With the QAFL over half way through the year now, we have done a little digging, picked apart each club’s list, and found the barometer of each side.
When these guys play well, their team plays well. They are instrumental to the entire teams performance, they bring others into the game, and can almost single handedly give their team the four-points.
So let’s have a look at who they are:
Broadbeach – James Royes
This might seem a little left of centre, and there was definitely a few to pick from, but Royes’ roll is so important. When he is on, the Cats are on. At well over 6 feet in the old scale, he is still quick, nimble and good by foot. He’s got a great leap on him, which means he can lock down on bigger opponents, but if he’s in the game, can take off when Broadbeach gets possession.
Labrador – Adam Clarke
When Clarke is on, the Tigers run hard, spread better, and get the ball into their forwards more than the opposition. He is the catalyst to a lot of their run. There’s no denying that when Labrador were dominating last year, he was the main man behind it all. A big key to getting on top of the Tigers is restricting his influence… easier said than done though.
Morningside – Matt Logan
If Logan plays a blinder, you can beat he’ll take 10 marks, kick two or three, and have a handful of clearances to boot. There hasn’t been too many games where Logan has played well, and Morningside haven’t, because he is crucial to their ball movement when in the middle, and their forward line structure when playing across half-forward.
Mt Gravatt – Rhys Estall
I’m not saying he doesn’t kick bags in losing teams, but if Estall is hitting the scoreboard, it usually means the Vultures are potent.
Estall’s goals are usually a product of the Vultures quick ball movement. When they can get it in there, and isolate him one-on-one, he does the rest.
Palm Beach Currumbin – Jesse Derrick
He might be the skipper, but he is also one of their best, and most important. Derrick’s game kick starts the Palm Beach run. Not only is he outstanding one-on-one, he opens the game up by foot, allowing Palm Beach to play their quick, attacking brand of football.
Sandgate – Liam Rutledge
He’s an imposing figure wherever they play him, but he is also the man that lifts those around him. When Rutledge is on, he is clunking marks, crashing packs, and bringing everyone near him into the game, especially the small forwards. He is a genuine target, who is worth three to four goals at the very least when on.
Surfers Paradise – Noa Corbet
He might not be the number one man in the Demons’ forward line, I think Daniel Green owns that title, but there is a direct link to Corbett’s good games this year and Surfers Paradise playing good footy. When he is on, there are not only goals coming, but the forward line pressure is through the roof. When their forward line pressure is up, the rest of the group can choke the opposition in, and win the footy.
UQ – George Hannaford
They don’t call him the beast for no reason. Hannaford is not only the barometer, but also the most important player in the team. His inside work is key.
If Hannaford is playing well, UQ’s contested work is good, which means their outside runners are in the game. Without him, the ball doesn’t end up there as much, and they scoring power goes down.
Western Magpies – Val Pope
Might not be the most obvious choice, but Pope has a massive say when the Magpies are on top of their game.
When he becomes dangerous, it frees the rest of the forward line up. When Pope is on, all of a sudden the whole forward line lifts. Although they haven’t had the opportunity to play too much together just yet, it allows Staker and Dickfos more room, and more one-on-one footy.
Wilston Grange – Fletcher McIvor
When McIvor is playing well, you know that Wilston Grange and working off half-back beautifully.
While he shares his time between Grange, Aspley and the Lions in the NEAFL, whenever McIvor pulls on the red white and blue, he is instantly worth a couple of goals. Provides great run and spread, while being able to win the 50/50 ball.
By Andrew Wiles