QAFLW Preview – Aspley

By Daniel Viles

The maiden finals appearance for the Aspley Hornets in the Bond University QAFLW looks not merely possible, but likely following a whirlwind off-season.

After winning the race to sign former University of Queensland midfield coach Luke Glacken as their new maestro, the Hornets embarked on a recruitment campaign the scale of which has never been seen in Queensland women’s Australian football.

From Coorparoo came former Lions and Suns winger Emma Pittman. From Yeronga came bullocking midfielder Jaida Tabb. From Wilston Grange came multi-sport star Tanna-Lai Hornung and QAFLW Rising Star nominee Holly O’Flaherty. From Maroochydore came on-baller and forward Mikayla Martin fresh from what must be the greatest ever season in the Bond University QAFLW to receive zero votes in the Emma Zielke Medal.

And from UQ? Nine. Yes, nine – a handful actively recruited; others of their own volition – including five (Jaimie Bryant, Ella Desrettes, Tarryn Meyer, Jess Stallard and Louise Tyson) who played in the Grand Final victory last August.

The first challenge for Glacken was to unite the new squad without upsetting the players who have bled brown and gold for several seasons. Glacken has no doubt where to place the credit for this occurring.

“The Aspley girls from three years ago, four years ago; they’ve made this work. Your Court Daniecs, your Ang Lingards, Izzy Kotatis, these are household Aspley names, but these have been the ones who have embraced the new players. These have been the same ones that have gotten around the younger girls to make the step up from the Under 17s this year. It is such a warm club and I think we’re going to show that this year,” he said. 

Challenge no. 2 was to harness the quality that most impressed Glacken about the Hornets during his time at UQ: aggression.

“You always knew when you came up against Aspley that it was going to be a rough day for the girls. They were hard at it, and I knew that, every time, it was going to be a scrap. I wanted to harness that aggression and err on the side of using it as opposed to trying to control it and squash it back down. The biggest thing that I’ve said to our girls is I don’t want us to be known as a team that tries to save goals anymore; I want us to be known as a team that tries to start winning games this year,” Glacken said. 

Next was needing players old and new would ‘buy in’ to the new game plan and philosophy. Again, Glacken is delighted that players have been queueing to drive the standards at training.

“One of our younger generation, Lilu Hung, she’s not just a phenomenal footy player, she’s a phenomenal person, and she has been one that has driven the standards. She’s taken to the new game style like a fish to water. Your regulars, your Anges and your Courtos, these guys have been fantastic. Some of the recruits like Jaida Tabb, she’s been phenomenal with that. Louie Tyson, she’s been great. When I see the recruits come in and they start being the ones to try and push it, then you know we’re on a good thing here because they’ve got the confidence, they feel comfortable in their environment and then off they go,” Glacken said. 

Glacken’s final challenge is undoubtedly the most difficult. Aspley finished 2021 in sixth place. In 2022, the Hornets claimed their most wins in a season; their most points scored, and fewest points conceded in a season; and their first ever wins over Yeronga, Bond University and Maroochydore. The result of all this was that they finished… sixth again.

How does that happen? Four matches that were there to be won were lost by two goals or fewer. When the match is in the balance with ten minutes to go, does this Aspley side have the belief that they can, and deserve, to win? Over to you, Luke:

“You’ll see 21 girls standing up, and you’ll see 21 girls run in a straight line. They’re all on the same page and they’ll step up to the challenge this year. I’ve got no doubt whatsoever in my mind. There’s a hunger in this group. Sometimes I just sit and think, ‘there’s some pretty impressive stuff going on here’. I’m very excited,” he said. 

Nickname: Hornets

Coach: Luke Glacken

Captain: Courtney Daniec

Home Ground: Zupps Aspley Oval

QAFLW Premierships: nil

2022: 6th (6 wins, 1 draw, 7 losses; 72 goals scored, 69 goals conceded)


Lexi Baker (netball – Carina Leagues Club; Wasps, UK)

Hanna Brennan (East Coast Eagles, NSW)

Jaimie Bryant (University of Queensland)

Bridget Carkeet (hockey – Ipswich)

Ella Desrettes (University of Queensland)

Hannah Giles (Mackay City)

Silvana Goldbach-Eggert (University of Queensland)

Tanna-Lai Hornung (Wilston Grange)

Mikayla Martin (Maroochydore)

Tarryn Meyer (University of Queensland)

Holly Mirfield (University Hawks, Townsville)

Holly O’Flaherty (Wilston Grange)

Emma Pittman (Coorparoo)

Jess Stallard (University of Queensland)

Jaida Tabb (Yeronga South Brisbane)

Louise Tyson (University of Queensland)

Ari Williams (Redcliffe, QFAW)


Phoebe Baird

Abby Hewett

Kiirra Johns

Hayley Moore

Leah Moores

Taylah Pringle

Jasmine Ware

Ash Williamson (retired; coaching)


Courtney Daniec

2023 is ten years since Daniec debuted in the Bond University QAFLW for Kedron, seven years since she first made the Team of the Year, and five years since she captained Wilston Grange to Grand Final glory. Yet there is every indication that Daniec, at 26, is only now about to reach her peak. There’s a feeling that everything ‘Court’ has learned about winning the ball, disposing with class and leading her team with clarity is building towards something special. Maybe it won’t happen in 2023, but you’ll want to see it if it does.

Glacken says: “’Courto’ is the epitome of what leadership is. As a player, she is elite by foot, her work ethic is there, her mentality’s there, her footy IQ is there, but more so, she is the glue that holds this club together.”

Lucy Pengelly

Lucy Pengelly has been part of Aspley since they entered the Bond University QAFLW in 2019. Her talent and versatility have long been obvious. What changed in 2022 was that she showed she could play like a senior player, taking complete responsibility for her own game and able to influence those around her. Oh, and if you haven’t already seen her tackle in which she stopped her rampaging future teammate Mikayla Martin dead in her tracks, it’s still on the social media pages.

Glacken says: “Lucy has great attack at the football and is one of the most caring human beings on and off the field that I’ve ever met. Definitely a future leader.”

Jaimie Bryant

Bryant arrived from the Northern Territory in 2021 and slotted into UQ’s Reserve team. Two weeks later, her skills as a running halfback were on show in the QAFLW. Bryant does all the defensive work of a halfback, but then she’ll decide that the best way out of defence is to embark on a slalom run. Sometimes it fails, but when it works, even a slow-motion replay won’t quite reveal where the gap she just went through was. Her judgement about when to slalom is improving every week too.

Glacken says: “Jaimie is an absolute star and she brings that aggressive run that we’ve lacked in the past. She’s one to keep an eye on for future drafts as well.”


Aspley has assembled a squad with a broad set of talents. Their reserve grade side could arguably compete in the top grade. These players will have to compete hard for QAFLW spots. They have a leadership group who haven’t tasted success for a while but saw their men’s team win the QAFL in 2022 and want what they’ve got. That leadership group is empowered by a coach telling them to play hard, run straight, and play to win from the first ball-up. If you like new-style footy with old-style attitude, go watch the hungry, hungry Hornets.

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