LEADING THE WAY: Sara-Jane O'Grady will have a big role to play for The Cathedral College senior girls team in the North Queensland championships.
LEADING THE WAY: Sara-Jane O'Grady will have a big role to play for The Cathedral College senior girls team in the North Queensland championships. JASON O'BRIEN PHOTOGRAPHY

TCC's AFL teams chasing victory in the north

AFL: The Cathedral College has two teams gunning for glory in the AFLQ Schools Cup North Queensland championships in Mackay.

Their senior girls are out to claim a fourth straight NQ title, while the junior boys are making their first appearance at the two-day event, which kicks off tomorrow at the Great Barrier Reef Arena.

The Emmaus College junior girls have also qualified for the championships for the first time.

The Rockhampton schools will play teams from Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, with the winners qualifying for the state championships in Maroochydore this October.

Michael Rose, who coaches TCC's open girls and assists junior boys coach Andrew Prince, is optimistic for both teams.

The Cathedral College junior boys AFL team (back row, from left)  Logan Stoddart, Brodie Bauer, Dallyn Marou, Bamali Thomas, Jack Hutchieson, Thomas Jacobsen, Thomas Hutchieson, Tyler Matheson, Will Hutchieson, Jack Brazier, Hamish MacDonald, Jonathon Hockley and (front row) Casey Schneider, Zane Blackborough and Nicholas Daisley.
KICKING GOALS: The Cathedral College junior boys AFL team (back row, from left) Logan Stoddart, Brodie Bauer, Dallyn Marou, Bamali Thomas, Jack Hutchieson, Thomas Jacobsen, Thomas Hutchieson, Tyler Matheson, Will Hutchieson, Jack Brazier, Hamish MacDonald, Jonathon Hockley and (front row) Casey Schneider, Zane Blackborough and Nicholas Daisley are ready to go. PAULINE CROW

He said the boys had a talented line-up, and and were pumped up and ready to go.

"We have a lot of junior boys who play AFL. There's more in the team who play club footy than don't and those who don't are really good athletes.

"We're going to employ a one zone set-up with the boys.

"We're hoping they've got enough talent that we can let them go out there and just play footy.”

Rose said that Tom Hutchieson would have a big influence on the team's performances.

"He'll be playing in the midfield and we'll be trying to get his hands on the football as much as possible,” he said.

"He will be our best and one of the best at the carnival, I think.”

Rose said the girls team would be without several of its regulars but would be boosted by the inclusion of Isabelle Shearer.

The Cathedral College senior girls AFL team (from left) Shontay Hockley, Jaya Acutt, Lucy Busby, Akausher Savage, Lili-Jayne Hass, Lily Gronow, Holly Clarke, Nicola Hill, Rahni Parle, Isabelle Shearer, Sara-Jane O'Grady, Anna Cook, Shavinah Mann, Georgia Abbott, Bianca Taylor, Ainslie Humble, Ashleigh Toomey, Remmie Whitehead and Melanie Hamilton.
The Cathedral College senior girls AFL team (from left) Shontay Hockley, Jaya Acutt, Lucy Busby, Akausher Savage, Lili-Jayne Hass, Lily Gronow, Holly Clarke, Nicola Hill, Rahni Parle, Isabelle Shearer, Sara-Jane O'Grady, Anna Cook, Shavinah Mann, Georgia Abbott, Bianca Taylor, Ainslie Humble, Ashleigh Toomey, Remmie Whitehead and Melanie Hamilton. Absent are Zoe Norris, Cordell O'Meara, Liezel Viljoen and Alexis Williams. PAULINE CROW

"She's a big in for us in the ruck. She'll hopefully be able to give us first use of the ball so we can play the game on our terms.

"We are looking to play a more tactical game with the girls. We will have a bit of a zone set-up and will be relying on fullback Holly Clarke, centre half back Liezel Viljoen and rover Sara-Jayne O'Grady to co-ordinate that.

"Once we get it up front we've got some good goalkickers in Shontay Hockley, Akausher Savage and Cordell O'Meara.

"We will also have a tall target down deep in Rahni Parle who will present well and most likely draw some of their best defenders.”

Rose said the girls would have a tough test in their opening game against St Mary's from Cairns.

"If we can get through Cairns, hopefully we can go all the way.

"We don't want to get into a hard tussle with these teams, we want to play a more open style of footy, but if it does get into a scrimmage the girls are more than capable of holding their own.”