Queensland’s best female gridiron players will collide next weekend as six teams form the league’s biggest season to date.
Along with existing teams, the Logan City Jets, Sunshine Coast Spartans, Gold Coast Stingrays and Kenmore Panthers, the Bayside Ravens and South Brisbane Wildcats will enter women’s teams for the first time in club history.
Queensland Sun Devils’ women and Gold Coast Stingrays’ head coach, Rob McKinnon, said the Queensland league sets the standard for women’s gridiron nationally and this season’s expansion will only deepen the state team talent pool.
“With the chance for players to represent Queensland in a national competition, as current reigning National Champions, it has added pressure to continue to perform and evolve into better athletes,” McKinnon said.
Australia will compete in the 2017 Women’s World Cup of American Football, which is even more incentive to succeed at the state level.
“The growth and popularity of this sport has been a great win for women’s sport and I cannot wait to see where this is heading in the future,” McKinnon said.
Bayside Ravens’ head coach, Andy Miller, is honoured to lead the women’s squad in their inaugural season and spoke highly of his players, who’ve been training for four months in preparation for the season.
“They’re a dedicated and talented group of ladies who give up a minimum four hours a week to learn the game and improve not just themselves, but each other,” Miller said.
“It’s not a game that solely relies on one player to be better than everyone else it relies on everyone being on the same page and being a team.”
Sunshine Coast Spartans’ quarterback, Casey Cubis, is entering her second season of gridiron alongside a close-knit group of teammates she calls her second family.
“We have recruited well across a really broad cross-section of the community… Our team this year is made up of ladies who are mechanics, burlesque dancers, students, mums, among many others,” Cubis said.
“We’re so much further ahead in our training and game plan than last year due to the experience of our returning players and the keenness of our rookies.”
McKinnon, Miller and Cubis all highlighted gridiron’s inclusive nature; there’s a position for everybody, no matter your height, body shape, fitness level or raw talent.
For any women wanting to play gridiron or for those looking to keep up with the season, visit Gridiron Queensland for information on local clubs, fixtures and results.