The Western Magpies Colts go into the QAFL Colts Grand Final at Yeronga on Saturday as a complete unit, with basically a full strength squad to pick from, resulting in a very strong 22 and some hard luck stories at selection as a result.
The Pies have won the last two encounters between the sides with a 33 point win in the wet at Currumbin a fortnight ago and a 43 point win in Round 14 at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer.
The Lions bounced back from their recent loss to win easily over Wilson Grange in the Preliminary final so the Magpies will be in for a tough battle if they are to triumph in the Grand Final.
The Pies have made one change to the side that won a fortnight ago with half forward Abdullah Haddad recovering from a fractured cheek a month ago to take his place back in the side. As is often the case in a Grand Final, there is selection heart ache and in this case it was half forward Lachlan Pearson who made way after a fine season.
The Pies midfield have been dominant this year and they held sway a fortnight ago. Ruckman Samson Ryan has been a consistent performer and polled well in the QAFL Colts B & F despite missing many games due to representative duties. Jacob Sheath has been consistent in midfield and Zane Lovell has had a good 2 months of footy with strong play around the packs. Skipper Noah Resuggan is often overlooked in the best players but he leads from the front and he can rotate through the midfield and when forward offers another option. Rover and small forward Sean Ryan is a smart footballer and uses his pace to advantage.
Other speedsters around the middle of the ground include Bruce Reville, who just looks like a class act with pace and clean ball handling skills, Dan Edwards who work hard both ways and Deng Arok, who also polled will in the QAFL B & F.
Up forward big men Cam Ferguson and Finn Collison provide the tall targets and if they don’t mark they bring the ball to ground where Ryan, Resuggan, Sam Mehari and the returning Haddad love nothing better than to swoop on the loose ball in search of goal kicking opportunities. The Pies forwards also work hard to apply forward pressure when they don’t have the ball with a number of players with pace to harass opposition ball carriers.
The defence has been generally miserly this year and work well together as a unit. With key position defenders Whitlam Bishop and Chris Moloney rock solid all year and with the medium sized flankers in Chris Jenkins, Aiden D’Roza, Charlie Thorpe and Ethan Sivijs, the Pies have a well-oiled back half. The midfield also work hard defensively so the Magpies will make their opponents work hard for their goals.
A large number of the Pies players featured in last year’s Grand Final and will know a good start and scoreboard pressure are vital if a Grand Final is to be won. This was proved a fortnight ago when the Pies got on top early and coaches Jake Fuentes and Kiran Verma will be stressing to their players that the pressure does ramp up in the premiership decider and to be ready to embrace it, win the early hard ball get the side away to a good start.
the coaching and leadership group have moulded a tight knit group of young men who play the game in the right spirit and are also good citizens off the field and great clubmen.
The Pies start favourites but this does not count for much on Grand Final Day and the young Pies will need to bring their best to overcome what is expected to be a strong PBC challenge as the Lions begin there day looking for Premiership Glory in all 3 grades.
QAFL Colts Grand Final: Western Magpies v Palm Beach-Currumbin at Yeronga on Saturday September 22nd, 2018 at 09.00am.
B: Chris Jenkins (vc) Chris Moloney Charlie Thorpe
HB: Aiden D’Rosa Whitlam Bishop (vc) Ethan Sivijs
C: Dan Edwards Jacob Sheath Deng Arok
HF: Jayden Johnson Cameron Ferguson Sam Mehari
F: Noah Resuggan (Capt) Finn Collison Sean Ryan
Foll: Samson Ryan Zane Lovell Bruce Reville
I/C: Jacob Aurich, Abdullah Haddad, Ritti Batilimoyo, Ryan Cherry
In: Abdullah Haddad
Out: Lachlan Pearson (omitted)
Emerg: Lachlan Pearson, Harrison Radcliffe, Harry Keenan, Cooper Crowell, Tom Slatter
Unavail: Mitchell O’Dea (fractured clavicle)