The Kappa Festival of Football is drawing closer and Football Queensland (FQ) has finalised the shortlisted attackers for the Queensland and NPL All-Stars teams ahead of December’s blockbuster matches against New South Wales and Brisbane Roar.
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!
Attackers | Queensland Women’s Squad Contenders
Tessa Andujar (Eastern Suburbs): The tenacious American winger has been a key figure for Easts in her first NPL Women’s season, netting six goals and claiming two Team of the Week spots.
Amy Chapman (Capalaba FC): After scoring 54 goals in the past two seasons, the former Matilda has adapted well to a slightly deeper, playmaking role at her new club. She was named among the Players of the Month for October.
Shea Connors (Logan Lightning): A natural goal scorer, the speedy American netted 25 times in 15 games in 2019, before being snapped up by Roar for the latter portion of their Westfield W-League campaign. Injuries have affected her in 2020 but Connors has still scored eight goals in 13 games.
Amy Gunston (Lions FC): Gunston has become a key member of the reigning champions’ refreshed attack, bagging 13 goals and earning three Team of the Week appearances.
Isabella Habuda (Gold Coast United): New to the NPL Women’s competition this season, the Canadian forward has been a revelation for the league leaders with 18 goals in as many matches and is a key reason her side have risen to the top.
Abbey Lloyd (SWQ Thunder): After starting the season at Capalaba, former Roar player Lloyd made the move back to her hometown and has quickly settled back into a prominent role for Thunder. Undoubtedly has the talent to play in the Westfield W-League again.
Meaghan McElligott (Logan Lightning): McElligott, a scorer nine times this season, is one of the competition’s most accomplished players. The exciting forward has tallied up goals at an exceptional rate in recent years and was rewarded with a contract at Canberra United in 2018.
Sofie Persson (Mitchelton FC): Swedish striker Persson struck 19 times for Lions last season and has been highly impressive as well for Mitchelton, piling up another 12 in 2020.
Tegan Riding (Lions FC): One of the greatest players in NPL Women’s history, Riding produces goals and performs at a high standard season on season. Lions have benefited in the form of 15 goals this year.
Louise Rolfe (SWQ Thunder): The fact that Rolfe has scored four more goals this season than any other Thunder player underscores her importance to the club. An experienced leader as well as an intelligent player.
Deeanna Thompson (Gold Coast United): Perhaps the quickest player in the competition, Thompson surpassed 100 NPL Women’s appearances earlier this season and is in blistering form, with eight goals in her past six appearances.
Harriet Withers (Souths United): Formerly involved in the college system in the United States, Withers is now back finding the net on a regular basis for Souths. Her 12-goal haul features four braces, including one against leaders Gold Coast.
Attackers | Queensland Men’s Squad Contenders
Scot Coulson (Capalaba FC): While it’s been a testing season for the Bulldogs, Coulson’s left boot has brought some welcome highlights – as well as seven goals. Tall and athletic, he’s a handful in wide areas or pushing through the middle.
Joe Duckworth (Lions FC): Duckworth has been in irrepressible form this season, leading the NPL Men’s scoring charts with 18 goals. Lethal finisher who is ice cool in the box.
Jordan Farina (Lions FC): A prolific scorer at NPL level, Farina has enjoyed another successful campaign with Lions. The forward is known for his consistency and composure in front of goal.
Zander Guy (Gold Coast United): Guy has proved himself as a player capable of the spectacular, having earned multiple Goal of the Week nominations this term. His celebrations are just as entertaining, as fans have been able to witness on six occasions.
Henry Hore (Lions FC): Hore, the younger brother of Lions team-mate Mitch, seems to excel regardless of whether he plays in attack or midfield. The former Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory youth player creates chances consistently and takes them skilfully, having notched eight goals in 2020 after notching seven last season.
Jez Lofthouse (Olympic FC): Exciting young winger dubbed the ‘NPL Messi’ in one media outlet for his ability to run at high speeds with the ball and close control. Four Team of the Week appearances in 2020.
Jheison Macuace (Gold Coast Knights): The livewire Colombian has scored goals at will in the NPL for Brisbane Strikers, Lions and now Knights. His 15 goals are the third most in the competition this term.
Andy Pengelly (Peninsula Power): Long regarded as one of Queensland’s deadliest strikers, Pengelly took his talents to Peninsula after being forced to cut short a stint in Singapore. Already into double figures for goals in 2020 despite missing the start of the season.
Harrison Sawyer (Gold Coast Knights): The 23-year-old has had quite an impact since joining the Knights from South Melbourne, finding the net 10 times. At 195cm, the striker is an obvious danger in the air, but is also equally adept with his feet.
Tasuku Sekiya (Olympic FC): A hit in both New South Wales and Victoria, Sekiya has continued to enhance his reputation in Queensland. The 28-year-old can play anywhere across the front three and has quickly racked up four Team of the Week appearances for Olympic.
Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United): The two-time A-League Golden Boot winner came out of retirement to rejoin his old club United and has shown no signs of rust, notching 13 goals. Capped 58 times by New Zealand, Smeltz famously scored for the All Whites in their 1-1 draw with Italy at the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
Abrahim Yango (Eastern Suburbs): Yango, 24, is a dynamic wide man who debuted at senior level for Roar in 2015 before moving on to Avondale in Victoria and now Easts, for whom he has scored six goals this season.
Words: Adam Cattell & Matt Dorman