The sport of AFL continued its growth within the Association in 2023 with the expansion of the AIC Competitions to include ‘B’ competitions in Year 8 and Year 9/10. This grew the number of teams from each school that could be catered for across primary and secondary school to 13 teams. When AFL was introduced into the secondary school AIC program in 2019, the total number of available teams across all competitions was 7- team numbers have almost doubled in 4 years!
This year as a part of the AIC 25 Years Celebrations 3 former students of AIC Colleges were installed as initial inductees into the AIC Hall of Fame in recognition of their achievements in AFL. Congratulations to Harris Andrews (Padua College), Charlie Cameron (Marist College Ashgrove) and Brendan Whitecross (St Patrick’s College). The number of AIC students who have gone onto play in the AFL should give aspiring players in our Association incentive to reach this level.
1st XVIII Competition
This year’s First XVIII competition was the closest ever with a number of close games deciding the final results. Congratulations to Marist College Ashgrove and St Laurence’s College who shared the premiership, both recording 6 wins and 1 loss. Only two points behind on the premiership table was Villanova and Padua. This was Marist College Ashgrove’s first premiership win in the First XVIII competition. St Laurence’s premiership was there fourth in five years (2019, 2020, 2021, 2023).
Year Level Premierships
The evenness of the competition between schools across the whole competition was highlighted by 4 schools winning at least one of the 6-year level premierships available. Congratulations to Padua (Year 9/10A & 8A), Iona (Year 8B & 7B), Villanova (Year 7A) and St Laurence’s (Year 9/10B) who all secured premierships.
As with other AIC Team sports, there are no premierships awarded in the primary divisions. However, from results throughout the season, Villanova were selected as the AIC primary team to automatically qualify for the AFLQ Schools Cup State Finals. This selection was shown to be correct with the Villanova team claiming the title as Queensland Champions. St. Laurence’s qualified for the state finals weekend through the regional qualifying pathway and finished 3rd.
With all premierships close and the number of different schools who claimed the different year level premierships, the overall AFL Aggregate competition was always going to come down to the wire. St Laurence’s claimed the shield as aggregate champions by only half a point from Padua.
AFLQ Schools Cup
AIC Schools again this year had a strong presence in the final stages of the AFLQ Schools Cup competition. As outlined above, Villanova’s primary team won the competition and were crowned “State Champions”. St Laurence’s finished 3rd in the Primary Division. Both Padua (Junior – Year 7-9) and Marist College Ashgrove First XVIII) reached the final 8 teams in Queensland before being eliminated. Both St Laurence’s Junior and First XVIII qualified for the state finals weekend, both winning preliminary finals before going down narrowly in the state finals and finishing as runners up.
The AIC AFL Competitions would not operate so smoothly and of been able to expand so widely without the support of AFLQ. The Association is thankful for the support of AFLQ including with game management and umpiring, field allocations and facilities.