The Western Magpies are gearing up for an important match when they play Surfers Paradise at Toowoomba on Saturday. In a promotion by the Magpies, AFLQ, AFL Darling Downs and the Toowoomba City Council, the Pies host the Demons in a crucial QAFL Round 6 match at Toowoomba’s Rockville Oval.
The match has received heavy publicity in the Garden City and a big crowd should be on hand to witness the clash.
The Western Magpies have long had a connection to the Darling Downs with a number of players from that region joining the Pies in over the years.
Brodie and Riley Easton are current players to play for the Pies and they started their football careers at Dalby Swans before arriving at Chelmer 3 years ago. Brodie has established himself as a regular senior player in the Pies midfield and is part of the Magpies leadership group this year. Brodie was filmed in Toowoomba for a promotion for the match which will attract the attention of the fines’ master for the club’s footy trip fund!!
Riley has returned to playing after a knee reconstruction. He arrived with a bullet in 2015 and as a 16 year old small forward played a number of senior games and impressed everyone with his ability to apply forward pressure and convert goals. He injured his knee in the Magpies first practice match in 2016 and sat the year out before a delayed entry to footy this year via the Magpies Reserves. He is building toward a senior recall and could be in the mix as soon as this week.
Young ruckman Geoff Gibb, who arrived last year from the University club in Toowoomba, is yet to play this year after a leg injury but he impressed all last year with his ability to learn and his vast improvement as the season progressed. He is close to a return and would like nothing better to get back on the ground in his home town.
Last season Trent Walker played at the Magpies after moving from Warwick and he was also a young player who fast tracked his development.
Sam Copland has been a class act for the Pies up forward in the previous 3 seasons after he traveled down the range from the Coolaroo club. Sam is yet to don the Magpies Guernsey this year as he has been playing for the Brisbane Lions NEAFL team and has been amongst their best in most matches. The Magpies will look forward to him returning for some matches during the season.
Shane Melrose joined the Pies as an assistant coach last year after a distinguished playing and coaching career with the University club in Toowoomba. Shane travels to Chelmer three times per week to coach and has impressed all with his knowledge of the game and contribution to the Magpies.
The connection continues to grow with the Magpies Colts team fielding five players from Toowoomba this season. Jacob Sheath, Finn Collison, Jayden Johnson, Will Gillespie and Abdullah Haddad are part of the Pies team which sits second on the QAFL ladder.
The Magpies have had a long term connection with the Darling Downs with two time premiership player and two-time Bill Peirce Medallist Jim Rozynski originating with the Lockyer Valley club based at Gatton in the Darling Downs competition and he is one of the best ever players to don the Black and White guernsey at Chelmer.
Before that Andrew Farr from the Toowoomba Tigers coached the Magpies Reserves from 2005-07, winning three premierships in his three seasons at the club. Farr then returned to Toowoomba to coach the Tigers to several premierships. His son Daniel Farr played for the Magpies for a number of years when his father coached and was a tough on-baller.
The Magpies are keen to cement close links with AFL in the Darling Downs and indeed all the western corridor and see this match as a way of promoting the club and the game but also thanking the Darling Downs AFL community for their support of the Pies now and in the future.