Ipswich Falcons set to soar at State Cup
TOUCH FOOTBALL: Ipswich's most promising touch football talents are preparing to face outstanding young players from around Queensland at the Junior State Cup which kicks off in Hervey Bay on Thursday.
The Ipswich Falcons are sending six boys' outfits and five girls' sides to compete across under 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 divisions. Teams have been training earnestly in preparation since March for what they expect to be an extremely challenging competition.
Ipswich Falcons junior representative co-ordinator Jodie Taylor said Gold Coast and Rockhampton were usually the most dominant regions and would present the greatest obstacle. She said Ipswich Touch had been increasing its junior stocks each year and constantly growing in strength.
This year, several of Ipswich's teams are in rebuilding phases, and player development and enjoyment will be the primary goals.
Carrying the city's title hopes are the under-16 girls and 12a boys.
Taylor said both squads feature as teams in the local senior competition and had improved exponentially this season. With the ideal preparation under their belt, she expects them to be among the contenders.
An attendee since the age of eight, under-16 co-captain Jada Broderick, 15, said the representative carnival was a fantastic way to conclude the season and she was looking forward to leading her friends into battle.
She said her squad had been unlucky to draw a tough pool but would play as a unit and support each other in the hope of succeeding.
"If we play together, we should go alright,” she said.
Taylor said the Ipswich Touch Association's player numbers appeared to drop-off as children neared the end of high school and moved into the open ranks. She said the association would love to reverse this trend and had employed a development officer to work with schools in the region to promote the game and grow its popularity.
The next senior competition begins on July 29. Ladies play Monday nights. Mixed games are on Tuesday nights and the men run around on Wednesday evening.