Eagles ‘family’ has kicking weapon, strong bond, will to win
KEEPING an opponent scoreless is satisfying whatever sport you play.
But when it’s with a group of focused footy players chasing back-to-back premierships, the feat is even more pleasing.
That’s the case at the Ipswich Eagles where the unbeaten women’s side thrashed Moreton Bay 82-0 in their previous QFAW Division 2 North encounter.
The Eagles nearly did the same against Sandgate, winning that earlier match 40-1.
In booting 11 goals in their latest match, the defending premiers signalled they are a major threat again this season.
“It was brilliant. I loved it,’’ Eagles vice-captain Stephanie Cockerill-Wright said preparing for Ipswich’s next game against Moorooka on Saturday.
“I was even able to come up from the backline and kicked a couple of goal myself so that’s always fun.
“We’ve definitely got a high chance of being back-to-back (giant) killers.’’
The Eagles are keen to make Limestone Park their fortress having started the new season with three comfortable victories after a first-round 21-21 draw with Jindalee.
Although Ipswich is yet to face last year’s grand final runners-up and current competition leaders Hinterland, the feeling in the Eagles camp is sky high.
That’s hardly surprising when you hear defender Cockerill-Wright talk about her side.
“It’s such a good atmosphere at the club. It’s a big family and a welcoming feeling,’’ she said.
Cockerill-Wright, 31, started her footy with the Hadfield Hawks club in Victoria in 2006.
She joined the Eagles last season, helping the Ipswich side achieve its historic premiership success.
Although a number of players have moved on, Cockerell-Wright has been impressed with how well the 2020 combination has reunited.
“It’s absolutely amazing,’’ she said. “The new girls that have come in and just gelled together straight away.’’
Among the newcomers is goalkicking ace Tamita Balanco who booted five goals last week. She is currently the league’s leading goal kicker with 12.
“She’s a little weapon,’’ the Eagles vice-captain said.
“She came out of nowhere.
“I enjoy watching her because she snaps them from any angle. Wherever she is in that 50, she manages to find the two big sticks.’’
Cockerill-Wright also praised teammate Lara Boon for her tremendous effort recently putting on a motor neurone disease fundraiser.
The club raised more than $4000 and recognised Boon’s mum Jo who was a nurse and Eagles trainer before being diagnosed with the disease.
“That was amazing, such a good turnout,’’ Cockerill-Wright said.
“The love for her (Jo) is just remarkable. You can’t explain it.’’
Having shared in Ipswich’s grand final glory last year, Cockerill-Wright is enjoying her work at centre half back and being deputy to another quality player Rebecca McCarthy.
“I love it,’’ she said of both roles.
“I always enjoy pushing forward and managed to kick the drawing point against Jindalee in the first round.
“I feel like I’ve got good natural leadership.
“With 14 years under my belt, I try and help the girls in any way possible, not only their skills but understand the game a lot more.’’
The Ipswich Eagles Seniors men are looking to get their QFA Division 2 North season going in Saturday’s 2pm game after the Reserves continue their youth development work.
Both sides have only one win from their first four matches this season.
QFA Division 2 North men: Saturday (2pm) – Ipswich Eagles v Moorooka at Limestone Park. Reserves at noon.
QFAW Division 2 North women: Saturday (4.30pm) – Ipswich Eagles v Moorooka at Limestone Park.