Indigenous All-Stars match to kick off 2021 Ipswich season
AN entertaining, culturally important match between the Ipswich Indigenous All-Stars and Ipswich All-Stars is being organised at the North Ipswich Reserve for next year.
Backed by Rugby League Ipswich (RLI), the game scheduled for March 6 will feature many of the region's leading Indigenous footballers and some current greats.
RLI chairman Gary Parker was delighted to see planning under way for the game after past attempts were delayed.
"Ipswich should do it because we've got a deadset Indigenous culture here and an All Stars culture,'' Parker said.
Parker acknowledged the initiative of Ipswich football icons like Corey Kirk and Craig Wehrman for kickstarting the match that will recognise a valuable culture in football.
Elite players like Wes Conlon, Phillip Dennis, Cameron Picker, Brett Kelly and Kyle Blackman are keen to represent the Ipswich Indigenous All-Stars side being coached by Ian Lacey.
Blackman was among the Norths A-Graders who recently played in this year's Volunteers Cup competition.
Footballers eager to join the Ipswich Indigenous All-Stars combination being coached by Scott Ireland include recent Goodna grand final-winning captain Ramon Filipine, Jake O'Doherty, Tele Salesa, Zac Lemberg and Dylan Martin.
Parker said some ex-NRL players would be invited to play in what is likely to be a 3pm match at the Reserve.
Goodna's Volunteers Cup winning coach Alistair Taua'aletoa is also keen to be involved.
"We've got a bit of an idea of what sort of list the players are for both sides,'' Parker said.
"It's just a matter of putting them in place.''
Players interested in being involved in the match can email details to: Ipswich@qrl.com.au
Players and team staff from both sides will join in a Friday night function at the North Ipswich Reserve Corporate Centre before the Saturday match.
Specially made jerseys will be auctioned off after the game.
Parker said a Masters Gala Day was also planned from 9am before the afternoon showpiece game.
The Ipswich Indigenous All-Stars v Ipswich All-Stars match is scheduled to be played two weeks before the 2021 RLI season kicks off.