Here we are at last, Round 1 of the QAFL season! It’s been a bit disjointed over the pre-season where the Magpies trained at Moorooka, Kenmore and Yeronga while McCarthy Homes Oval had its surface upgrade and new fencing installed, and what a magnificent sight it is to have full turf coverage (almost..) and a beautifully framed oval by the new fence.
The Magpies travel to Mt Gravatt for Round 1 (again….5 times in a row!) for what is dubbed by the QAFL as Rivalry Round. Sam Corless has been running a SQAFA Facebook page which is trying to discover and discuss the history of the SQAFA and he debated the biggest rivalries in Queensland and right up there is the Sherwood v Mt Gravatt SQAFA rivalry of the 1970s and 1980s. In the general banter back and forth it was pointed out that it was a bit of a one-way rivalry with the Pies dominating in the Premiership stakes, winning every decider between the clubs. Sam estimates from 1968 to 1982, they played 59 games with the Pies winning 38, the Vultures 21 and in finals the Pies holding a 9-4 record. The telling statistic was that in all 6 Grand finals that they clashed Sherwood won all 6 (1973, 1976-80)!! Go Pies!!
The Western Magpies were defeated in both their practice matches and were competitive despite missing a large number of regular senior players. The Pies went down by 9 points late to last years Premiers Palm Beach-Currumbin then had a washout when scheduled to play Sandgate and looked a bit underdone when defeated by an almost full strength Surfers Paradise by 10 points in the final practice match played in hot conditions 2 weeks ago at McCarthy Homes Oval
The Pies, missing a number of automatic selections, were slow to start against Surfers, but fought back and dominated in the second half but found the goals elusive until the last quarter. Coach Brydan Morgan was pleased with his sides endeavour and improvement as the match progressed. He lamented some wayward kicking for goal but said the defence was solid and the Pies used the switch out of defence well. The Magpies were beaten at the stoppages early but worked back into the game in the second half.
The Woodsmen have started the season with a good win over old rivals Zillmere at McCarthy Homes Oval last Friday night. The Pies won by 37 points, 11-11-77 to 6-4-40 with best players Chris La Burniy, Sam Curtis, Luca Winton, Lochie McDonald, Chris Jenkins and Tim Green. Luca Winton put some run into his legs after an overseas break and booted 3 goals as did club legend Matt Hockley. The Woodsmen host last year’s Premiers and grand final opponents Maroochydore at McCarthy Homes Oval, Chelmer tonight.
Four Western Magpies Colts players represented the Brisbane Lions Academy in their 26 point victory over the GWS Giants Academy at Blacktown on the weekend in the NAB U18 State Series. 2018 Colts Premiership players Samson Ryan and Bruce Reville were joined by James Ward and Jack Briskey, with Reville , playing on a wing, named as one of the best players. and Ward in fine touch after a year away from football.
Former Magpie Phil Wills is now officially a legend of Northern Territory football after winning the League B & F Award, the Nichols Medal and all being a star for Nightcliff in their drought breaking premiership victory when they defeated Southern Districts. The Tigers last premiership was in 1964, 55 years ago, so to say it was memorable is an understatement. Phil played for the Pies in 2006 as an 18 year old youngster and was a member of the Magpies 2006 Reserves Premiership team after being in and out of the Senior team that year. He then moved back to Darwin and played for Darwin Buffaloes, who he captained for 4 years, before joining Nightcliff 2 seasons ago. He has also been an integral part of the NT Thunder team in the NEAFL for a number of seasons, playing 53 matches for the Thunder and over 170 matches in the NTFL. All at Magpie land salute Phil on a wonderful playing career capped by a league B& F in a drought breaking premiership year--stuff of legends!!
BTW, former Pie Anthony Corrie started his football as a junior at Nightcliff and also played for Southern Districts.
Congratulations to ex- Magpie Jackson Allen who has been named Aspley captain this year. Allen played as a Kenmore junior before joining the Pies in Under 16s before graduating to the Seniors as a teenager. He was drafted to the Gold Coast Suns where he made several AFL appearances before having several seasons at Sturt in the SANFL and then returning to Queensland several seasons ago.
The Magpies have seven players listed with NEAFL clubs, namely Allen, Cal Carseldine, Will Fletcher and Doug Lawrence at Aspley and Mitchell Stallard, Caleb Franks and Billy Johnson at Redland. This is the highest number from any one Brisbane based club in the QAFL. All these players can play for the Pies if they are not selected for their NEAFL clubs.
The Pies have listed another 6 players from Redlands in the NEAFL who may be available for the Pies if they are not selected for their NEAFL clubs. The Pies have welcomed Liam Dwyer and Stephen Mills to their ranks over the years and Scott Miller has made 2 appearances for the Pies in the recent past. Other players listed for the Pies are Harrison Kerr, who looked a very handy half forward in the practice match against Surfers Paradise, Adrian Williams, Boyd Bailey and Blair McCutcheon.
The Western Magpies were well represented at the launch of Murray Bird and Greg Parker's magnificent history of AFL in Queensland at Coorparoo on Tuesday, December 11th. The Book is titled "150 Years of Queensland Australian Football—More of the Kangaroo" and is a massive almost 1100 pages long. The title comes from a quote from the 1880s of one of the pioneers of Australia Football in Queensland, who was forced to play rugby for a number of years before returning to the indigenous game and he is reputed to have said " I prefer more of the kangaroo”, alluding to the fact he preferred the Australian game of football rather than the English game—rugby.
The book, which is a massive tome, is still available for purchase --$90—and can be accessed via www.Q150.net.au “ and we believe will be on sale this Saturday at Mt Gravatt—worth a look.
Ex-Sherwood junior and long time Southport President Dr Alan McKenzie told the gathering of his early years at Sherwood and Western Districts and of the rivalry that developed between the clubs in the 1970s and 1980s. The book also gives good coverage to Sherwood which no doubt is partly explained by the access to information in the club’s history written in 2011 by Tony and Geraldine Massey (“In Black and White” can still be purchased from Warren Selvage for $25 by contacting him at email@example.com)
Shane Bridley and Terry O’Shea, who both played in the 1970s and 1980s met with club President Andrew Thomson in December to discuss some ideas to resurrect the Old Boys Association activities. The club is discussing the formation of a Hall of Fame as well as a couple of projects to get all the Senior Best and Fairest winners photos mounted and wall photo collage of the club's history. The Old Boys can help raise funds for these projects as well as organise reunions an past player events after much of the clubs history has been lost in two floods of 1974 and 2011
Shane is putting together a data base of ex-players and is well into the planning for a "Return to Sherwood Day" and is hoping to have AFL legend David Parkin as a guest speaker at an event during the year--watch this space. All past players are encouraged to send Shane their details and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the Magpies favourite sons in Leigh Barnes was awarded Life Membership of the USA AFL late last year after working for over 20 years to grow Australian Football in San Francisco. He was one of the founders of the Golden Gate AFL and is still involved in the game. Magpies supporters may also remember a young American who had a couple of seasons with the Pies in 2009-10. Bryan Dragus started playing in San Jose in the GGAFL and now still plays in Los Angeles where he works. Bryan has been a regular member of the United States team that plays in the International Cup held every 2 years in Australia.
Congratulations to Magpie players Brenton Saunders who was recently married three weeks ago, and ex-Captain and premiership player Gerard Moore, whose nuptials will be on Saturday when he will wed his fiancé Charlotte with a number of current and past Magpie players in attendance.
In excess of 10 Sherwood boys recently attended the Met West U12 trials at CJ Greenfield Park (relocated from Sherwood due to weather and the new surface needing a break from football) and congrats must go to Jacob Edwards, Jack Harrison, Julian Reitsma and Elliot Sinfield who were selected, while Jack Slater was also selected in the Met East Team. Certainly some other lads could be considered unlucky after not getting much of a run at the trials!
The Magpies Golf Day was held on Sunday with a fantastic turnout, great prizes and magnificent weather at Oxley Golf Club. Sponsored by Place, Carter Capner Law, Kaplan and CFMG Capital it was a fantastic day. The winners were a little controversial given club President Andrew Thomson conveniently partnered himself with junior parent Justin Dickinson. An accomplished player himself off a handicap of 4, Thommo acted ‘surprised’ when he learned his partner was a former pro as they combined to shoot well under par to claim honours for the day both Nett and Gross! Life Member and avid golfer Bruce O’Neill has vowed to do the pairings in 2020!