Every club needs a guy like Kimbo
IPSWICH Eagles founding member Kym Mansell is the first to admit his priorities are changing.
As he nudges 35, “Kimbo” is keen to spend more time coaching the next generation – especially under-16 players on the verge of playing senior football.
Seeing Mansell running around last weekend, it’s clear he still has some playing service in him.
However, working hard for the Eagles Reserve grade side and being a runner for the Ipswich Seniors team highlighted how important he is to the club.
On a day he became the first Ipswich Eagle to register 200 senior games, Mansell was doing what he does best – being heavily involved.
In Saturday’s two-point loss to Coomera, Mansell was one of the best on ground. But instead of sitting back sipping a beer for the next game, he had to stay involved.
As he ran regularly carrying instructions from the Eagles dugout to the players, Mansell was a man on a mission.
But that’s what he has always done since helping set up the new Eagles club 11 years ago.
Mansell typifies the type of person regional clubs need. People willing to have a go, help out and contribute on the field.
While not everyone can do a multitude of jobs, being a loyal and supportive servant goes a long way to making a valuable contribution.
In a small Aussie Rules club like the Eagles, Mansell has built a huge reputation for reliability, dedication and pride.
Reflecting on his 200-game milestone, Mansell was delighted to still be playing with his mates, despite Ipswich losing both games and the Eastern Heights sportsman having unfinished business on the field.
“The other goal I haven’t achieved yet it is to win a premiership,” he said, having played in Eagles sides that have come close over the past decade.
“I’m running out of time for that.”’
As he weighs up his playing future, Mansell knows he has contributed in many ways, including years serving on the committee.
But now it’s time to put something back into the kids.
“They are starting to take a bit more priority,” he said, working with Ipswich Cats under-16s.
Long-time teammate Mark Kennedy – who fittingly registered his 150th game on the same day – said people like Mansell deserved recognition.
“Kimbo was the heart and soul of the club there for 10 years,” Kennedy said.
“He’s taken a little bit of a back seat now but the club wouldn’t have run without him.
“He’s the one who drives everyone to get down here.
“He’s put a lot into this club and it’s good to see him get his reward today.”