the horizon for the competition in 2022, I’m anticipating the standard and interest in the competition to rise again,” said Mr Simpson.
“There are plenty of great match ups over the first few rounds, so I am eager to see how each club starts off their campaigns towards this year’s flag.
“As always I’m looking forward to our themed rounds, which are always a highlight of our community football calendar.”
The 2021 Grand Final rematch between the Cats and Roo’s will be played on June 11th in Round 11.2022 QAFL FIXTURE - OFFICIAL
Picture of Matt Payne and Matt Eagles by Deion Menzies, Highflyer Images