Queensland’s U18 team has a the chance to leave its mark on 2014, in their final TAC Cup clash, AFLQ Academy and High Performance coach, Adrian Fletcher, says.
With Saturday’s match against the Geelong Falcons marking the end of the representative season and for many of the players, the end of their junior representative careers, Fletcher said it was an opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
“I think it’s a chance for them to think about what legacy they want to leave,” he said.
“We’ve got a group of players who are going to leave the program, some after two years, some after 12 months and they’ll want to leave their own footprint on the (state) program.
“The key thing is that they express themselves for one last time and show unity.”
Aspley’s Liam Dawson comes back into the Queensland side for the first time in six weeks, returning from a fractured scapula, while classy midfielder, Lachie Weller and bottom-ager Isaac Corvo also return to the side.
Queensland’s 17 year olds have shouldered more responsibility in recent weeks and Fletcher said he had faith that those players would continue their development against the Falcons.
“I just think they’ve grown,” he said.
“I don’t think they realised how big the step up was from playing in the local comp.”
“(In the TAC Cup), the time and space is as close as you’ll get to the AFL, every time you get the ball somebody’s on to you.”
Fletcher said Queensland would be looking to increase their efficiency in attack, after struggling to convert a high possession count into forward entries last week against North Ballarat.
“We want to make sure we move the ball forward quickly and give our forwards a chance,” he said.
Coming off a five-point win over the Eastern Ranges, the Falcons will be without some of their high profile players, in Patrick McCartin, Hugh Goddard and Zaine Cordy
However, the fifth-placed TAC Cup side will still be strong, with two All-Australians still among their 23, in Darcy Parish and Rhys Mathieson.
Parish found plenty of the footy against the Ranges and looms as a danger player for the Maroons, while midfielder Teia Miles will be a threat in the midfield and up forward, coming off a five-goal, performance.
Queensland takes on the Geelong Falcons at 1pm at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday, to wrap up the 2014 state season.
B Corvo Jackson Watson HB Dawson Hammelmann Henderson C Leong Cameron-Reeves Stevenson HF Trask Andrews Wagner F Blood Uebergang Rayner R Preuss Weller Keays Int Yusia-Maricic* Mutu Cormick Kristelly Haberfield Buzza
B Veale Maddock McMahon
HB Syddall Melican Parish
C Kol Mathieson Christensen
HF Beardsell Smith Miles
F Bright Blair Carlin
R Randone Nelson Augerinos
Int S. Dixon Remmos Steven
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