Sport

AFL growth for Ipswich

AFLQ CEO Michael Conlon has nominated Ipswich as the number one growth area for Australian Rules Football.
AFLQ CEO Michael Conlon has nominated Ipswich as the number one growth area for Australian Rules Football. Contributed

IPSWICH will one day host home-and-away AFL games, according to AFL Queensland chief executive Michael Conlan.

The former Fitzroy champion yesterday spoke exclusively to the QT about the AFL's plans to embrace the western corridor.

"Ipswich is the number one priority for AFL in Queensland," Conlan said.

"Australian football was one of the first codes played in Ipswich in the late 1800s and it's been neglected for too long."

Conlan, who was hand-picked by AFL powerbrokers to grow the game in the sunshine state, said he could see a day where new community and sporting precincts in both Springfield and Ipswich would host pre-season and eventually home-and-away AFL games.

And there is plenty of substance behind the claims with Conlan confirming a new AFLQ office will be open in Ipswich in the new year.

"When I began here seven months ago I was shocked to hear a region with 180-190,000 people had one football club," Conlan said.

"The population is growing at a rapid rate and we are about spreading our game to everyone so we can't ignore that size a population centre.

"We are putting two permanent and three more rotating staff in an office in the Ipswich Sports House from January 1.

"They will be working closely with both local clubs and council to grow the game and strengthen our clubs. We have a lot of work to do there but we are very excited about getting underway."

The new AFLQ office is just the first step in a grand growth plan.

Conlan is working closely with the Ipswich City Council and Springfield Land Corporation about the development of a high performance dedicated AFL venue at Springfield.

The land on Springfield Parkway is also in the sights of the Brisbane Lions as the club's elite training centre and Conlan would love to see the AFL club move west.

"I met with Michael Voss and Lions officials this week and the first question Michael asked was 'What was our plan for the western corridor?'," Conlan said.

"The Lions and the AFL recognise how important the region is but regardless of the Lions' final decision AFLQ wants a top notch AFL facility there."

Conlan also said a second dedicated AFL venue in Ipswich is a must if the game is to grow and existing clubs such as the Ipswich Eagles must have access to a facility all year round.

"I'm disappointed we weren't more involved in the planning and development of the new Tivoli complex because unfortunately it now doesn't meet our needs,'' he said.

Conlan also dismissed thought that the AFL would share the Springfield site with an NRL club if given the opportunity to develop a facility.

"The idea of shared facilities is nice but in reality there are hurdles," he said.

"The size of an AFL ground means it's not really suitable for the other football codes and the reality of football clubs these days is they use their venues 12 months a year."

Topics:  afl, aussie rules




Ipswich CBD: Police tell 1000 to move on

Police staffing levels in the mall is high. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

'Undesirables' targeted in Ipswich CBD police blitz

How you can be involved in designing the new city heart

Artist impression of the Ipswich Mall for the rejuvenation project to be undertaken by Ipswich City Properties

Construction will start next year on Ipswich CBD makeover

Revamp bringing more jobs to region

Lions Club Richlands has started a $12m redevelopment.

VIDEO: $12 million redevelopment will change face of sporting club

Latest deals and offers

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

Five new things to see and do at this year's Muster

There's already plenty of fun to be had at the XXXX bar.

Here are five new things to see and do at this year's Gympie Muster

Cheap Fraser Coast island drops its price

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.