Queensland has stamped their authority on school football in the north of Australia, with the Gold Coast’s Palm Beach Currumbin State High winning their fourth Northern States Cup premiership in a row in Sydney this weekend.
The PBC ‘Reds’ unbelievable undefeated record has now extended to four years with victories over the best U14 school teams from New South Wales, the ACT and the Northern Territory, with Sunday’s grand final win at Blacktown over the NT’s Dripstone Middle School 14.12.96 to 2.0.12.
With Helensvale State High’s 2009 premiership, Queensland has now won five titles in the six year history of the Northern States Cup.
The competition provides a pathway for the best school team talent in Australia’s ‘northern states’ to progress to the next level and test their players against the best teams in rival states and territories.
It is also an educational experience with teams spending the rest day learning about what it takes to become an AFL footballer.
This year teams spent Saturday at Narrabeen Sports Academy (NSA) learning about nutrition vital to success, including how to make simple easy smoothies to supplement their diet. They also underwent specialist instruction from NSA staff on stretching and recovery, picking up the latest techniques to get rid of muscular aches and pains and how to prepare their bodies for the rigour of playing AFL at a higher level.
After Friday’s qualifying at Macquarie University, PBC and Dripstone Middle School emerged the grand final contenders ahead of their southern counterparts – Sydney’s Knox Grammar (3rd) and Blacktown’s Patrician Brothers (4th).
For the Gold Coast team, captain Brodie Foster and Sam Davidson were outstanding over the two days of competition, with Foster winning the PBC medallion for best player, and Davidson being awarded the Player of the Championships by the AFL observers.
Every player contributed to the win, from the intimidating height of Brayden Crossley in the ruck and leading the goal kickers, to small forward Jack McNevin who kicked four goals in the grand final.
One thing was evident at the end of the carnival: the mutual respect between opponents as they take school football to the next level of professionalism year after year.
We thank AFLNSW/ACT for hosting this year’s event and look forward to Queensland’s turn in 2014.