Tigers eager to rip into top tier QAFL
Noosa captain Aaron Laskey says the Tigers aren't just "super excited" to step up into the top tier next year but are confident they can more than hold their ground.
AFL Queensland announced on Tuesday that the QAFL competition would expand to 11 teams, with the Noosa Tigers and the newly established Redland Victoria Point Sharks joining the competition.
Noosa have positioned themselves extremely well to make a seamless transition into the state's premier men's competition after appearing in the past four Division 1 Hart Sport Cup grand finals and being crowned back-to-back premiers in 2019 and 2020.
"It's super exciting," Laskey said.
"It's been on the back of our minds and a bit of a process over the last five to 10 years that we've always wanted to have the Noosa Tigers into that top premier league in Queensland.
"So, to finally do all the hard work and have the opportunity to be accepted is massive."
Their elevation comes a year after Maroochydore Roos made the same step.
Laskey was optimistic the Tigers would be ready to make an impact at QAFL level.
"Honestly, there's a lot of belief that we will be up there and within the top four in the competition," he said.
"We looked at how Maroochydore went this year and in their first year (of QAFL) they made finals.
"With our list this year we did think we were a stronger team than them so I think we will definitely hold our ground.
Commitment among the current squad bolstered the Tigers' hopes.
"We've got a lot of retention from last year which is unusual for Noosa as we normally do get quite a lot of turnover being such a transient place," Laskey said.
"I think we are only losing three to four guys where it's normally 10 of our senior guys.
"So, our retention is really strong and our list is strong so I think we will fare well."
Noosa president Rod Purves said the club's elevation to QAFL was the result of a lot of hard work by many over a sustained period.
"We have been building towards this step for several years now and it's incredibly rewarding for the hard work of so many volunteers at the club," he said.
"We have tremendous community support and this step up will further enhance our standing locally."
New AFL Queensland boss Trisha Squires was in Noosa for Tuesday's announcement.
She said the addition of two new clubs would only further strengthen the QAFL competition.
"It's fantastic that we have clubs aspiring to play at the highest possible level and Noosa are testament to that," Squires said.
"Noosa have worked diligently for several years to develop a playing list capable of competing at the highest level.
"Their promotion creates a clear male youth talent pathway at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast as well as opening up pathway opportunities for those living in the Fraser Coast and Wide Bay regions."