Come on down to Cooke-Murphy Oval tomorrow to see what promises to be a huge game of finals footy, with the winner able to book themselves a Grand Final spot at Southport in a couple of weeks.
After a bye, a month covid hiatus and then a week off courtesy of the finals format means its been 7 weeks between matches for the Cats. Too long ago to worry too much about round by round ins and outs but the Cats do welcome back several key players with around 8 different players named from our last meeting where the Tigers proved too strong at the same venue. VFL listed players Michael SELSBY, Lucas JELLYMAN-TURNER and HARRISON ARNOLD return after the VFL season was unfortunately abandoned this week due to the covid situation in Victoria. SELSBY and ARNOLD have been with the Cats for several years and JELLYMAN-TURNER played the first 8 rounds with the Cats before being promoted to Aspley’s list. Also into the side a key playmakers of the past couple of years in Ty ARMITAGE and Brad LOWE, both who would have returned a month ago, but for the untimely covid interruption.
Another handy in is Bodhi UWLAND, who on weight of an outstanding year, is now considered a likely draft prospect, being one of 3 Queenslanders invited to draft combine. Pleasingly for both club and player, Aussie HARRIS (senior emergency tomorrow) has also been invited to combine as one of around 90 top prospects around the country. To have 2 of the 3 invited is testament to the work that goes on behind the scenes and we wish the boys well. Teenaged Broadbeach juniors Brayden TAYLOR, Cody HARRINGTON and Riley WINTER have all retained their places in the side.
Labrador are also at full strength, boosted by the availability of 6 Sharks VFL listed players, ex AFL gun Pearce Hanley and McKay. Veteran talls Retzlaff, Goldsmith and Hollis have all been named, and Victorian midfield recruits Meagher and Simpson have been handy for them. One would expect Young to renew hostilities with the Mayor MONCRIEFF, who has a spring in his step after recently becoming a father. Congrats Jordan and Charlee!
It’s likely that Maloney and Arnold will get first crack at Retzlaff and Goldsmith, and it’ll be interesting to see what role Hanley plays, as he has been playing forward lately after the early part of the season playing as the quarterback type player across halfback. If he plays forward, perhaps UWLAND goes to him, or possibly UWLAND may go to Anderson or Travaglini, both who have had pretty good seasons up forward. SEARL, ARNOLD and LJT are expected to provide plenty of drive from the backline.
The battle of the mids will be interesting with PICKERING excited to crack in against Hollis and the likes of WELSH, LOWER and FISHER all very capable of winning plenty on the inside, and we all look forward to our dangerous smalls like JASPER and HARRINGTON going to work. Interesting also to see how the coaches utilize GILMORE and IRWIN, both who have shown great versatility this season, and are capable of fulfilling a number of roles.
Unfortunately, despite fielding a strong side on paper, the reserves bowed out for 2021 last week at the hands of a spirited Maroochydore outfit. The boys had their chances, having several more scoring shots but just couldn’t convert despite best efforts. Several players who have had consistent seasons struggled at times with the pressure of a final coupled with a six week layoff, with skill errors proving costly. Best players on the day were TAYLOR & MALONEY (earned senior selection this week), and Troy TOUSSAINT who never gave up all day. It was great to see a squad of around 35 plyers commit to training through as well as a big turnout of reserves players in the club last night to support the remaining teams.
After what could only be described as a rusty first quarter the boys were able to turn it on to run out convincing 27 point winners against a very talented Wilston Grange outfit, boasting several players that have played senior QAFL football in 2021. Well done to the coaches for remaining calm early and showing great belief in the players who responded. Jaxon DENNY was outstanding defensively and was awarded best afield honors, REYNOLDSON and ROGERS won plenty of it through the middle and ECKERSLEY solid down back. BAINES was playing well including a classy goal on the run before unfortunately sustaining a concussion running him out for 12 days. The colts travel up to Morningside this week in an elimination semi final.
JUNIOR GRAND FINALS
Good luck to our Girls U17 Div 1 who head to Yeronga tomorrow morning for their GF. Likewise the Boys U14 Div 1 team who look maintain their unbeaten season Sunday morning at 10 am at Southport.
Congratulations to our masters team who are premiers for a 3rd season running. A great day last Saturday at the Cattery!