Eagles set to rise above pre-season challenges
EVEN with all the weather disruptions, the Ipswich Eagles have trained the best they can for this weekend's season opener.
That's the view of head coach Kym Mansell, who expects victory in Ipswich's QFA Division 2 North match against Gympie away on Saturday.
"I don't want to blame the preparation because of all the hurdles we've had for the last six weeks with grounds being closed by Council and stuff like that,'' Mansell said.
"We've prepared the best that we possibly can do considering those situations.''
After training - weather permitting - at Woodcrest College, the squad moved permanently back to its familiar Limestone Park base this week now the cricket season is over.
The Eagles first home game is a massive Anzac weekend clash in a fortnight.
Before that, the Eagles are off to Ray Warren Oval for their first 2021 encounter.
With an average age of 26 in his team, Mansell is hoping his mix of youth and experience can capitalise on a Gympie side featuring a number of older footballers.
An Eagles squad of about 35 players have been working together since late last year.
The Eagles had three comfortable trial wins, including over UQ and Yeronga, preparing for the 15-side 2021 competition.
Among the players to step up in recent weeks was Justin Cummings, who has returned from some injury issues last year.
"He hasn't put a foot wrong in pre-season and he's been really good in the practice games as well,'' Mansell said, eager to see him continue his football revival.
The Eagles Reserves open their season in the noon match at Gympie on Saturday.