Firstly, I’d like to say hello, and mention how welcoming the UQAFC Red Lions have been since I started coaching the club on the 11th of November 2014. It is a day in which is so special to many of us (Remembrance Day), and now for myself that little bit more significant.
Much has happened over this time and there have been many changes, with a new coaching group, leadership group, and plenty of new players down at Oval 7, all working hard to give us the best opportunity to be a successful team both on and off the field.
The coaching group for the 2015 season will be;
Myself – Head Coach/Forward Line Coach
Phil Lovett – Backline Coach
Tim MacKinley – Midfield Coach
Daniel Archer – Director of Coaching
We are very lucky to have Phil, Tim and Daniel put there time into the club this year, which as a new coach will help my development and make life much easier.
Phil is originally from Canberra and has come across with myself after playing with the Redland Bombers last year, and is an absolute sports/football Nut. Tim has great experience with plenty of playing and coaching success at UQAFC and was assistant coach at The Morningside Panthers where he got to see just how a leading club of the QAFL is run. Then there’s Daniel Archer, who is also an Old Red Lion, and has a wealth of coaching experience, including The Sydney University, NT Thunder, and was lucky enough to be my State coach in the NEAFL last year. Daniel will be overseeing how it all goes and using his experience to give sound advice where needed.
This year we have a 6 man Leadership Group that includes 5 senior leaders and an Emerging leader (21 years or under). The Group was voted for by their peers, so congratulations goes to Alistair Carlson, Ross Wilkinson, Tom Crameri, Gareth Begley, Sebastian Curtis and Alex Bateman (emerging leader). All these players displayed great leadership throughout the pre-season and live the values of UQAFC Red Lions.
Honourable mentions go to Rick Dolphin, Sean Powyer and Patty O’Shaughnessy who just missed out but as with all players it is essential everyone shows leadership if we are to be a successful team.
This year has also seen the departure of a few players, they include Michael Stewart, Cam Stevenson (Aspley), Ryder Court, Sean Maxwell, Tom Warby, Adam Culvenor, Dan Poultney, Sam Rockliff, (travel, Work, etc.) Jarrod Prakelt, (retired). Apologies to those missed. Along side this Lewis Radford has undergone a Knee Reconstruction last year, but has been impressive in his rehab and may return midway through the season.
We have also finished our recruiting for the 2015 season and the new players joining the Red Lions are;
Darren Pfeiffer (myself) – 27, 184cm, 84kg, Midfield, Redland Bombers/PAFC
Phil ‘Foam Roller’ Lovett, 26, 190cm, 88kg, Backline, Redlands/Tuggeranong
Owen ‘Rock of’ Giraldi, 26, 191cm, 95kg, Utility, Old Ignatians (SAAFL)
Sebastian ‘Crab’ Curtis –
Kurtis Norton-Neale – 19, 194cm, 90kg, Forward, Mount Gravatt.
Luca Mason – 17, 184cm, 82kg, Midfield, Sherwood.
Joe Llewelyn – 18, 185cm, 73kg, Midfield, Central Trinity Beach Bulldogs (Cairns)
George ‘Curious’ Hannaford – 20, 188cm, 90kg, Utility/Backline, Aspley Hornets
Matt ‘Batman’ Judd – 26, 179cm, 82kg, Midfield, Uni Football Club (WAAFL)
Ross Wilkinson –
Jack Rusbridge – 21, 170cm, 62kg, Midfield, Redland Bombers
Matt Rosen – 23, 183cm, 90kg, Midfield/Backline, UQAFC (2 years away)
This Pre-season has seen us go to Tallebudgera Training Facility for a 3-day camp, where the boys were subject to some intense training, and some even more intense gameplan sessions (intense in the fact that we all wanted to sleep). The way the group responded was fantastic and it has been a real catalyst in finishing off our pre-season with real Purpose, whilst getting to know each other away from Oval 7.
We have also completed several 2km time trials this pre-season with standout performances from; Harry Marshall, Seb Curtis, Jared D’Roza, Ed Hooper, Tom Crameri, Mark McCutcheon, Luca Mason, and Liam Williams, whilst large improvements from Chris Willmet and Jack Rusbridge.
After finally sitting down and looking over the list of 60, it seems we will have a squad full of depth, and this is very important to us as we will Pride ourselves on success in all grades. For the top team to be successful, it is important for the U/18s and Reserves teams to be winning and have players pushing for selection therefore keeping the pressure to perform on the League side.
Lastly, on Thursday we played an Internal Trial to mark an official end to the Preseason. The first half was scrappy as you would expect, but from half time it opened up, the players started to be calm, control the ball better in the tricky conditions, and the goals started flowing!! It was great to see the players put their bodies on the line with a Relentless attack on the footy, and a real enthusiasm.
Our First official Pre-season game is Saturday 14th March at 2:30pm vs Burleigh Bombers at Coomera.
Get down and show some support for The Red Lions in 2015!!
The University of Queensland Australian Football Club (est 1956) is one of the largest sporting clubs based on the UQ campus. Recognised by AFL athletes as the preferred club at which to develop their professional and sporting careers, the UQAFC is a professional organisation based on amateur values where the UQ AFL community can enjoy competitive success, personal and professional development and life enriching social experiences in a safe, engaging and respectful environment. The club offers UQ Sports Achievement Scholarships specifically for AFL athletes studying and playing at the University of Queensland. With teams in the QAFL, QAFA, QWAFL & QWAFA, the UQAFC plays matches throughout south east Queensland each season. If you would like to contact the UQAFC about our media releases please contact our Media Manager, to enquire about sponsorship opportunities please contact the President, or to find out more about playing with the club please click here.