All roads lead to Bond University on the Gold Coast this Sunday, when they host four senior women’s Grand Finals. The marquee match will be the Bond University QAFLW decider between the Coolangatta Bluebirds and Yeronga Devils. The Bluebirds enjoyed a week off in the first week of finals, before accounting for Maroochydore in last week’s Preliminary Final. Meanwhile, the Devils have done it the hard way, albeit quite impressively, by conquering last year’s premier, Coorparoo, in week 1 and then upsetting this year’s minor premier, Bond Uni, in last Saturday’s qualifier.
It’s fair to say the Devils have peaked when it matters most and they will be hoping the leadership two of the AFLW’s most experienced players, Lauren Arnell and Emily Bates, will keep their team mates focussed on the job at hand. But it won’t be easy. The Bluebirds, under the watchful eye of experienced coach, Nicole Graves, have somewhat flown under the radar this season, but have been a model of consistency and the results speak for themselves.
Both teams boast a wealth of experience and exciting young talent which augurs well for a fast flowing game of footy. Scoring won’t be an issue for either team, as they both like to springboard from half back.
Yeronga’s Jordan Zanchetta has had an outstanding season in the midfield, highlighted by winning her second QAFLW Best & Fairest this week. She will be pivotal to the Devil’s chances with first use out of the middle. However, the ball magnet won’t have it easy with the likes of seasoned AFLW players Paige Parker and Kate Surman knowing how to get their hands on the footy around the stoppages for the Bluebirds.
A key matchup could be between two wily veterans and AFLW Gold Coast SUNS teammates, Leah Kaslar and Jade Pregelj. Kaslar can play as a key forward or an attacking defender for Coolangatta. If she goes forward it can almost be guaranteed Pregelj gets the match up. Both attack the footy at pace without fear. If this match-up occurs it will be worth the price of admission alone.
Who wins? Yeronga have been hot and cold all season, but right now they are white hot. So there’s strong claims for momentum to carry them to another title. But having a system that holds up week in week out is what Coolangatta pride themselves on and that will no doubt hold them in good stead in front of an expected big crowd. So again, who wins? It’s a flip of the coin! Overtime to decide the winner isn’t out of the question either. Regardless, the one thing that can be guaranteed is that the game will further showcase the plethora of female talent Queensland continues to produce.
The showcase of women’s footy kicks off at 10am when Jimboomba go head to head with Beenleigh for the QFAW D2 North title.
Brisbane rivals Yeronga and Coorparoo will provide a great build up to the QAFLW big dance, when they battle it out in the QAFLW Development League at midday.
And bookending the day will be the ‘Battle of the Coast’ when Surfers Paradise match up against Southport in the QFAW D1 decider.
Bond University – Sunday September 27
10am – QFAW D1 – Jimboomba vs Beenleigh
12pm – Development League – Coorparoo vs Yeronga
2pm – Bond University QAFLW – Coolangatta vs Yeronga
4.30pm – QFAW D1 – Surfers Paradise vs Southport
Adults $7.00, Concession $5.00 & Under 16 Free (cashless gate – card payment only)