Photo by Liam Kidston, The Courier Mail.
A late fixture change on Thursday, due to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, will see the Brisbane Lions face the Gold Coast SUNS in what’s now the season’s QClash.
Round two of the 2021 NAB AFLW and it’s set to be a thrilling contest between the two Queensland sides, with last year’s first ever QClash resulting in a draw.
Head of AFL Queensland, Trisha Squires, said Queensland pride was on the line.
“Without a winner last season, bragging rights to be the first winner of the AFLW QClash Cup are definitely up for grabs,” she said.
“What’s also exciting about the QClash is it will showcase some of the best talent nationally that’s based here in Queensland.”
“Not just that, the Queensland head-to-head is a chance to celebrate how far the women’s game has come across all levels of the game.”
“Since 2014, there’s been a 331% growth in female participation across the state and 42% of footy participants in Queensland are female.”
The Lions will be looking to continue their successful 2021 season start, after beating Richmond last weekend, while the SUNS will be keen to get a win on the board.
Brisbane won’t be the outfit as we know it, with the team donning rainbow-themed guernsey’s, with this weekend not only marking the QClash but the playing of the inaugural AFLW Pride Round.
Brisbane Lions veteran Lauren Arnell said the introduction of the Pride Round and the creation of the new guernsey meant a lot to the players.
“It allows us to show our fans and the wider football community that we are proud to support the Pride Round and that we want everybody to feel welcome to come to our games,” she said.
Rainbows won’t just be worn on the Lion’s playing strip, fans at Hickey Park will spot a large rainbow mural that’s been specially painted for the match, with help from Wilston Grange AFC.
The AFL in Queensland made history in 2019, with the first ever Pride Round played across the state.
It followed on from the inaugural AFL Pride Cup in 2018 which was played between the Robina Roo’s and Surfers Paradise Demons in the QAFW division 2 competition, which saw thousands of spectators turn out in a sea of rainbow to support the historic game.
Three years on and the overwhelming support for the LGBITQ+ community continues to grow, this year the Bond University QAFLW will host its third Pride Round in July with all eight competition clubs to be involved again.