The Kappa Festival of Football is drawing closer and Football Queensland (FQ) has finalised the contenders to coach the Queensland and NPL All-Stars teams in December’s blockbuster matches against New South Wales and Brisbane Roar.
Two coaches – one Head Coach, one Assistant Coach – will be selected from each of the below shortlists.
Read on for more information about the contenders, or visit our explainer article for more details on how FQ is selecting the players and coaches who will represent the state.
And don’t forget to snap up discounted tickets for all seven Kappa Festival of Football clashes before the early bird sale ends on Wednesday, 11 November!
Coaches | Queensland Women’s Squad Contenders
Rob Askew (Lions FC): There’s no more decorated NPL Women’s coach than Askew, who led Lions to the double last season after twice doing so with Gap FC. The competition’s leading scorers are still firmly in the hunt for silverware this season.
Alex Bundalo (Gold Coast United): After finishing sixth and fourth in the previous two seasons, United are now in pole position to win the Premiership. That’s testament to Bundalo’s work in his first campaign in charge, particularly the concession of a league-low 18 goals in 17 games.
Michael Cook (Eastern Suburbs): Easts remain in contention to secure their first top-four finish since 2016, which would represent a strong result for ex-Power coach Cook. What is impressive already is the seven-point haul his players have gained from games against Gold Coast and Lions.
Nick Croyden (Logan Lightning): Lightning’s consistency and competitiveness under Croyden is to be commended, the Logan side having restricted their opposition to two goals or fewer in all but two games this term.
Skie Hanifin (Capalaba FC): The battle for the Premiership might have narrowed to a two-team race but Hanifin, who guided Moreton Bay United to the 2019 Grand Final, has the tools and know-how to forge a successful Finals Series campaign with the Bulldogs.
Coaches | Queensland Men’s Squad Contenders
Paul Arnison (Sunshine Coast Wanderers): Described promotion from the Football Queensland Premier League as an “unbelievable achievement” and it would be an even greater feat if he keeps Wanderers in the top tier, especially considering they were winless after eight games.
Royce Brownlie (Moreton Bay United): The top four is beyond Moreton Bay’s reach but that shouldn’t diminish the fine job Brownlie has done since returning to Wolter Park. The Jets legend has lifted the club from 11th in 2019 to a probable fifth-place finish in 2020.
Ben Cahn (Olympic FC): Cahn’s pedigree is well established and his reputation will grow further if Olympic convert their attractive style and reliable results into a third consecutive Grand Final appearance.
Aaron Philp (Peninsula Power): The former Power player deserves praise for the relentless manner in which Peninsula have outlasted more fancied opponents to reach top spot in the closing weeks of the regular season.
Darren Sime (Lions FC): It’s never easy succeeding a legend but Sime has made a good fist of continuing Warren Moon’s legacy at Lions. The reigning Premiers are averaging almost three goals per game under their new boss.