New Eagles women's coach Tony Bowers (third from left).
New Eagles women's coach Tony Bowers (third from left). Contributed

Bowers building winners

TONY Bowers is more nervous than his players are, as the new Ipswich Eagles women's coach prepares the team for its first season.

The Eagles will field a team in the QWFA Division 2 competition, beginning April 28.

Bowers took the reigns from Eagles A-Grade coach Kym Mansell, and has only spent a handful of sessions with the fledgling outfit.

He cast his eye over the group during a recent pre-season competition in Warwick, where the Eagles lost their first match, drew the second, and comprehensively won the third.

The marked level of improvement from one match to the next showed Bowers there is a lot of potential in his playing group, it is just a matter of harnessing it.

"The girls are obviously inexperienced, we've got probably four or five in the team that have actually played before, but each game they improved and that's a good sign they're giving this a fair crack,” the former Eagles reserve grade coach said.

"We're starting from scratch. The signs are good, because they want to do the work, and I believe after the second or third game they should be more than competitive.

"I'll do everything in my power to get them there.”

Bowers said he was surprised at the willingness of the group to take on criticisms and advice, and he was quickly learning there is little difference in the way of coaching men's and women's Aussie rules.

"The men seem to think they're better than their coach, but in this case the girls are all enthusiastic and asking questions which is a good sign,” he said.

"They're willing to put the effort in, which I like to see.”

Bowers anticipates an up and down season for the Eagles women, but he is looking forward to the challenge in his first foray into the senior women's coaching ranks.

"It's a totally new challenge for me, and we don't start until the 28th which is good in some ways, because I'd hate to think I'd have to put them on the paddock by the 7th (when the men start),” Bowers said.

"At the moment it's about setting up our programs, and constructing a simple game plan for them to work with.”

The Eagles have named a three-player leadership group, comprised of co-captains Sammy Chisholm and Emily Convery, and vice-captain Taylor Mansell.

They open their season away to Pine Rivers on April 28.