The Cairns Post's Guide to AFL Cairns

The appetiser that was the Preseason Cup has come and gone. Now it's time for the real stuff. The Cairns Post's Australian rules writer Murray Wenzel picks apart each AFL Cairns club ahead of Saturday’s season openers.

Manunda Hawks

Last year: 1st

Co-captain Glen Martin:

The preseason was ... A trainer had us for pre-season, it was really hard and I think we have shown we've got the fitness on our side.

Recruitment has been ... good, we retained 17 from grand final side and picked up a bagful of new guys as well

A Hawk to watch is ... Jason Campbell. He can play forward, back and in the middle. Good sized body and very fit.

The team to beat is ... like for the last five years, Saints. Tall and strong down the middle.

Our goal is ... to enjoy the year and let the results look after themselves.

Ins: Clinton Gribble (Mt Lawley, WA Amateur FL); Michael Tomkinson (Glenunga, SA Amateur FL); Nathan Roles (Ulverston, Northern Tasmania FL); Bradley Kearney (Busselton, South West FL); Drew Marchant (Southern FL); Cayne King (Robina, AFL Qld); Nicholas Brook (Red Lions, AFL Qld); Jason Campbell (Edithvale-Aspendale, Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL); Jake Emery (Manunda Hawks)

Outs: Jermaine Wardle (Labrador, NEAFL); Michael D'arcy (Caloundra, AFL Qld); Alex Carter (Cairns Saints); Malcolm Dotoi (Cairns City Lions)

Prediction: 4th


Cairns Saints

Last year: 2nd

Player-coach Nick Braybon:

The preseason was ...  really good, strong numbers, good training.

Recruitment has been ... good, we've done well, got a few of them.

A Saint to watch is ... Ricky Allen, a fast clean user who kicks goals.

The team to beat is ... I'm wary of all the teams at this point.

Our goal is ... ultimate success.

Ins: Nick Gill (North Adelaide, SANFL); Jarrod Seale (Southport, NEAFL); Zachary Kelly, Nicholas Braybon (Croydon, Eastern FL); David Oetjen, Scott Harris (Prince Alfred, SA Amateur FL); Zach White, Ricky Allan (Wycheproof Narraport, North Central FL); Jarrod Hogan (Birchip Watchem, North Central FL); Sam Harkin (Ballarat, Ballarat FL); Nicholas Johns (Horsham United, Wimmera FL); Rohan Coach (Spotswood, Western Region FL); Ross Bowman (Westerns, South West District FL); Andrew Oaten, Benjamin Cole (University Hawks, AFL Townsville); Alex Carter (Manunda Hawks)

Outs: Matthew Harth (North Albury, Ovens & Murray FL); Lachlan Everett (Eagles, SANFL); James Coatsworth, Jeremy Dixon, Josh Martin (Wycheproof Narraport, North Central FL); Tim Dunlop, Daniel Hester (Mt Pleasant, Heathcote District FL); Reece Poyner (Nullawil, Golden Rivers FL); Wade McPherson (Tumbarumba, Upper Murray FL); Josh Leyonhjelm (Torquay, Football Geelong); Jeremy Watt (Learmonth, Central Highlands FL); Chris Hebel (Coorparoo, AFL Qld); Steven Davies (North Cairns)

Prediction: 1st


Port Douglas Crocs

Last year: 3rd

Captain Sam Combridge:

The preseason was ... a bit slow, but last four weeks have been crazy.

Recruitment has been ... coming along well, still going and still building.

A Croc to watch is ... Dylan Weermouth. Winger, fast, reads play well. He'll be awesome out on the wing.

The team to beat is ... Saints or Norths maybe, got them round one, we'll soon find out.

Our goal is ... to rebuild, play finals and win the flag.

Ins: Kurt Cadman, Patrick Godsell (South Bunbury, South West FL); Sam Combridge, Benjamin Combridge, Rowan Hanley (Wonthaggi, Gippsland FL); Kurt Bradshaw (North Albury, Ovens & Murray FL); Matthew Addinsall (Palm Beach Currumbin, AFL Qld); Mark Nuggin (Murray Magpies, Hume FL); Cambpell Tickell (Mornington, Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL);  Jack Stewart (Barossa District, Barossa Light & Gawler FL); Kyle Brown (Pomona, AFL Qld); Dylan Wearmouth (Caloundra, AFL Qld); Skip Gribbon, Seb Cole (Meadows, Hills FL); Scott Hamilton, Scott English, Luke Serong (Longwarry, Ellinbank & District FL); Matthew Noldt (Rye, Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL); Julius Smith (South Yarra, Southern FL); Alex Bendle (Centrals Trinity Beach)

Outs: Daniel Smith (Frankston YCW, Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL); Kane Uebergang (Penshurst, Mininera & District FL); Evan Hocking (Mooroolbark, Eastern FL); Michael Doust (Morningside, NEAFL); Jack Goodall, Zak O'Gorman (Redlands, NEAFL); Justin White (Coolangatta, AFL Qld); Ryan Worn (Dromana, Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL); Scott Roberts (South Bunbury, South West FL); Matthew Mitchell (South Mornington, VAFA);  Matthew Manns (Mitta United, Tallangatta & District FL)

Prediction: 3rd 


Centrals Trinity Bulldogs

Last year: 4th

Captain Baden Crathern:

The preseason was ... considering injuries and players missing we've done well.

Recruitment has been ... okay, we've compensated for some losses and our young guys are looking sharp.

A Dog to watch is ... Matt Cunningham, he'll lead from the front.

The team to beat is ... some say Saints but I think Norths will be big movers.

Our goal is ... same as last year, make finals.

Ins: Justin McVilly (Sorell, Southern FL); Ben Graham (Curra Swans, AFL Townsville); Christopher Lynd (Heathmere, South West District FL); Dale Capell (North Bendigo, Heathcote District FL); Heath Hansen (Lilydale, Eastern FL); Brett Dicker (Cora Lyn, Ellinbank FL); Kris Rundell (Coff Swans, Central Coast AFL); Toby Fatnowna, Syd Fatnowna, Danny De Jong, Aaron McKinnon, David Diggle (Cairns City Lions); Chris Adams (South Cairns);

Outs: Todd Stewart (Exmouth, Gascoyne FA); Sam Kluk (North Launceston, Tasmanian State League); Max McLachlan (Morningside, NEAFL); Jamie McPherson (Rovers, AFL Mt Isa); Brendan Stewart (Colbinabbin, Heathcote District FL); Scott Wood (Yarragon, Mid Gippsland FL); Steven Harrison, Rohan Coleman (Mallee Park, Port Lincoln FL); Phillip Dudley (CDHBU, Hume FL); Liam Emery (Eastlake, NEAFL); Andrew Coats, Peter Reynolds (North Cairns); Alex Bendle (Port Douglas); Jake Emery (Manunda Hawks)

Prediction: 6th


North Cairns Tigers

Last year: 5th

Captain Brendan Tennick:

The preseason was ... the best in my four years here, very promising.

Recruitment has been ... great. Some good footy players and good blokes as well.

A Tiger to watch is ... Dane Eaton, will be very solid in the midfield.

The team to beat is ... Saints or ourselves I'd say. 

Our goal is ... to be in one of the top two spots. Anything less would be under achieving.

Ins: Rex Liddy (Gold Coast SUNS, AFL); Wade Dickson (Echuca United, Murray FL); Tim Davis (Highett, Southern FL); Dylan Cutrona (Wangaratta, Ovens & Murray FL); James Flynn ( Tarrawingee (Ovens & King FL); Ben Gebert (Plympton, SA Amateur FL); Daniel Hennessy, Stuart McFarlane (Cerberus, Southern FL); Bradley Nunn (Nambour & Hinterland, AFL Qld); Adam Mueller (Redlands, NEAFL);  Thomas Clough (Coomera, AFL Qld); Dane Eaton (Broadbeach, AFL Qld); Thomas McCorkell (Violet Town, Kyabram District FL); Tom Nelligan (United Yeelanna, Great Flinders FL); James Miller (Moranbah, AFL Mackay); Steven Davies (Cairns Saints); Andrew Coats, Peter Reynolds (Centrals Trinity Beach);

Outs: Dane Carter (Karratha, North Pilbara FL); Jake Hiep (South Cairns)

Prediction: 2nd


South Cairns Cutters 

Last year: 6th

Captain Michael Markham:

The preseason was ... good, we started to hit our straps and felt pretty good. Recruitment has been ... promising, our president has done some work, it's all about connections.

A Cutter to watch is ... Billy English, he's Mr Consistent for us.

The team to beat is ... always Saints, they always recruit well.

Our goal is ... to play finals, that'd be nice.

Ins: Daniel Lock (Belconnen, NEAFL); Glen Gascoyne (Mt Burr, Mid South Eastern FL); Trent Harman, Matthew Brereton (South Warrnambool, Hampden FL); Timothy Ripper,  Lewis Blake, Tristan Keilar, Sam Ferriday, Mark Stewart (Merrivale, Warrnambool District FL); Jeremy Rigney (Noarlunga, Southern FL); Angus McDonald (Coorow Latham, North Midlands FL); Daniel Fry (Goolwa Port Elliot, Great Southern FL); Liam Millin (Cerberus, Southern FL); Andrew Bailey (Werrimull, Millewa FL); Sam Jones, Mark Rix (Cairns City Lions); Jake Hiep (North Cairns)

Outs: Elliott Bath, Damien Dewis (Labrador, NEAFL); Andrew McKinnon (Mt Barker, Hills FL); Joshua Barnes (Diamond Creek, Northern FL); Greg Joinbee (Katunga, Picola District FL); Curtis Allen (Collingullie Ashmont Kapooka, AFL Riverina); Chris Adams (Centrals Trinity Beach) 

Prediction: 5th


Cairns City Lions

Last year: 7th

Captain Paul Taverner:

The preseason was ... challenging, our manpower is down.

Recruitment has been ... not as good as it could have been, our numbers are not quite there. 

A Lion to watch is ... Daniel Lewis, he can kick a few goals to keep us in the mix.

The team to beat is ... Saints.

Our goal is ... to be better than last year, I'm confident we can get a few wins.

Ins: Daniel Lewis (Harvey Brunswick Leschenault, South West FL); Clinton Gniel (Gascoyne, Gascoyne FL); Damon Loftus (Donnybrook, South West FL); Billy Bentley (Brothers, AFL Capricornia); Malcolm Dotoi (Manunda Hawks)

Outs: Tim Seymour (North Footscray, Western Region FL); Patrick Bass (Lauderdale, Tasmanian State League); Nathan Brook, Ken Fuller (Kedron, AFL Qld); Sam Jones, Mark Rix (South Cairns); Toby Fatnowna, Syd Fatnowna, Danny De Jong, Aaron McKinnon, David Diggle (Centrals Trinity Beach);

Prediction: 7th






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