Storm brewing ahead of Youth Girls champs

By Alex Suchocki

A Storm’s brewing as the Sunny Coast return to challenge at the AFL Queensland Youth Girls State Championships from Thursday.

Big things are expected as the Sunshine Coast Storm ventures into the carnival as a stand alone entity this year.

Having broken off the shackles with Wide Bay, the team has enjoyed a comprehensive build up to the event.

Sunshine Coast development Coordinator Rohan Briggs was beaming at the pool of talent on offer that was displayed at the Sunshine Coast Under 17’s Youth Girls program.

“This year we had a mixed range of girls from the region – some familiar faces who have played and been recruited from school comps and fresh new faces of girls just starting in the league this year,” Briggs said.

Twenty-five determined girls showed up at the first training session of a busy ten week schedule.

“We had girls from eight different clubs including Coolum, Gympie, Caloundra and Maroochydore,” he said.

A very committed and capable squad is going to make the selection process that much more difficult.

“Our squad will be made after this weekend as we have our first hit out against older girls, which should be challenging,” Briggs said.

Sunshine Coast Storm is expecting to take a step forward this year after finishing as runners up last year.

“Last year we took a large leap forward, but this year a bigger step forward will be to win against the Brisbane League and the talent down there,” he said.

It is exciting for the Sunshine Coast to have a past Storm player, Queensland representative and two time All Australian Shannon Campbell involved with the program.

“As she has played with half of the girls, she joins in at training and sets the tone making the drills look effortless,” he said.

The Storm girls have gelled throughout the program, which was signified at a day trip to Mount Coolum.

“The girls have really got to now each other well and it was good to go to Mount Coolum for some team building exercises which further strengthened that bond,” Briggs said.

Head Coach, Stuart Jackson also brings a wealth of experience to the table.

“Just the way Stu deals with the girls at training, as some don’t know footy terminology that well, he always breaks it down and makes it simple for them,“ Briggs said.

The Sunshine Coast Storm will be returning with a vengeance to this year State carnival after nearly tasting victory last year.

“We ran out of legs last year and will learn from our mistakes, which is why are focusing on more team fitness this time round,” he said.

It will be tight at the top this year with a mountain of improvement across numerous clubs.

“We expect Brisbane South to field a strong team again and Gold Coast may shape up alright too,” Briggs said.

The Storm is coming to Brisbane and the AFL Queensland Youth Girls State Championship may not know what hit it.

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