Bomber on board for 2019 season
ANTHONY "Bomber” Breeze is one of the more recognisable faces in the Ipswich rugby league community.
For the better part of two decades, Bomber has - in whatever capacity required - been an ever-present face in Ipswich clubland and a constant on the sidelines between March and October each season.
So his recent ascension to the RLI Board of Directors was - even if he has copped some flack from friends on social media for it - a welcome one to many.
Bomber joins Gary Parker and David Nugent as elected directors on the RLI Board, with former Ipswich councillor David Martin coming on as an independent director.
A fifth board member is still to be finalised.
Bomber said becoming a board member would help him take a more hands-on approach to keeping the competition he loves running smoothly.
"I just love rugby league and love being involved,” he said.
"Being across what's going on, keeping people up to date - rugby league is my number one passion.
"I was secretary of the Ipswich Rugby League for 10 years, and before that for five or six years on the management committee.
"It was a different structure back then to what it is now. When the RLI formed, I didn't have a role any more. So I went into the competition committee for the first year and then this year on the finance committee.
"Now I'm on as a full time director.”
Rugby League Ipswich manager Brendon Lindsay welcomed "a different type of board” to the one which had "done a lot of the heavy lifting” in building the RLI organisation over two years.
"It's an exciting time, and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone's different experiences and what they can bring to the table,” Lindsay said.
"Bomber with his local knowledge, length of time in the game and social media stuff. David Martin as a teacher by trade with a lot of experience in the youth services, and then Gary and David are still there (from last season).”
The RLI board will meet tonight to take stock of what is required ahead of the 2019 season.
Lindsay said a key early focus of the board into the New Year would be solidifying rugby league's place at the table in the Ipswich sporting landscape.
"The board will get in front of the clubs and identify any issues or things that need to be resolved from their point of view,” he said.
"Moving forward, the big focus for 2019 and beyond will be where our game sits within Ipswich. It's facilities-driven - ensuring the new developments in Ipswich, that rugby league has a footprint in those and that we're working hard to set our game up for the future.”
For many Ipswich rugby league fans, Bomber's most important role is on the microphone as a ground announcer each weekend.
Even with the added responsibility 2019 will bring, he hopes to not have to give that away just yet.
"I don't think so. I think I'll still be there,” Bomber said regarding his time in the booth.
"It's not something we've looked into just yet. But it's the best seat in the house, so I'm happy to keep doing it.”