Lenny has still got it
If you think as soon as AFL players retire they not only lose their fitness but their skill as well, you should probably think again. Why you ask? Because I watched St Kilda champion Lenny Hayes up close and personal at the Byron 9s over the weekend, and he can still make the footy talk. Sure, he probably can’t cover the ground as well as he did while playing at the elite level, but he still knows exactly how to step around the opposition making them look silly, before hitting a teammate lace out by foot. Still got it.
Best first year player
Just when you thought Josh Smith’s first year resume couldn’t be any more impressive, the former Redland player and Darling Downs product has been awarded the Harry Collier Trophy, being named Collingwood’s best first year player. A debut on ANZAC Day, 18 senior games, four goals, and 374 touches of the Sherrin, it’s fair to say it was a wise rookie selection by the Magpies.
School footy —> QAFL
School footy and state league footy might seem worlds apart on the exterior, but the connection run deep. Take the AFL Queensland Schools Cup Grand Finals on the weekend. In the Senior Male division, Palm Beach Currumbin SHS had Labrador QAFL player Brayden Crossley, Palm Beach Currumbin’s Jacob Dawson, and were coached by Palm Beach Currumbin Senior Coach Chad Owens, while Helensvale SHS had Labrador’s Cooper Portelli and Jaicob Kenny. The competition this year was a breeding ground of stars, and I’m sure there are many more names in the record from the weekend that will go on to play high level footy.
A few more places on the SEQ coaching merry-go-round have been filled. Troy Crossley, (father of Brayden who I just mentioned) will return to Burleigh to lead the charge, Mt Gravatt Under 19 Assistant Coach Cameron James will take over as Beenleigh’s main man, and over at the Park Ridge Pirates it’ll be a case of brotherly love, as Nick Pearson will join his brother Tim as co-coach of the senior side.
A couple more QAFL Best and Fairest nights were held over the last week, with some absolute stars taking out their respective clubs highest honour. At Morningside, Matt Logan and Nathan Kinch shared the Devery-Kelly Medal, last year’s Grogan Medalist Cal Carseldine took out the Magpies’ Bill Pierce Medal, Mick Hamill was the runaway leader in the Mt Gravatt count, and despite missing a fair chunk of the back half of the year, Steve Brittain did enough early to claim the Wilston Grange Best and Fairest.
By Andrew Wiles