With 2016 being the Gorilla’s third year in Queensland’s premier women’s competition, expect them to breakout and find form as the season progresses.
The team welcomes new head coach, Marcus McDonald-Camden, who brings footy smarts and the experience of working alongside Female High Performance Manager Craig Starcevich in the Queensland female academies.
Two new assistant coaches, Rod Podbury and Kieron Hyndman, join incumbent assistant Brad Pawlysyn to add depth to the panel.
Big news is the inclusion of youth girls’ superstar Tahlia Randall, who was drafted by the Western Bulldogs and played in the second 2015 National Women’s Exhibition Match.
It will be interesting to see just how much of an impact Tahlia makes in her first season and how much playing in the QWAFL will enhance her already stellar game.
Wilston Grange has also picked up Gabby Mooney form Hervey Bay, who will look to use her speed to carry the ball forward.
Despite tipping Gorillas to finish 6th on the ladder, I’m confident they will be highly competitive throughout the year.
Keep in mind, they are a young side with a lot of potential and the more game time the women have, the more the team should grow under McDonald-Camden.
Meeting Zillmere in Round 3 will be a big week and something of a 2016 litmus test for the Gorillas, considering the tights contests between the two teams in 2015.
2015 – Past Season Stats
Ladder Position: 5th
Best & Fairest: Mica Cubis
2016 – Key Predictions:
Ladder Position: 6th
Rising Star: Tahlia Randall – She’s already a star and I see her being the key to the team’s success this year. Her ability to change the game, with her height and attack on the ball, will help the team win it out of the middle and charge forward. Look forward to her playing football at the highest level in Queensland and taking her game to the next level. She has a very bright footy future and there is no doubt she will frustrate her opponents. Keep your eye out for Tahlia; she will be the one to watch in this year’s QWAFL.
Key Changes: Marcus McDonald-Camden (New QWAFL Coach)
Rod Podbury (New QWAFL Assistant Coach)
Kieron Hyndman (New QWAFL Assistant Coach)
Tahlia Randall (Youth Girls)
Gabby Mooney (Hervey Bay)
2016 – From the Coach
Who are the top 3 players to watch in your team?
Gabby Mooney – Young girl from Hervey Bay with some good skills and pace that could really cement herself as a talented hard worker within the group and the league.
Katie McGlade – Has been involved with this group of girls for many years now and has really shone as a leader. With the new role we have her playing and her eagerness to get in and have a crack will really make her a player to watch from Wilston Grange.
Tahlia Randall – as humble as she is, Tahlia will be a player to watch in 2016. We have had a couple of chats and she has said she is really keen to try other positions that she hasn’t had much game time in to really help her take her football to the next level.
Which two teams be playing in the 2016 QWAFL Grand Final?
Yeronga vs. Coolangatta – Two strong sides that I hope will have a strong year and provide an entertaining Grand Final
Who’s your predication for 2016 Grogan Medallist?
It’s a new year with a lot of hopefuls; unfortunately I can’t put my finger on just one. Let’s hope Wilston Grange get up and about in 2016!
What’s your best piece of coaching advice/favourite coaching quote?
“If you do the 1%er’s and do what is needed for your team, you may not even touch the ball once, but if you put the team first you will always be a better player and team mate than the bloke who celebrates after he’s kicked the winning goal.”
By QWAFL writer Jessica Stewart