By Ant Wingard
Queensland Under 18 midfielder Belle Dawes is hopeful next week’s home ground advantage will boost the side throughout Round 2 of the NAB AFL Women’s Under 18 National Championships on the Gold Coast.
The Queenslanders will play games against Victoria Country, Victoria Metro and the Eastern Allies across the week on the glitter strip and Dawes, a Brisbane Lions Academy member, says the crowd could play a significant role across the carnival.
“I am looking forward to it. It’s a home game so we’ll have lots of supporters. My family will come down and watch,” Dawes told aflq.com.au.
“It adds a little bit especially because the Gold Coast girls will have a lot of people there so the crowd will be behind us as well.
“Hopefully if we start to get a bit of a roll on that the crowd will quieten the other teams and their supporters down a little bit.”
Dawes was one of Queensland’s most consistent performers in their two games against West Australia in Round 1 of the national championships at Subiaco Oval in Perth last month and with now 12 games in the maroon under on the national stage under her belt, is one of the more senior figures in the team.
The 18-year-old averaged 15.5 disposals and 3.5 tackles across the two games against WA – both which resulted in losses for the Queenslanders.
Queensland face a challenging initiation first up next week as they face the 2018 championship winning Victoria Country side at Metricon Stadium – the same team that handed the sunshine state a 56-point humbling in the two side’s contest last year.
Dawes, who played against Victoria Country in last year’s drubbing, admitted the side weren’t too focused ahead of last year’s fixture but was confident this year’s showdown would be a much more competitive showing.
“I think we went into the game last year a little bit blasé,” Dawes said.
“This time around we’ll go in a little bit more focused and know what we want.
“All of the girls have been fairly new this year as well so it’s a bit of a different change but we’ve all learnt new things.”
2019 NAB AFLW UNDER 18 CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 2 FIXTURE
Queensland v VIC Country
Monday 8 July, 11.00am AEST
Queensland v VIC Metro
Wednesday 10 July, 10.00am AEST
Queensland v Central Allies
Friday 12 July, 2.00pm AEST