Brent Kelly, Regional Development Manager AFLQ, reports on the Under-14 SEQ Country Championships played on May 16:
Game 1 vs. Sunshine Coast Power
Game 1 saw us meet the strongest team of the carnival first up. The boys were jumped quickly and unfortunately were unable to respond. Their confidence took a hit very early and the stronger bodies and superior skill of the Power proved to be no match for our boys, some of whom are in their first or second year of football.
It was a good lesson for the Storm as they now see the standard of football they should be trying to achieve.
Best: M.Shaw, T.McDonald, J.Ward
Game 2 vs. Darling Downs Demons
Game 2 was a fantastic encounter between what looked like two evenly matched sides in both size and skill level.
We got off to a great start with Charlie giving us first use of the ball in the ruck and our mid-field of Ward, T.McDonald, and Harbison giving us plenty of run around the ground. Chris burgess was fantastic playing the small forwards role in the pocket and Felix Lennon-Byng and Nathan Brown were our rocks in defence saving the day on more than one occasion. Others who played a supporting role were Brand, S.McDonald and Shaw.
It was only our ill discipline and failure to stick to the game plan that let Darling Downs back into the game, gifting them two shots right in front of goal, but all that will improve with further training and game time in the middle.
Best: J.Ward, T.McDonald, F.Lennon-Byng, W.Harbison
Goals: Burgess, Shaw (2), Harbison (2), Loong, Brand
Game 3 vs. Wide Bay Tigers
Game 3 was played first up in the morning and the conditions were very slippery because of the dew. Our boys tried their best but the conditions didn’t allow our skillful midfielders and runners an opportunity to get into the game. Again ill discipline and perhaps inexperience in the conditions played a factor (not to mention some very dubious decisions) in giving the Tigers an advantage. The slippery ball brought our smaller in and under players into the game and our boys were gallant in their efforts.
Things may have been different with inaccuracy playing a part with us missing two goals less than 20m out, but in the end one or two players on the opposition proved to be the difference. Injuries played a part also with both J.Ward and T.McDoanld suffering head injuries with the latter having his day ended in a courageous marking attempt. This brought S.McDoanld into the midfield where he made an immediate difference giving us strength around the stoppages. Also, if it wasn’t for our back six the score would have looked a lot different.
Best: F.Lennon-Byng, N.Brown, J.Ward, S.McDoald, T.McDoanld
Overall the boys performed extremely well given the fact that we had only been together as a team for four training sessions. With more time together our game plan will jell and the boys will be ready to take on Coffs Harbour in the middle of the season. All the boys should be extremely proud of their achievements and their conduct over the weekend.
On behalf of AFLQ I would like to thank Chris Masters for his fantastic coaching efforts over the last 5 weeks, Trevor Brand for his assistance in the football department and for running the first two games, (he was “rested” in game 3 because of general soreness), Derek Harbison for assisting with transport and supervision and running water (and for his guided tour of the camp and tremendous insight into the forestry industry), Paul & Deb Brown for assisting with transport, supervision and filling the position of official team photographer, Grace Burgess for assisting with camp supervision and for her general support, and Maureen Holloway also for assisting with transport and general supervision. Without all these people the weekend would not have been possible.
I would also like to congratulate the seven boys who have been selected to take the next step and train with the Gold Coast Southern Stingrays U14’s in an attempt to gain selection in the Qld State Championships. They are; Tully McDonald, Will Harbison, Miller Brand, Marc Shaw, Joe Ward, Nathan Brown, Sam McDonald. Good Luck Boys!