Struggling Lions may leave ‘red hot’ comp
CABOOLTURE coach Shane Pleming says his team's tough season may force the club to drop a division next year.
The Lions have struggled in the newly formed QFA North competition after being forced to play against former QAFL premier teams Noosa and Maroochydore.
Game margins have exposed a huge gap in talent between the competition heavyweights and the lower ranked team.
Caboolture has conceded a total of 1576 points in the opening nine rounds of the season, including 236-13 round-nine loss to Maroochydore and a 249-1 annihilation at the hands of ladder leader Mayne a fortnight ago.
The Lions have struggled in attack as well, averaging just 27 points per game this year to languish at the bottom of the table.
Given the number of quality players on the books of the leading clubs, it is no surprise Caboolture has been doing it tough.
"The North comp is red hot and is a cracking standard of football," Pleming said.
"There is a big jump between the lower division and the division we were in and realistically we should be in that lower (South) division.
"Mayne and Maroochydore would likely be top four in the next competition up."
Pleming said the Lions were formally in the same competition as fellow QFA North clubs Caloundra, Aspley and Nambour & Hinterland.
He said Caboolture won five games last year and managed to beat QFA South teams Redcliffe and Griffith in pre-season matches this year.
"In the South comp there are four or five teams struggling, whereas in our comp there is only us (struggling)," Pleming said.
"If we were in that comp we would be a chance of winning five or so games.
"Recruitment for next season is something the club needs to do to improve and we are not happy where we are, but you can't go on getting beaten by this much every year and we will have a good look at where we are at the end of the season."
Pleming said injuries to star players Grant Wilkinson and Tony Thompson have added to the Lions' woes.
He said losing those key men at the start of the year had made an already bad situation worse.
"Wilkinson has won our best and fairest eight times, which says how important he is to us," he said.
"And Tony is just really solid and tough and we have missed that."
In spite of the Lions' lack of form, Pleming said he was hopeful his team could claim a win before season's end.
"We have got Nambour and Aspley coming up and hopefully next time we play them they have some players out and we can get a win," he said.
"The boys are trying hard and it is not easy getting beaten like they have every week. They are just being outclassed by some really good football teams."
AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan could not be reached for comment.
ROAR NO MORE
Caboolture has conceded 1576 points this season
The side has average only 27 points per match
The Lions beat QFA South teams Redcliffe and Griffith in the pre-season