Two North Coast Women involved in AFLW practice match

A current North Coast Women’s footy player took on a former North Coast Junior in Game 3 of the QW Winter Series at the Gabba on Saturday.

Port Macquarie Magpies player Cambridge McCormick played from the interchange bench for the Gold Coast Suns where she found herself up against former Lower Clarence Eagle and current Brisbane Lions rookie listed player Brianna McFarlane.

The QW Winter Series is a three match contest between the Suns and Lions AFLW teams as they prepare for the 2020 season. The match is the first time that either team has played at the Gabba.

A late surge by the Suns had Brisbane on its heels in the last quarter but it was the Lions’ poise and class which helped them hold on for the 7.8 (50) to 5.3 (33) win.

The Suns will join the national competition in 2020 and Cambridge’s involvement in this match suggests that she could earn a spot in the Suns squad for their inaugural season.

McCormick grew up on the Sunshine Coast and trialed with the Lions three years ago before she moved to Port Macquarie to study physiotherapy.

Her selection for the Gold Coast is an indication some clubs see the AFL North Coast Women’s competition as a breeding ground for potential top-line players.

“Being down in Port Macquarie we don’t necessarily have the opportunities that I had back when I was living in Brisbane,” she said.

“But it’s super exciting to have someone from the North Coast head up to play with an AFLW squad who might be at that standard.”

Brianna McFarlane was selected by the Lions as an “other sport rookie” in October last year. Her first year in Brisbane was ruined by a shoulder injury on the eve of the season which meant that she was robbed of the chance to push for AFLW selection.

Rehabilitation has gone smoothly and Bri has been selected to play in all three matches of the QW Winter Series on the Lions half forward flank. In a positive sign for her, the team for match three is described by coach Craig Starcevich as the strongest to date which is a positive indication that she’s in line to make her AFLW debut in 2020.

The Yamba teenager, with a strong soccer background, only returned to playing football in 2018 after last playing with the Lower Clarence Eagles in 2012. Within six months McFarlane went from picking up a Sherrin, to playing for Coolangatta Tweed in the QWAFL competition, representing NSW/ACT in a series against Tasmania, to selection for the Eastern Allies.