"Gut Feelings VI"
Some deep thoughts from deep in the nest!
Three out of four ain’t bad for the Senior Magpie contingent with the Woodsmen the only blemish in going down narrowly yet again to Zillmere on Friday night. The Seniors and Reserves had comprehensive victories and the Colts had a hard fought win over - all against Wilston Grange
If the QAFL had a champion club award then the Pies would be close to leading at the moment with all four teams in the top five in their respective ladders.
Ben Jaenke-Cain's 150th Senior Match was typical of just about every game he has played in the Black and White. Ben worked hard up and down the ground, gets back to help his teammates and racked up plenty of possessions to be named in the best players for the Pies in their strong win over Wilston Grange. He was chaired off the ground by the Mitchell brothers to warm applause from a strong Pies supporter contingent.
Skipper Drew Mitchell was back to his Bill Peirce Medal winning best to drive the Pies to their 64 point victory. He polled the maximum 10 votes in the Syd Guildford Medal voting for Most Valuable player in the QAFL voted on by opposing coaches on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. He was joined in the voting by teammates Jono Macanawai and Kale Reed (7 votes each), and Brady Allen and Anthony Corrie (2 votes each)
Jake De Winter now has 24 goals and trails Jarrod Douglas from PBC by 3 goals in the QAFL Goal-kicking list. De Winter is averaging 4.8 goals per game, the best in the QAFL, and his good form and ability at ground level and as a spring healed flyer adds to the Pies forward line potency.
Interestingly, De Winter took a cracking hanger against Grange and mysteriously had a free kick awarded against him. Despite the officiating umpire being the only person at the ground who felt it wasn't a fair mark, it still managed to find its way into the QAFL Marks of the Week, hope the umpire saw it!
The Wilston Grange match had danger written all over it with a couple of key players out and the Pies then kept the door ajar for the Gorillas in the first half with very poor kicking for goal to have 4.13 at halftime. Instead of having a 10 goal lead at halftime and the four points wrapped up, the pies still had plenty of work to do in the second half to earn the victory. A six goal third quarter put the notion of a Grange victory to bed but the Pies missed an opportunity in the last quarter to win by more and build their percentage even further.
Mark Bosnich summed it up on Tuesday night on "Bill and Boz" when another farcical proposal was thrown up about bringing in the 9 point goal from outside the 50 metre arc. He asked why do AFL always want to change the rules? He pointed out it is a very successful game and could not understand all the angst about how the game is going. Nathan Burke also quickly poo-pooed the idea--thank God for that!!
Gerard Whateley on AFL 360 pointed out an article in The Age newspaper headed "The Game is in Trouble" --when was it written?--1924.
Doc Thompson had a function in Melbourne on Saturday night and took the opportunity to watch his nephew play at Maribyrnong Park in Essendon DFL Premier Division in a top of the ladder clash against reigning Premiers Aberfeldie. Also playing for "Marby" is ex Western Magpie Scott Clarke who decided that after playing in Port Melbourne's VFL Premiership last year that the commitment of VFL football was too much and dropped back to suburban football. Essendon DFL is regarded as the top league in Victoria below VFL and the standard was similar to QAFL. Clarke proved his versatility starting at CHB then pushed forward where he booted 2 goals to keep his side in the match before they were well beaten. He was "Marby's" best player in a strong performance.
The Pies next match will be at home to Labrador this Saturday and the Pies' selectors will start developing headaches in coming weeks given the good recent form of incumbents in addition to the impending availability of players returning from injury and unavailability, at least one or two unlucky players given the return of Ryan Harwood this week and likely Will Fletcher too.
The Colts won a close match in a hard fought contest where there was little between the teams. The Pies came from behind late in the game to snatch the 4 points and it was good win against a likely finals opponent. The Colts have several challenging matches coming up with little separating the top 6 teams in the competition. The Pies are second on the ladder and are the only team to defeat the top side in Broadbeach.
The club hosted the Queensland Primary Schools carnival from Thursday to Sunday. It was a great success despite some challenges with the weather, with many visitors complimenting the club on the facilities and organisation that went into the weekend.
A few familiar faces were involved with 'Barts' one of the event organisers and Brett McEvoy coaching the 3rd placed Met North team and also being the QLD Schools U/12 coach. Never one to be out of the action, Kiran Verma was also spotted doing board duties and donning the pink vest to do some running.
Massive effort from regular club volunteers in Paul Silcox and Robert Hartley who manned the BBQ for 4 days straight, plenty of helpers dropped by including Senior Coach Brydan Morgan and current Senior Player Aaron Highlands.
Magpies' strength and conditioning coach Daniel Petch has the Pies in good shape. In all six matches this season the Pies have won the last quarter on the scoreboard as they have run out matches well. In the three matches they have lost they dominated the final quarter against Mt Gravatt and Broadbeach but wayward forward entries and wayward kicking for goal cost them dearly in these losses.
Petch is only 22 years old and is currently completing his Masters of Exercise Science. He also has an AFL pedigree, having started at Labrador and also playing at Southport and Coomera. He also did an internship at the Gold Coast Suns to see how an AFL club prepares. He decided to take a year off from playing the game to enable him to concentrate on establishing his business and also undertaking his Masters. Might be a good recruit in 2019
The Pies inaccuracy on front of goal was again on display in the last round against Wilston Grange but in the end did not prove too costly as the Pies were still able to win well. They cannot afford this luxury against the top sides. The Pies have a season defining run ahead when they are at home to a dangerous Labrador this Saturday then host Morningside a week later. They then travel to Broadbeach before hosting the currently undefeated Mt Gravatt at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer in a Sunday blockbuster on July 8
Another "find" for the Pies this year is ex-Brisbane Lions big man Justin Clarke, who is an assistant coach at the Pies as well as the game day runner. Clarke knows what it takes to prepare for footy and his experience has been a bonus for the Magpies this year.
Clarke had to retire from playing in 2016 due to ongoing issues with post-concussion symptoms. In 2016 at 22 years of age he was just starting to have a major influence at AFL level and to be forced to stop playing was devastating for him. He took up rowing and was doing well at his new sport but continued to have headaches when he exerted himself to the maximum so had to stop this as well.
A connection with ex-Pies coach, ex-Brisbane Lions NEAFL Coach and current Pies Coaching Director Paul Grentell resulted in him joining the Pies as he was keen to be involved at a club and start honing his coaching skills. Clarke was recruited to the Lions from Booleroo-Melrose-Wilmington Football Club based on several small communities north of Adelaide between Port Pirie and Port Augusta.
He is currently completing an Aerospace Engineering degree at UQ and plans to do a PHD in supersonics. He is also now an ambassador for UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, where scientists are tackling some of concussion’s unanswered questions, while working to improve diagnosis and management of brain injuries - a topic he is understandably passionate about.
"Jase" as he is known (due a fantastic story from fellow former Brisbane Lion, Ryan Harwood) is a hugely popular member of the coaching panel and a very welcome addition to the Magpies.
Hear more about his story in this podcast