By Ant Wingard
Photo: David Layden Photography
Throughout the Bond University QWAFL season, AFL Queensland will take a look at a select few players to watch in the upcoming weekend’s action.
University of Queensland are making a last-ditch effort to qualify for finals in the Bond University QWAFL for the first time since 2016.
Ahead of Round 15 this weekend, the Red Lions sit in sixth place and find themselves among three teams, along with Yeronga and Bond University, jostling for the final spot inside the top four.
But 2018 has been a rocky journey for the team from Brisbane’s western suburbs.
Despite recruiting a number of talented Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s players ahead of the season, the quick turn-around from AFLW to the QWAFL meant those players needed a break in between and have since missed games this year.
The Winer Series and NAB AFL Under-18 National Championships have too meant University of Queensland haven’t been able to have their full squad on the track at training, and in many ways, the side are yet to play with their complete best outfit this season.
But with just a month remaining until finals, the Red Lions remain adamant they can make it.
A win over Wilston Grange last week – the Gorillas only loss of the season thus far – essentially saved University of Queensland’s season.
And despite the countless number of AFL Women’s and Under-18 representative players within their ranks, much of their fire power has come from the remainder of their Red Lions family, and perhaps no one epitomises life as a Red Lion than Marni McGorm.
As well as playing with the side, McGorm is University of Queensland’s Head of Women’s Football making her an integral component of the Red Lions’ football environment and someone who UQ head coach, Phil Lovett, says is a massive asset.
“She does a mountain of work that I probably don’t even see and the girls don’t really see,” Lovett told aflq.com.au.
“For me personally, I have been able to focus on coaching. I know the other QWAFL clubs aren’t as lucky as us. The club is very lucky to have her.”
“Becuase she does such an amazing job, we’ve been able to create such a good environment. If we didn’t have someone like Marni in place, it’d be a real struggle.”
Since joining University of Queensland in 2014, McGorm has played 49 games for the Red Lions making this weekend’s matchup against Yeronga her 50th appearance for the club.
Previously, McGorm was a Queensland Under-18 representative and played for the Brisbane Lions in a 2014 representative game.
“Marni is your tradition half-forward. She’s really good at getting up the ground and then when she does get the ball, she’s really good at moving the ball forward quickly. She’s got a good turn of speed,” Lovett said of McGorm’s on-field style.
“The girls really do look to her. On the field, she’s just as good a leader. She does have a real footy. People look to her.”
“She always looks forward to playing. It means she can just focus on playing and not worry about all of the other stuff that she does.”
University of Queensland host Yeronga South Brisbane in a must win game at Western Districts Oval tomorrow at 3:45PM.