Eagles to respect Anzac traditions tackling arch rivals
AS a club with strong military foundations, the Ipswich Eagles have an extra reason to honour Anzac Day traditions.
In the club's 21st year after formerly being the RAAF Eagles, Saturday's latest Aussie rules matches at Limestone Park will carry special meaning.
"It's about honouring the Anzacs directly and also our connection with the military,'' club president Clint Bateman said.
Bateman said the Eagles had a dozen women and 13 men currently serving in the defence forces.
More than 20 other club supporters are ex-military, along with many parents of junior footballers who have strong links to the army and air force.
"We are a pretty staunch military club so it's a pretty special day,'' Bateman said.
As a foundation member of the Ipswich Eagles club, head coach Kym Mansell also respects the significance of Saturday's matches.
He said a minute's silence and special ceremonies would be held before each game to honour our service men and women.
"The club was partly built on the defence force,'' Mansell said.
"We have got numerous players and throughout the club that are in both the defence forces.''
With the club's extended family also having strong military links, Mansell said giving respect was a vital part of Saturday's footy program.
The Eagles will wear a special jersey featuring the club's traditional blue and gold colours enhanced with military camouflage emblems.
Playing arch rivals Moorooka in all three games will enhance the occasion.
"It's a big day. The Anzac boys are pumped,'' Mansell said.
"They get new jumpers. They are playing Moorooka. There's no love lost between the clubs.''
The fierce rivalry stems from some players leaving Ipswich to play for Moorooka.
Both Ipswich men's teams won their opening games of the QFA Division 2 North season by big margins over Gympie.
With a bye last Saturday, the Eagles men had a 7am training session and BBQ breakfast before having the rest of the weekend off.
The Eagles women kick off their campaign in Saturday's 1.30pm match at Limestone Park.
Bateman is coaching the squad of 32 which had two impressive pre-season wins over last year's grand finalists Beenleigh and Souths Toowoomba.
"We're fielding a very strong side on Saturday,'' Bateman said, excited about seeing what the Eagles women can deliver after successful 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Anzac medals will be presented to the best on ground in each game on Saturday.
Saturday at Mark Marsh Oval, Limestone Park
11.30am: Ipswich Eagles Reserves v Moorooka
1.30pm: Ipswich Eagles women v Moorooka
3.10pm: Ipswich Eagles Seniors v Moorooka.
A number of ceremonies are planned before each game to honour our service men and women.
An Anzac Medal will be presented to the best player in each game.