Tenth year tougher than floods as Knights keep kicking ahead
LOYAL Ipswich Knights club president Troy Beahan has endured some major challenges during his 10 years overseeing one of the city's premier sporting organisations.
Watching the Knights clubhouse at Bundamba go under in the 2011 floods was heartbreaking, along with having the fields swamped again in the 2013 deluge.
However, Beahan said dealing with those issues wasn't as tough as managing this year's COVID situation.
"On the football side of things, we still got to play,'' Beahan said. "The floods were gone and we were back to normal.''
He said despite the massive inconvenience during those flood events, "we cleaned up and could still play. That was the big thing''.
Keeping football going in the coronavirus world this year presented a new set of demands, requirements and uncertainty.
"With COVID, we shut down for three months and the season ran into November,'' Beahan said.
Having celebrated his 10th year as club president, Beahan hopes 2021 provides less football interruptions.
Reflecting on "a strange old year all around'', Beahan was encouraged how the Knights finished 2020.
"Just getting back on the field and getting a full season,'' he said, when asked what was most satisfying.
"In March, I don't think anyone expected to get the season played out.''
That was especially the case as other competitions, as in Victoria, were cancelled.
"Just managing the COVID stuff and it was pleasing to see everyone back on the field,'' Beahan said.
"That's what it is all about for us.''
By the end of their extended seasons, players in the 35 Knights senior and junior teams had enjoyed some football when all seemed lost.
Preparing for a quiet Christmas, Beahan was keen for a more settled 2021.
"Next year, we're looking at trying to improve the coaching across the board and junior development,'' he said.
"We've got some coaches going with C-Licences in January.''
Knights technical director Adam Maunder is returning next year to oversee the junior development.
"We're in a good position, developing our junior teams,'' Beahan said.
"There's been improvement for the last two seasons so that's very pleasing from a technical side of things.
"The club is pretty stable.''
The Knights also just finished a six-week minis program for boys and girls aged 3-5.
In a tough year dealing with COVID issues, Beahan praised everyone who helped maintain the Bundamba-based club's progress.
That included senior head coach Andy Ogden, who used the opportunity to strengthen the club's depth in Football Queensland Premier League competitions.
"It's good to see so many under 20s stepping up into the first team as well,'' the club president said.
Beahan's brother Jamie is also back at the Knights for next season, keen to bolster the senior women's team after a testing year in the Football Brisbane Capital League 1 season.
Top of the club president's 2021 Knights wishlist is keeping football moving forward.
"I'd like to see a season without interruptions . . . a season without COVID again would be nice,'' he said.
"It's continuing to develop the girls program and our community teams and the coaching development across the whole club.''
Beahan is also awaiting Council approval for two facility upgrades.
The club is planning to erect a new covered grandstand and clothing store on the top field at Bundamba.
The aluminium grandstand will replace the current timber seating.
That has been made possible by a $35,000 Community Benefit Fund state grant and a $15,000 Major Facilities Grant from the Ipswich City Council.
Beahan hopes those projects can be completed early in the new year.
As for his 10 years as club president, Beahan said it was still enjoyable despite the added 2020 pressures.
"This year was definitely more challenging than anything we've experienced before. The same as everyone,'' he said.