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  • Writer's pictureQBN Tigers Club

2015 Pre-season Update – February

2015 season fast approaching

Round 1 of the AFL Canberra home and away season for First Grade, Second Grade, Rising Stars and the Women’s competition is just over 8 weeks away, with games commencing on Saturday, 2 May.

All players are strongly encouraged to come to training as often as possible over the final weeks of pre-season so we know who is committed to the season ahead and so all players are well prepared for upcoming trial games (see article below) and Round 1.

Men’s training is 6.00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; Women’s training is 6.30pm Mondays and Thursdays.

Player losses create opportunities at senior level

Many people will have heard through the grapevine that we have lost more players in this off-season than we normally do. Unfortunately this rumour is true. A number of senior players have returned to Tuggeranong; some are continuing at NEAFL level with Eastlake and Ainslie; and some are taking up opportunities offered through country football.

Losing more players than normal means that there is increased opportunity at senior level for players sticking with the club and for younger players progressing up through our ranks. Many of the younger players that have been training to date already appear keen to grab their chances at senior level.

Replacing the number of players we have lost is a challenge. We are calling on all players unsure of whether they are playing or not, or recently retired players who still have itchy feet, to pull on the boots this year and help us through the transition out of the NEAFL competition.

Grab a mate, a past player, or someone interested in having a kick and head down to training to help the Tigers ‘Eat em alive’ in 2015.

New signings

In addition to securing the likes of Kade Klemke, Brett Fruend, Andrew Swan, Matt Grocott and new recruit Tim Clowry from Eastlake, several other up and coming players have committed to the club for 2015 and have been training solidly. These include Tim Shea, Jono Bowyer, Scott Lancaster, Brad Cummins, Jack Murphy, Sam Bowden, Dean Ross, and Hayden Kelly – just to name a few of the more regular faces on the track.

We also hope to announce a few former players returning to the club and a couple of new recruits in the very near future.

Alignment of excess NEAFL players

In 2015, Eastlake and Ainslie will both have 35 players on their NEAFL list, plus 12 Rookies (aged under 19).

Each NEAFL club will select only 23 players from their 47 man squad each week, meaning that those not selected will need to filter back into the AFL Canberra competition.

There had been some discussion about holding a draft to determine which clubs the excess players would play for. However, AFL Canberra recently announced a more straight forward approach where ‘local’ NEAFL players would be aligned with their ‘local’ club and be allowed to return ‘home’ when not selected for NEAFL.

For us, this means the likes of Eastlake NEAFL recruits Jeremy Kirkwood, Sam Jensen, Stephen Camp and Kieran Shea will still be able to don the black and gold if they miss out on NEAFL selection. Eastlake NEAFL Rookies Brandon Lagana, Tyler Collins and Jarrod Thompson will also turn out for the Tigers this year if they miss NEAFL selection.

Men’s trial games and pre-season camp

Trial games have been scheduled as follows:

Saturday, 14 March – Margaret Donoghoe Oval – 12.00 noon – Rising Stars v Marist – 2.00pm – First and Reserve Grade v ANU – 6 quarters of combined squads

Saturday, 21 March – Margaret Donoghoe Oval – 1.00pm – First Grade v North Albury – 4 quarters with extended benches – 3.00pm – Reserve Grade and Rising Stars v Harman – 6 quarters of combined squads

A pre-season camp for the men’s teams will be held on Sat, 28 March at Lakesea Park, Durras, which is about 15kms north of Batemans Bay.

Players will be required to make their own way to Durras early on Saturday for a full day of activities before camping overnight and returning home Sunday. Further details will be provided to all players closer to the date.

Sheets asking all players to indicate their availability for the three weekends mentioned above have been placed in the change rooms. Please add your names.

Pre-season competition

AFL Canberra is currently planning a pre-season round-robin competition involving Rising Stars and extended First Grade squads. The competition will be played over two weekends, with teams in two pools for the first weekend and finals played on the second weekend. The games will be shortened and will involve modified rules.

At the moment the competition is being planned for Sun 12 and Sat 18 April. The Tigers will be hosting one of the competition days. Further details will be made available as the planning continues.

2015 Draws

Final amendments to the AFL Canberra 2015 draws are currently being made and final version is expected to be released in the near future.

The draft draw indicates that nearly all of this year’s men’s games will be played on Saturdays, with 8 out of the 15 as home games. There will only be a couple of weekends for the year when we don’t play all men’s grades on the same day at the one venue. This allows for the inclusion of Marist as an extra team in the Rising Stars grade.

The Women’s grade will split their games between Saturdays and Sundays. Home games will be played at the Queanbeyan Park and Rockley Oval, Googong. The final five rounds of the Women’s draw will be determined by ladder position when the competition to split into two divisions.

Final draws will be circulated widely when available.

New sponsors and name for our oval

The name ‘Dairy Farmers’ has been synonymous with the Tigers for the past 15 years. Unfortunately Dairy Farmers is not a position to continue as our Principal Partner and oval naming rights sponsor in 2015 but are staying involved with the club. They will be handing over the naming rights for the oval to a new sponsor.

This is an exciting opportunity to begin what we hope will be another long-lasting partnership with a new Principal Partner. The new partner’s logo will appear on the front of our playing jumpers and on match day uniforms which are currently being produced. A media announcement unveiling the new sponsor, and the new name for the oval, will be made in the very near future.

Twitter and Facebook

If you are into social media don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @QbeyanTigers and like our Queanbeyan Tigers Australian Rules Football Club Facebook page. Please invite as many past players, current players, supporters and associates of the club to jump on board and increase our followers/likes.

Eat ’em alive in 2015

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