The Cats head down to Salk oval tomorrow to take on local rivals Palm Beach Currumbin in what is a huge match for both sides. Both sides have come off impressive wins, with Palmy knocked off the in-form Sherwood in Brisbane and the Cats returning to form with a big win against Wilston Grange. Going into the bye, a win for Broadbeach will set up a strong opportunity for a top 2 finish and the double chance in September. The Lions on the other hand currently sit one game plus percentage out of the finals and a loss would make finals participation difficult. Plenty in it for both sides, and with good weather forecast it should be a cracking game.
Selection in the QAFL this week for all sides has been impacted by the VFL competition. At one stage it was looking like many Sharks/Aspley listed players and Suns/Lions Academy players would be utilized at VFL level, with the VFL following the AFL’s lead with the North Melbourne v Essendon VFL game scheduled to be played in QLD requiring additional top up players. Fast forward 6 hours and Victoria went into lockdown resulting in the cancellation of VFL matches for premiership points, with most players returning to their clubs but the possibility of VFL scratch matches still impacting availability of some players. Confusing to say the least.
As a result, coach O’Brien sensibly chose a squad of 26 players with the availability of Suns Academy players still in doubt. The one change that is certain is that Aussie HARRIS is being managed to freshen up for the upcoming allies matches (assuming covid allows them to proceed), and long time senior player Nick BURTON returns after having a run in the reserves last week after a couple of weeks snowboarding in New Zealand.
Also named in the squad of 26 are fancied recruit, former premiership captain from St Mary’s (Geelong FL ) Jacob WELSH and Broadbeach junior Jared ECKERSLEY who could potentially debut for the Cats depending on Suns Academy availability.
The Lions have been boosted by former Suns player and Sharks listed Brayden Crossley who joins his brother Ashton in Lions colours with the former returning from injury. The availability of the likes of Foggo, Johnson and Little (all named) is doubtful similar to the Cats.
Given the confines of Salk, centre clearances can often result in dangerous deep forward entries we will be looking to the in-form Jackson FISHER, Max LOWER and Brandon CHADWICK to get us going. Young ruck Ryan PICKERING competing with one of the competition’s premier rucks in Croad will be an interesting watch as will be some of the matchups with Johnson (if available) likely to have first crack at the Mayor MONCRIEFF and Ben Hancock likely to get the job on Crowley. It will be interesting to see where Liam “Nugget” NELSON plays after showing plenty through the middle the past couple of weeks, after playing the last couple of years as a running defender. Likewise Daniel GROSE who may be utilized forward or back or for that matter Sharks listed Ryan GILMORE who has recently been used to good effect as a tall wingman, where the majority of his footy has been as a key position player.
The Development team have been boosted by the return of Jack O”SHEA from a minor ankle strain, former Gold Coast Sun Josh HALL and Tom BETSON and Al RAYNER, both of whom have played plenty of seniors footy this year. Mitch BELL will look to continue his good form of the past couple of weeks, and interesting to see if Alex MALONEY can continue his promising start in Cats colours and kick another bag. Great also to see Cats juniors Harrison ROWLES and Darcy DIENJES backing up again after recently playing their first matches for the year.
The colts side again looks strong and hoping to back up last week’s great win over Grange. Several Queensland u17 squad members are again available and also credit to the club’s commitment to development with 2 under 16 players in Zanker-Close and Jeffery being provided opportunity in a must-win match.
Our women’s div 1 team have the bye, with the development team making the trek to Jimboomba.
Good luck to all teams.