Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns launch Queensland Clash
The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS today announced that their AFL Premiership Season matches will be known as the Queensland Clash.
At an announcement prior to the historic first Queensland-only match at AFL level at Southport Sharks this afternoon, Club CEOs Malcolm Holmes and Travis Auld outlined the work the two Clubs have been involved in to develop plans for the Queensland Clash matches, and how they hope to build them into iconic events for Queenslanders in coming years.
The Queensland Clash, to be known also in its abbreviated form as QClash, will become the AFL’s latest instalment of intra-state rivalry, matching the Derby in Western Australia and the Showdown in South Australia.
“We wanted a name that embodied Queensland, one that was unique and simple. We also wanted to reflect the big scale of the matches. Speaking to the coaches and players, there is no doubt that both teams want to win whenever we come together, and the QClash will be a real battle for state pride,” Lions CEO Malcolm Holmes said.
Gold Coast SUNS CEO Travis Auld said the rivalry between the SUNS and Lions would grow to become something special.
“The Lions and the SUNS have been working together for over six months to develop plans for these matches to ensure they are a fantastic experience for members and fans of both teams as well as a real talking point for the general community,” he said.
“In Australian sport there is a great tradition of big rivalries. In AFL, some of the most famous are between Carlton and Collingwood, or West Coast and Fremantle.”
“In ten years time, our hope is that as soon as the AFL fixture is announced, Queenslanders start making plans to be at the QClash.”
2011 marks the start of a very big year for AFL in Queensland, with two AFL teams and 22 Premiership matches to be played at the Gabba and Gold Coast Stadium.
Two of the AFL’s biggest stars, club captains Jonathan Brown and Garry Ablett, were on hand to announce the QClash.
Jonathan Brown spoke about the build up at the Lions to a new Queensland rivalry.
“The players have been talking about these games for months. We’re Queensland’s first AFL team and the boys will be looking to win every QClash,” he said.
Gold Coast SUNS captain Gary Ablett was also eager to lead the team in the QClash.
“Even though I’m a relatively new resident of Queensland, I know the excitement andm anticipation that fans feel towards big rivalry matches. I can’t wait to play in the first QClash at the Gabba,” he said.
The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS will meet for QClash 1 at the Gabba in Round 7 on Saturday 7th May and again for QClash 2 in Round 21 on Saturday 13th August 2011.