Excitement building as Eagles head for finals
ON the verge of returning to finals' footy, the Ipswich Eagles have plenty to celebrate at Saturday's open and sponsors day at Limestone Park.
Head coach Kym Mansell has been rewarded with a two-year extension to his vital role.
Eagles captain Tyson Watts is also set to play his 100th match when the third-placed Ipswich senior team runs out against Griffith Moorooka in the main game at 5pm.
Before that, Mark Marsh Oval will be the venue for a number of junior matches and the Reserve Grade clash where the Eagles are also in finals' contention.
With two matches to go, Ipswich's top side can finish as high as second in this season's QFA Division 3 competition. The team last played finals footy in 2014 and finished near the bottom of the table last year.
Club president Clint Bateman said the efforts of club stalwart Mansell as a first-time head coach deserved recognition.
"We knew what we were going to get from him,'' Bateman said.
"He worked hard for us in the off-season. He's recruited some awesome players.''
Mansell has also had a positive impact this season building for the future.
"It's just what he's done with the young guys,'' Bateman said. "He's just given the young guys opportunities and they have all grabbed it with both hands and they are playing some great footy.''
That includes 21-year-old captain Watts, one of the youngest players to lead a senior Eagles side.
"He (Mansell) has got a plan. He's identified what we needed to fix to improve,'' the club president said.
"He's done a great job.
"He wants to stay on and we're keen for him to keep going.''
Bateman said Saturday's open day was a terrific time to celebrate Aussie rules in Ipswich.
He invited everyone in the community, including people thinking about playing and juniors, to see what the Eagles offer.
"It's a massive day,'' Bateman said.
"We need to get more involved as much as possible with letting people know we are around.
"We've been around for about 18 years and there's still people in Ipswich who have moved up here from Melbourne or they are AFL fans and they don't really know that we are around.
"It's a pretty exciting place to be.''
Bateman said having the main game at 5pm was a family friendly time, something the Ipswich club encourages.
Apart from work developing senior and junior sides, the club is also looking to get a women's team up and running in 2018.
Aussie rules open day
What's happening at Saturday's Ipswich Eagles AFC open and sponsors day at Limestone Park.
8.30am: U6 games.
9.30am: AFLQ activities for kids.
10.30am: U8 games.
12.30pm: Speeches and awards to sponsors.
1.15pm: U10 game.
2.45pm: Reserves match - Ipswich Eagles v Griffith Moorooka. The club's U10s will run out with the boys.
5pm: Seniors match - Ipswich v Griffith Moorooka.
Other activities: Free face painting from 11am-2pm, a monster raffle with $550 in prizes, canteen open from 8.30am with bar open from noon.