Five weeks of fury kick off in Ipswich
THE biggest showcase of touch football talent is back again in Ipswich.
The Ipswich Super 8s returned last night for another five-week competition as a warm-up tournament for the National Touch League competition held every March in Coffs Harbour.
Now in it's second year, the Super 8s draws the best players from across South East Queensland to Jim Finimore Oval to test their skills and fitness before the upcoming nationals.
"The Ipswich Super 8s is perfectly positioned for elite players to ready themselves for the National Touch League and for aspiring players,” Ipswich Touch Association president Dale O'Connell said.
"It provides an understanding of what it takes to progress to the lofty heights of representative football.”
Once considered a smaller sibling to rival codes, touch football now boasts more than 690,000 participants, outranking swimming and rugby league as the eighth largest sport in Australia.
While they may not be household names and enjoy the status of professional athletes in Australia, those in touch football circles are certainly excited about the prospect of watching the talent on display in Ipswich.
Current Broncos Elite 8 players, Tayla Rosin and Catherine Stevens will play for the Force, while Australian touch football legend, Kelly Woods, returns to play with the Meerkats. Furthermore, the entire Titans Elite 8 women's team will test their mettle against the men's Super 8s teams. They will be out to emulate 2016's success of making it to the Elite 8 Grand Final in Coffs Harbour after a competitive Super 8 campaign in Ipswich.
Saint, Michael Baartz and Hurricane, Sam Pierce, both Broncos Elite 8s members and a host of other experienced men's players will line up on Friday when the first whistle is blown. Baartz, who was awarded the 2016 Ipswich Super 8s Player of the Final will be determined to match last year's achievement and lead the Saints to back-to-back titles.
Such was the success of last year's tournament, eleven of the sixteen teams are returning in 2017 while members of the 2016 junior and school teams are taking their rightful place in more senior outfits.
The Ipswich Super 8s taps off in One Mile on Friday night, January 27. Be there to witness touch football being played with amazing skill and pace as the teams vie for the coveted Scott Notley and Kelly Woods Shields. Games commence at 6:30pm at Jim Finimore Oval and the competition is set for another five weeks of fury.
First round of the Ipswich Super 8s, tonight at Jim Finimore Oval:
F1 6.30pm (Womens) - Physioactive Force v Heritage City Photos Cobras
F1 7.20pm (Mens) - G J Walsh & Co Saints v McNamara & Associates Titans
F1 8.10pm (Womens) - I Think Property Swans v Brothers Meerkats
F1 9pm (Mens) - Mallets Choice Flooring Cobras v McNamara & Associates Titans
F2 6.30pm (Womens) - Chris Patterson Bobcat Hire IGGS v Brothers Meerkats
F2 7.20pm (Mens) - Anthony Bauer Plumbing Swans v Warriors
F2 8.10pm - (Womens) - Chris Patterson Bobcat Hire IGGS v Physioactive Force
F2 9pm - (Mens) - David Hill Natives v Anthony Bauer Plumbing Swans
F3 6.30pm (Womens) - I Think Property Swans v Warriors
F3 7.20pm (Mens) - David Hill Natives v Ipswich Touch Hurricanes
F3 8.10pm (Womens) - Cobras 2 v Heritage City Photos Cobras
F3 9pm (Mens) - G J Walsh & Co Saints v Ipswich Touch Hurricanes
F4 6.30pm (Womens) - Cobras 2 v Ipswich Touch Falcons
F4 7.20pm (Mens) - Ikonic Odoyle v Mallets Choice Flooring Cobras
F4 8.10pm (Womens) - Ipswich Touch Falcons v Warriors
F4 9pm (Mens) - Ikonic Odoyle v Warriors