QLD U18s pumped for title fight

By Beth Newman

It’s New South Wales-ACT. It’s a national title. It’s Etihad Stadium.

The stakes won’t get much higher for the Queensland U18 team, than in their final National Championships match tomorrow, and coach, Adrian Fletcher, had some fighting words ahead of the decider.

“We’re Queenslanders, we’ll go in and step on those cockroaches,” he said.

The spotlight will be on Queensland in that final National Championships game and Fletcher is confident his charges can handle it.

“Pressure’s just a state of mind, isn’t it?” he said.

“The unknown is not a problem when you have a plan.

“Our skill level’s good, our physicality’s pretty good and we must go in confident.”

Both sides go in undefeated, with Queensland coming off a comfortable defeat of NT.

They’ll be hoping that Lachie Weller can replicate his sensational form from that match, while twin peaks, Matt Hammelmann and Metthew Uebergang, will be crucial for the team in their forward line.

The younger members of the team have stepped up to the U18 representative challenge with ease, with Corey Wagner and Ben Keays among the standouts, who will again be asked to step up tomorrow.

While Queensland are on the verge of claiming an elusive Div Two title, Fletcher said they weren’t preoccupied with the possibility of glory.

“It (Winning the title) obviously gives you a reward, but we live in the moment,” he said.

“We need to live in the moment or you get clouded vision and we don’t want that.”

A win would give Queensland a national title for the first time since 2006, but they will need to be on their game to beat an equally in-form Rams outfit.

“Our best will be fine, but our best has got to be there on the day,” he said.
“It’s what you train for over the program, to show your wares when it’s important.”

NSW/ACT midfielder, Isaac Heeney, is one of the hottest prospects this year, tied to the Sydney Swans via its Academy and will pose a great danger for the Queenslanders tomorrow.

Heeney heads a hard-running Rams midfield which also includes Jacob Hopper and Callum Mills, who played vital roles in their hard-fought win over Tasmania on Saturday.

Defender turned forward, Abe Davis proved a revelation in the Rams’ forward line, with two goals and 15 disposals against Tasmania.

Brisbane Lions fans will have a glimpse of a possible father-son prospect in the game, with Tyler Roos, son of Paul, lining up for NSW/ACT.

The QLD v NSW/ACT game kicks off at 3pm at Etihad Stadium and will be broadcast live on Fox Footy and the AFL Live App.

If you can’t watch it, AFL Queensland will be live-tweeting the match on @AFLQ.


James   Holland                
Jessie    Walton                              
Jacob     Watson
Daniel   Henderson        
Harris    Andrews                             
Darcy     Trask
Corey    Wagner                               
Darcy     Cameron-Reeves            
Dylan     Mutu
Soul Cormick                     
Matthew Hammelmann                              
Lachlan Weller
Mabior Chol                      
Matthew Uebergang                    
Liam       Dawson                                               
Braydon Preuss                               
James   Rayner                                 
Ben        Keays
Nick      Jackson                      
Liam       Moseley                             
Isaac      Corvo
Nate      Dennis                 
Hayden  Bertoli-Simmonds                           
Henry    Leong
Cameron Stevenson      

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