By Ant Wingard @AntWingard
Queensland will travel to Tasmania for the 2018 AFL National Inclusion Carnival on Monday with one eye firmly on the grand prize.
The Sunshine State are yet to claim victory at the annual inclusion carnival, which has been dominated by both Victoria Country and Victoria Metro sides in recent years.
But AFL Queensland Diversity Coordinator – Talent, Peter Yagmoor hopes the side could hopefully shock the southern states with a victory this time around.
“It would be nice to see Queensland go all the way and claim the prize, however to see them enjoying the great game would be enough to make everyone back in Queensland proud,” Yagmoor told aflq.com.au.
The Queensland squad will be coached by former Gold Coast SUN Daniel Ramage, who was appointed to coaching duties for the fifth consecutive year.
Joshua Correa will captain the side in the carnival in a leadership group also including Brad Lawrence and Matthew Bedford as announced at the team’s guernsey presentation last week.
The squad of 16 was chosen following state trials in May and have trained together over the past five weeks ahead of the carnival.
Seven of the players within the squad are registered at a local football club in a team that Yagmoor says possesses huge potential ahead of the 2018 National Inclusion Carnival.
“The squad is made up of fantastic individuals that are willing to get the best out of themselves,” Yagmoor said.
“It is pleasing to see that over the time of five training sessions, the whole team has come together and got on really well.”
“The squad is also led by five fantastic staff members that have given up their time to assist the team.”
The AFL National Inclusion Carnival brings together footballers with an intellectual disability from across Australia in a round-robin style carnival and aims to provide Australia’s most talented footballers with disability the chance to represent their state or territory.
The 2018 Inclusion Carnival commences on June 18 and concludes with the Grand Final as UTAS Stadium as a curtain raiser to the AFL game between Hawthorn and Gold Coast on June 24.
2018 AFL National Inclusion Championship Queensland Fixture:
Tuesday June 19
9:25AM: Queensland v NSW/ACT
9:50am: Queensland v Northern Territory
10:40am: Queensland v Victoria Metro
11:30am: Queensland v Victoria Country
12:45pm: Queensland v South Australia
2:45pm: Queensland v Tasmania
Wednesday June 20 to Friday June 22
To be confirmed
2018 State Inclusion Team:
- Luke O’Neal
- Damien Harvey
- Joshua Correa (Captain)
- Nathanial Gill
- Joshua McGrath
- Brad Lawrence (Vice-Captain)
- Brent Morris
- Shaun McKee
- Dylan Evans
- Robbie Van Allen
- Connor Dixon
- Matt Bedford (Vice-Captain)
- Joseph Ryan
- Johnny Lawrence
- Reagan Taylor
- Ben Haack