QWAFL 2015: Coolangatta Tweed preview

By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles

2014 season wrap

Last year was a case of so close yet so far for the Coolangatta Tweed Bluebirds. They finished the home and away season in fifth position, with 4 wins, nine losses and a draw, missing out on finals by two games.  After playing some good footy throughout 2014, the appointment of Aaron Russell as coach will only help the Bluebirds professionalism and structure as they strive for finals in 2015.

Who’s in?

When it comes to recruiting, the Bluebirds have taken the youth route over summer. Beth Pinchin, vice captain of the 2014 Queensland Under 18 team, has transferred from the Broadbeach Under 18 team. Continuing on the under 18 theme are sisters Kara and Jordan Membrey, as well as Morgan Moroney, who will all pull on the Bluebird jumper for the first time in 2015 after moving from the Burleigh under 18 team. Former Zillmere player Yolanda Jones will also line up for Coolangatta Tweed in 2015, joined by sisters Indy and Jacinta Sleeth, who will return to the club this year. 

Who’s out?

2014 center half forward, and the only player to kick over 10 goals for the season, Ebony Zubar, has moved on from the Bluebirds over summer. After becoming the main avenue to goal, she will leave a void in the forward line that will be difficult to replace. Coolangatta Tweed will also be running out in 2015 without  Andrea Roberts and Brooke Habel, who have both moved on from the club.

Pre-season focus

At the forefront of the Bluebirds game plan in 2015 will be pressure and intensity. They are looking to make sure that through tackling, there is always pressure on the ball carrier. New coach Aaron Russell wants this intensity to be seen in games for as long as possible without a drop off.

Coach Aaron Russell’s thoughts on 2015

“This is a team that has been running itself ever since it existed, so we are trying to make things a little bit more structured. We have implemented some plans and goals. Last year they had the four wins, so this year we are looking to take those wins to up around 10 mark. Obviously that’s a bit of a jump, but we think we can do that.”

Who has the X factor?

Maddy Roberts has X factor written all over her. She’s quick off the mark, is super elusive, is extremely dangerous inside 50 but is also very good overheard for someone her size. After a more than impressive first year of football in 2014, look for Roberts to turn a few games on their head off her own boot this season

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