We are smack bang in the middle of the footy silly season right now. While not all moves have been made, here is a snapshot of what we know has happened at the nine QAFL clubs so far.
The Cats have been on a recruiting drive and so far it’s paid dividends. Mitch Brewer, Luke Shreeve, Jake Crawford, Jarred Ellis, Nick Burton and Robert Blood have all arrived at Ord Minnett Oval for season 2017, which will really add to their depth. It’s those experienced heads they were missing in 2016.
Their main risk of losing a few is to the Southport NEAFL rookie list, who are aligned with a NEAFL club and train with them at least once a week. That will be finalised in the near future.
It’s all been reasonably quiet at Tigerland, which is definitely a good thing for the reigning premiers. Josh Baxter has gone back to Southport to try his hand at NEAFL level again, but they have signed Damian Hector from Surfers Paradise. After back-to-back flags, it is sometimes hard to retain a list, so to keep the majority in place is a job well done.
Morningside look set to build from within this year. Adam Spackman was originally due to return, but work commitments have since ended that. Sam Godfrey has – from all reports – hit the ground running after his move from Redland/Mt Gravatt, Ryan Johnson is good to go and Ben McNiece is back. They have lost Adam Mueller to Mayne, Daniel Fletcher who is moving away with work, and Sam Brown has hung them up.
Despite some interest from down south, Rhys Estall is staying put this year. Joining him in Vultures forward line will be former Palm Beach Currumbin young gun Sam Stubbs. 2015 skipper Frazer Neate is also back in the blue and white this year after a stint in Victoria.
New coach Troy Moncur won’t be pulling on the boots this year, and Will Hammill has decided to call time on his playing days.
The biggest movers and shakers of the silly season so far, Palm Beach has landed a few big fish. 2016 Southport captain Jason Burge will slot into their midfield next to 2011 NT Thunder Best and Fairest winner Jake Dignan. Lachie Richie and Dylan Troutman are back full time from Southport, and it will be a happy homecoming for former captain Angus Munro. In terms of outs, ruckman Jon Croad – who is off to Southport – hurts their tall stocks, while Danny Grant has gone back home to Sorrento.
Haven’t landed the big one yet, but for the Hawks the focus was on retention first and foremost. They have ticked that box and are in talks with a few more, so watch this space. Their only loss is ruckman Jackson Grey, who has been signed by Williamstown in the VFL.
Four big losses are going to hurt the Demons in 2017. When you take out Cass Haberfield, Fraser Pope, Noa Corbett and Damian Hector, they are big holes to fill.
The Demons’ youth are strong, they have a lot of handy kids in the reserves running around, so unless they can get a few more senior heads through the door in the next few weeks, I think you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the seniors this year.
It’s a bit quiet on the western front so far. The loss of Cal Carseldine to Aspley has been well publicised and Nick Barling has retired, but other than that, they have been keeping things on the down low.
The two headliners thus far are the former UQ signings. Both George Hannaford and Harry Milford have made the move in a real boost to the Gorillas’ depth. Hannaford will work hand in hand with Steve Brittain in the middle while Milford will be potent up forward. The only major loss at this stage is Dave Kettle, who has called time on his career.
By Andrew Wiles