WATCH LIVE: TCC in AFLQ Schools Cup prelim final
AFL: Mental strength and game smarts are two key weapons in The Cathedral College’s arsenal, according to coach Michael Rose.
The TCC senior girls will need to draw heavily on both when they take on reigning champions Miami State High in the AFL Queensland Schools Cup preliminary final on Friday.
The game, which starts at 4.15pm at the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex, will be livestreamed on The Morning Bulletin website.
Rose said Miami would present a serious challenge but he was confident TCC had the skill and the game plan to take it to their highly fancied rivals.
“These girls don’t seem to get fazed by anything, which is good,” Rose said.
“They’re a pretty resilient bunch and they’re game smart; their knowledge of the game has really improved.
“We’re playing a different way this year so hopefully that will go a long way towards beating them.
“I like to imagine what the other team needs to do to beat us, then put systems in place to make it hard for them to achieve that.”
TCC will be led by skipper Sara-Jane O’Grady, who is ready to bring the experience she has gained from her involvement in the Gold Coast Suns Academy to the fore.
“I have learnt a fair bit about the game, which I’m hoping I can transfer over to this carnival and help the girls,” she said.
“I’m a bit nervous but pretty excited. Hopefully we can just play our game and we’ll see how we go.
“Miami’s our toughest game. We know we’re going to have to take it to them if we want to get to the final.”
O’Grady said Isabelle Shearer in the ruck, Holly Clarke across the halfback line and Akausher Savage in the middle would be vital to TCC’s chances.
Rose said that if TCC were able to topple Miami on Friday they would be feeling good about their chances in Sunday’s grand final.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend and seeing how we go against the teams that are training and playing every week,” he said.
“For us, it’s about getting out there, playing our roles and enjoying ourselves.
“We’re pretty pumped. We feel like winners already but it would be great to come away with the championship this year.”
Nicola Hill: Nicola is playing her first season of AFL and is growing in confidence week by week. Tall, with good natural skills, she is learning the skills of the game very quickly. An asset with her overhead marking ability.
Lili-Jayne Hass: Tough inside midfielder. Her one-handed ball drop has come a long way, and she’s beginning to kick like a natural.
Anna Childes: Anna’s second and third efforts are fantastic, her dedication a real asset to the team. Her height offers an unexpected advantage and she improves each week.
Jaya Acutt: An absolute all-rounder, Jaya’s tactical awareness around the goals is her strength. She is fast and composed under pressure, and able to finish with a goal when within range.
Remmie Whitehead: Remmie is a seriously tough contender, single-minded in her attack. Can run and carry with the ball and put it where it needs to be.
Zoe Norris: Wins her own football at every contest and is able to dish it out when surrounded by supporting runners. Always shows up and gives her best efforts on game day.
Melanie Hamilton: One of the fastest players on the team, Mel is learning to use her speed as a weapon by becoming better at bouncing the ball while running.
Cordell O’Meara: One of the best finishers in the team, Cordell knows how to win the football and always straightens up when kicking for goal.
Akausher Savage: Akausher has a real presence on the field, winning every contest she is in and if she gets there late she will always chase down her opponent. Deadly in front of goal.
Shontay Hockley: Reads the game well and positions herself very well on the field, rebounding the ball on countless occasions. A straight kick and great marking ability for her size make her perfect for the half forward line.
Ainslie Humble: One of the surprise packages of the side, Ainslie has shown great improvement over the last few years. She is now one of our best defenders but has recently shown that she can kick a goal if given the chance.
Ashleigh Toomey: Ash has great closing speed running into a contest. She always makes it difficult for the opposition to win the ball, buying time for her teammates to come and support.
Georgia Abbott: First year playing the game, Georgia has learned plenty and applied herself at every session. She has shown great determination in making it to every training and now has one of the straightest kicks in the team.
Lucy Busby: Another all-round athlete, Lucy shows great speed and tactical awareness on the field. Probably the most coachable athlete in the side, responding very well to any task given to her.
Isabelle Shearer: 189cm tall and can mark it overhead. Isabelle has only played a handful of AFL games and it’s crazy to think how far she could take it. Already she is marking the ball overhead and learning how to drop punt with consistency.
Rahni Parle: The surprise goal-kicking machine of the team. Rahni has the uncanny ability to pull a goal from nowhere. She has a great work ethic on the field and can turn her friendly demeanour into controlled aggression when she needs to. An asset to the side.
Alexis Williams: Alexis has been missing in action for some time recovering from an ACL injury. The last time she played TCC won the title. She has nearly the best ground kick in the team, her ability to read the speed of her teammates and put the ball out in front is a real strength.
Sara-Jane O’Grady: Captain of the side and the most experienced player in the team. Sara has played at the highest level this year, representing her state in the under-18 national competition. Her willingness to fight for every possession and keep her direct opponent scoreless is credit to her work ethic and relentless mental fitness when out on the field.
Holly Clarke: A supreme athlete on the soccer field, Holly plays AFL like it’s second nature. She was injured during our Mackay games but will be back where she belongs, floating across the half-back line this weekend. Her soccer background has given her great tactical awareness and she is able to read the play before her opponents, giving our team a massive chance of rebounding the ball back into our attacking zone.
Shavinah Mann: Shavinah is the smiling assassin of the side. She will run through anyone and anything when she wants the football. Her added ability to stop her opponents with ease and find the right kicking option will cause headaches for whoever lines up on her in the opposing side.
Liezel Viljoen: Liezel is the backbone of the side. Her leadership is of real quality, controlling the back six with her voice and actions she will be invaluable to our defensive unit this weekend.