Tigers keep it simple for 2014 QAFL

By Beth Newman

Win games.

It sounds simple, but that’s all the Labrador Tigers want in 2014.

With new coach Steve Daniel and a whole team of new and returned faces, a level of optimism has been injected into the Tigers, but Daniel said his side weren’t about to get ahead of themselves, despite the external hype that has surrounded the team in the off-season.

“We never went over the top, the boys just set a goal: ‘how about we win some games’ and we kept it as simple as that,” he said.

“If in the first six games, we can win a couple of then we’ll reassess and go from there.”

Their basic mantra is a reflection of the Tigers’ approach to the season, which will be one with an element of trepidation, Daniel said.

“You’re treating it with baby footsteps because you don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“You don’t want to go out there and make any rash statements because  you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Click above to see our video chat with Steve Daniel.

A raft of the Tigers’ top players last year have stayed in the NEAFL with Southport, but it’s the key retentions of players like captain, Ryan Davey, and addition of some classy recruits that could boost the Tigers’ chances.

Davey, a 2012 Grogan Medallist, was a highly sought after prospect in the off-season and that he stayed at Labrador is a major boost for the Tigers, Daniel said.

“To be able to keep him that was a massive get for Labrador, for him to stay that’s just terrific,” he said.

Labrador’s young forward line will also have a pretty handy player to learn from, with former Sydney Swan and Hawthorn ruck/forward, Spida Everitt pitching in.

Closing in on 40, Everitt played two games for the Tigers last year and is plenty capable of holding down a forward position, with Daniel saying he would be a valuable mentor in 2014.

“He’s come out of retirement to help out because the club had a bit of hardship so it should be good

“He’s been in the gym and he still looks in pretty good condition.”

Daniel said it would be impossible to see where the Tigers sit in the QAFL, until they play against one of their prospective opposition sides, but said he wanted to give the players some joy,  after  a one-win season in 2013.

“It’d be great if we can win a few games and they get a little bit of success , because after the last couple of years that they’ve had, it’d be good for him to be able to win some games.”

Ravaged by injuries, the Tigers will still miss Nick Stockdale and Michael Gugliotto for the bulk of the year, but Daniel is buoyed by the fact he has a fit list to choose from at this point.

Labrador has also brought in some big-name recruits, such as Southport defender, Kurt Niklaus and 2013 Goulburn Valley Football League premiership player, including 2013 Kyabram premiership player, Simon Seddon.

Their recruiting activity has been the subject of a lot of summer talk, but Daniel said anything said now is simply speculation.

“I hope the rumours are true,” he said.

“But the fact is, you just don’t know what you’ve got until you play some games.”

The Tigers will have their first premiership season test, against Morningside, on April 6 at Cooke-Murphy Oval.

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The QAFL has been reformed in season 2014 due to a restructure of the NEAFL competition.

The Queensland Australian Football League aspires to be the best community-based football competition in the state.  Provide a player pathway to the NEAFL/AFL and provide opportunities for the best community players to represent their clubs in a quality competition.

Clubs applied for a QAFL licence based on 6 core pillars (Administration, Finance, Brand & Culture, Performance, Facilities and Strategic Plan).

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