New generation roars into play
By TANIA PHILLIPS
WHILE most of his mates are reminiscing about the past, legendary Palm Beach player Ley Derrick will have one eye on the future of the club today.
Derrick, a former backline player and on-baller, will be part of the Palm Beach Club's 1985 premiership reunion today. Players have returned from all over Australia to take part in the event.
They will start their celebrations sideline at today's AFL Queensland Division Two match between Surfers Paradise and the Lions at Salk Oval. Ironically, it was Surfers they beat to win the grand final all those years ago. A stalwart of the club, Derrick has passed his love of the game and the Lions on to his sons.
Older son Matt, 19 - a forward line player, has already become an important part of the side, while younger son Jesse has just made his debut this season.
Derrick jnr was in the starting line-up last week against Coolangatta and will again start today - this time on the wing.
At 16, the Marymount College student is Palm Beach's youngest player by almost four years for today's game. But coach Scott Lawton said he was already settling into the top team.
When he was younger, Lawton played in sides with Ley, but he said he did not find it strange that he was now coaching the club stalwart's sons.
"It is great - it is really good to see," Lawton said.
The former players will hold a dinner at the club tonight with a recovery day at Salk Oval tomorrow.
Lawton and his team will be hoping for a better performance today after dominating in a sloppy match against Coolangatta only to lose. The team kicked 19 behinds in a display of inaccurate kicking.
nMeanwhile, Coolangatta-Tweed takes on early favourites Burleigh at Len Peak Oval, Kirra tomorrow from 2pm.
"I think Burleigh are the best team in it (the competition)," coach Grant McKenzie said. "So we will be able to judge just where we are after this match."