The Magpies Senior team showed a lot of resilience against Broadbeach to firstly bounce back after the disappointment of the previous week and with a number of key players missing and then when looking down the barrel in the third quarter were able to hang in there and then nearly wrestle back the 4 points. The Magpies list has been pulled from pillar to post in the first 4 weeks of the season and on Saturday the Pies were missing automatic selections in Ryan Harwood, Luke Mitchell, Brody Lumber, Jack Goodall and Tom Baulch. While a number of other strong senior candidates are also injured.
The depth of the Pies was tested but in recent weeks coach Brydan Morgan has unearthed several ripping youngsters in Riley Greene, Ethan Sivijs, Dan Edwards, Zane Lovell, Jayden Gallagher and Macauley Lonergan. We all forget that Harry Marshall is also just 22 and he did not let his coach down on his recall
Lachie Dennis is also only 20 and also looked right at home back in Seniors after a very late start to the year and Aaron Highlands is also only 22 but plays like a veteran. Jack Austin is still only 18 and still learning his craft.
Having fielded teams with an average age under 23 for the past 3 rounds, even including the veteran Gareth Crawford, the upside for the Pies is massive and exciting times are ahead.
The Pies looked down and out at the 10 minute mark of the third quarter against Broadbeach when trailing by 4 goals and to some observers it looked like Broady could run away with it. To the Pies credit they found something extra and led by the resurgent Gareth Crawford, who has bounced back to medal winning form, and youngsters in Dan Edwards and Macauley Lonergan the Pies refused to lie down and in an exciting last quarter almost won the game. It was still another disappointing narrow loss for the Pies and composure at key moments certainly let them down
Morgan's personal resilience will be tested in coming weeks with further news that skipper David Lewis will miss 5-6 weeks with a broken hand, while there are also other niggles and the news that Gerard Moore will miss this week due to a traffic accident at work! Cn’t take a trick the Pies!
At least Lumber and Goodall will be back for this week's clash with Sandgate.
Morgan spoke after the game of the toll it takes to be a Senior coach, regardless of what level you coach at. Morgan was proud of his players but was gutted after the loss and said a loss like last Saturday's just flattens him for a few days but he has to pick himself up to review the game so feedback can be provided to the players and then switches quickly to the next game and start planning for that.
While the QAFL is essentially an amateur competition the time and effort put in by the coaching staff is time consuming and is at the professional level and is almost a second full time job for Morgan.
Speaking of youngsters, the Pies had Colts players in Jonty MacDougall, Cade Scott, Lawson Campbell, Coleman Cornford and Charlie Thorpe and another crop of youngsters in Hamish Campbell, Rory Johnson, Jordan Bonney, Aiden D'Roza, , Mitchell O'Dea, Harrison Radcliffe snd Finn Collison all playing in Reserves and they were all good players in the win over last season's Premiers. Worth noting that McDougall, L.Campbell, Scott and Cornford are just 16 years old!
D'Roza was singled out by his coach Kiran Verma for keeping tabs on last year's Reserves leading goal kicker.
The other pleasing aspect of the win was the return to form of Jesse Hampel with 5 goals and the continued fine play of Zac Collison, who must be close to a Senior debut. He is the Reserves best player this season quite comfortably
Another fine player was Chris Hunt, who at 28 yo is classed as a veteran. Hunt was the Pies best player in last week's Reserves victory and his experience was vital when the match got tight. He is not as fit as he should be after a late start to the season but still has clean ball handling skills and good decision making and with more fitness will be pushing for a Senior recall to add the 99 Senior matches he has played for the Pies.
Hunt commenced with the Pies in 2009 and played 6 senior games that year and was part of Des Lashman’s Colts team that went down in the grand final by a point to a hot favourite Morningside. His presence in the Reserves gives the youngsters around him confidence and his leadership is highly valued at the Nest.
This weekend is Umpires Appreciation round and this contributor has been known to offer unsolicited advice to the men in green on a Saturday afternoon. In fact Gut Feelings is old enough to remember giving advice to the men in white with black socks and white boots--there was only one of them in this days -- and then he recalls doing the same to the men in orange and yellow as well.
Jocularity aside, there cannot be a game without umpires and as anyone will tell you it is a difficult job. The AFLQ have released several stories highlighting the difficulty the umpires have with a lot of "grey" areas in the interpretation of the rules. being highlighted. The beauty of our game is that there are "grey" areas and most players and supported know the nuances of the game and generally understand the subtleties of the rules of the game.
Last week was QAFL Anzac Round and the Magpies had a service before the Senior game on Saturday at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer.
The Western Magpies have been without team managers thus far but club stalwarts Kevin Kluver and David Bartlett have put their hands up to assist in this area, and also with the return of Lachie Dennis in recent weeks, long time volunteer Chris Dennis is also back on deck to assist.
Barts has been looking after the hamburger stall at home games and he was assisted by Rob and Mary Hartley on the weekend and the home match previously by Libby Caprioli, mother of Colts player Anthony, and Natalie Cornford, mother of Coleman, which was much appreciated by Barts.
Kevin manned the scoreboard for the three matches on Saturday which is a long day. Club stalwart Phil Kelemen, who is battling chronic kidney disease yet still does managers role when he can, cannot be expected to do all the jobs he has done for the past 15 or so years so it is time for a few others in the club to step up and put their hands up to do some of the jobs that are required to keep four senior teams on the field, not to mention the numerous junior teams at Sherwood as well.
The Woodsmen suffered their first loss on Friday night going down to the Sam Long coached Yeronga outfit. It was a close enounter, and this is Yeronga’s senior side taking on the Magpie 3rds which shows the depth at the Magpies
Long as a former Magpie coach and Woodsmen player had plenty of intel on the team, even still being a member of the private Facebook group - but it likely didn’t do him much good when the woodies again made 10 changes to the previous weeks team and will be looking to welcome back to the side the likes of Judson, DeNys, Green, Banim and many more in coming weeks. An embarrassment of riches!
Also pleasing to see down at the Woodies game was Senior Captain, David Lewis giving up his time to assist where possible.
Eagle eyed Club President and Woodies stalwart Andrew Thomson also spotted ex teammate and past Magpie Micky Sheen sitting under a tree enjoying the warmup, and before poor old Micky knew what had hit him he had a fluro vest and some flags to look after goal umpiring duties!
It’s an eclectic bunch down at the Woodies with 2 life members in the side, 3 current committee members, former senior captains, former reserves captains, a couple of AFLQ employees, a current reserves coach, some rugby converts, a paramedic and plenty of coppers!