This year's Adrian Vowles Cup was held in Charleville at the weekend with a record 17 teams competing.
Now in its third year, teams from Redlands, Pittsworth, Redcliffe, Toowoomba, Roma, the Central West and South West joined Charleville; growing the carnival from just four Under 14 teams in 2015 to nine Under 14 boys teams, six Under 16 boys teams and two Under 16 girls teams this year.
The weekend tournament is different to most other carnivals held during the year, as all teams stay at the Charleville Showgrounds in swags, sleeping bags, tents and vans.
The players had catering offered by local residents with some teams just having a huge barbecue outdoors.
Carnival organiser Adrian ‘Vowlesy’ Vowles has never forgotten where he came from and wanted to give back to his community as they gave him and his family so much when he was growing up.
Vowlesy also wanted to supply more footy for the local players who do not have regular Under 14 and Under 16 competitions, so rather than just talking about the need, he did something about it and for the past three years, the kids have had the opportunity with the Adrian Vowles Cup.
Footy was played on Friday night followed by a full day on Saturday, with the finals of both grades played on Saturday afternoon.
After the regular round games were played, three teams in the Under 14 competition were equal on nine points, with Redcliffe being the unlucky team to miss out on the final due to their for and against.
The Under 14 final was played between Toowoomba Brothers and new club Benderoo Bulls who combined with Mitchell for the weekend.
At the end of regular time, both teams were level at 8-8, so an extra five minutes was played with Benderoo/Mitchell eventually scoring in extra time to take out this year’s Under 14 Adrian Vowles Cup.
Following that exciting final, a highly anticipated Under 16 final was played between the Redcliffe Dolphins and Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls, who in the regular rounds played out an 8-8 draw after dominating the rest of the competition.
Like the Under 14 final, the two teams could not be separated with the score at 8-8 at fulltime, so another five minutes was added on the clock in extra time.
With only seconds left to play, both teams were preparing for golden-point; before Redcliffe scored to claim the 2017 Under 16 Adrian Vowles Cup with a winning score of 12-8.
At the end of the carnival, an Under 14 and Under 16 Dream Team was selected, with each player receiving a jersey to commemorate their selection.
In the Under 16 girl’s exhibition matches, the Maranoa Magic took on a mix of girls from Charleville and the South West in an excellent display of footy.
The Magic ran out winners in both games and there is a hope of expanding the girls competition in 2018.
Speaking after the carnival, Vowlesy thanked all of the supporters who helped make the event possible.
“It has blown me away with how much support we have had from players, sponsors, referees, parents and volunteers to grow this carnival each and every year,” the former Maroon said.
“I get to do this carnival with my good mates who have the same passion as I do to see junior footy prosper in the country.”
Vowlesy added that having his parents see firsthand his contribution back to the Queensland Outback made this year's event even more special.
“Probably the proudest moment for me was having Mum and Dad watching and knowing how much support they gave me as a kid," he said.
“That support helped me get to where I got to, but more importantly showed me that it's important to repay the favour - which is why we host this carnival.”
Vowlesy plans to expand the carnival in the future and would like to include netball on the weekend's program.
This will allow more people to experience an unforgettable weekend in the Queensland Outback.
Under 14 Adrian Vowles Cup "Dream Team"
1. Robert Toia (Redcliffe Dolphins)
2. Logan James (Toowoomba Brothers)
3. Kauri Maera (Redlands Parrots)
4. Charlie Richards (Mitchell/Benderoo Bulls)
5. Connor Scorgie Ross (Redcliffe Dolphins)
6. Riley Wockner (Toowoomba Brothers)
7. Isaac Paige (Mitchell/Benderoo Bulls)
8. Joel Saffy (Charleville Comets)
9. Shaun Packer (Miles Devils)
10. Connor Postle (Carnarvon Cubs)
11. Tyson Stevens (Miles Devils)
12. Joseph Zeller (Mitchell/Benderoo Bulls)
13. Will Crosby (Miles Devils)
Under 16 Adrian Vowles Cup "Dream Team"
1. Nathan Couchy (Charleville Comets)
2. Lachie Maller (Redcliffe Dolphins)
3. Byron Dean (Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls)
4. Jarrod Larsky (Redcliffe Dolphins)
5. Ollie Moy (Pittsworth Danes)
6. Rhys Timms (Redcliffe Dolphins)
7. Kane Cas's (Toowoomba Brothers)
8. Harvey Wright (Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls)
9. Brock Keal (Redcliffe Dolphins)
10. Matt Eising (Charleville Comets)
11. Jake Bagery (Central West)
12. Zac Giddan (Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls)
13. Jye Johnson (Wallumbilla/Surat Red Bulls)