LOCAL FOOTY: Some false starts but it’s GO GO GO for the Roos

by Mick Jeffrey

So another season has begun in the tropical climate of Central Queensland. For those who don’t know I play in the reserves for Brothers Roos AFC, part of the six team competition in the AFL Capricornia competition. The Roos are one of three teams based in Rockhampton, along with Panthers and Glenmore Bulls with teams from Yeppoon (the Swans, based half an hour away from Rocky), Gladstone (the Mudcrabs, their base being a 90 minute drive or quick hop on the plane from Rocky) and Boyne Island/Tannum Sands (the Saints, whose home is another 30 minutes or so from Gladstone). Only a few players from here have done anything of note in Australian football, with North Melbourne’s Gavin Urquhart and Gold Coast beanpole Zac Smith regulars in the AFL and VFL having spent time at the Glenmore club in juniors, and youngster and former Roos team mate Paul O’Shea being delisted from the Western Bulldogs at the end of last season.

We were going to basically kick off our season playing in the Airlie Beach lightning carnival, along with the 6 Mackay league teams (Byron Pickett played some games for Bakers Creek last year interestingly enough) and 3 teams from the Townsville competition (happy to report that their reserves is back up to 5 teams although there are only 4 senior teams in their comp). However, a something known as Ului scuppered those plans and so we were back to square one relying on intraclub matches and matches against an Old Boys XVIII to get some sort of match and physical fitness to begin the season.

Our first game last weekend saw us travel to the Clinton Oval in Gladstone to face the Mudcrabs, the first time since 1999 where we have had to travel to Gladstone for the season opener. Usually these trips take a toll on playing stocks and whilst our juniors (Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17) battled short handed, we were able to call upon a full senior side with only 2 players backing up from the 18 that took the field in reserve grade. Playing out of a forward pocket still recovering from calf issues and weight management problems, I managed a handful of kicks and a couple of behinds as out game plan worked well enough to secure a three quarter time lead of 2 goals. But naturally our fitness deserted us in the last quarter and the 2 goal lead was transformed into a 2 goal deficit. The positive for us was the fact that the players gave their all for the match, and that this time last year (and for that matter a few years before that) the reserves were getting belted by 20 goals.

The senior side had several new faces in the line-up mixed in with a number of youngsters that had only had a year of playing only senior football. In the end it was really a game that got away. Gladstone were gifted at least 4 goals through 50 metre penalties for disputing the umpire (something that crept into some players’ habits during the practice matches with our own club umpires) and missing numerous kickable chances ourselves. Again, there were some players who were unavailable due to work commitments to come into the side for this week’s clash with the reigning premiers Yeppoon at our home ground Kele Park (a stone’s throw from Rockhampton Airport), but it would have been nice to have had a win under the belt given they had disposed of BITS at Yeppoon in the opening round. Glenmore managed to hold off Panthers in a night game to complete the round.

Next week will also be the first time in approximately 10 years that the name Mick Jeffrey will be missing from a team sheet and around 12 years since the surname Jeffrey (my father played for the club as well) was an absentee. Rather than play next week, the prospect of seeing B.Hall and to a lesser extent B.Fevola in Brisbane was too tempting for this Bulldog tragic. Hopefully in my absence the boys will manage to win, and I can get my spot back for the April 24 grudge match against Panthers.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.


  1. Mick,

    have the Mud Crabs got a bloke (veteran status) called Robert Hope playing for them this year? He was a bit of a legend at the Wynyard Cats in NW Tasmania. Richmond supporter.


  2. Rocket Rod Gillett says

    Good to hear footy is still going along OK in Rocky – I spent a few years there in the early 90s working at the uni. Used to train with Glenmore and umpire the 2nds.

    As I understand it the Panthers have a tie-up with CQU – is that the case? And is the uni component significant?

  3. Mick Jeffrey says

    To be honest I’m not sure how strong the tie-in with the Uni and Panthers is. It used to be that there was some sort of deal with regards to fees at both ends but several uni students played with us (including myself) at the time the tie-in started.

    Not sure if Robert Hope is playing for the Muddies this year.

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