CONTENDERS: Ipswich Grammar School 1st XI Captain Cooper Nichols heads a team capable of delivering a second premiership in three years.
CONTENDERS: Ipswich Grammar School 1st XI Captain Cooper Nichols heads a team capable of delivering a second premiership in three years. Cordell Richardson

Football captain inspired by past deeds

TAKING charge of Ipswich Grammar's 1st XI football side is dynamo Cooper Nichols.

A pupil of the illustrious institution since year 5, steering the junior school to its first premiership, the 16-year-old is well-credentialled to inspire the gifted outfit to another GPS title.

Ipswich last triumphed in 2017 and Nichols is quietly determined to emulate the feats of that side skippered by Alex Parsons.

"I'd love to do that,” he said. "We don't talk about winning the premiership. But it's a goal amongst the boys.”

To turn ambition into reality, the Queensland Roar Academy member will call on special talents like midfielder Pat Smith, 15, fullback Benji Binney, 15, and a host of Western Pride National Premier League representatives.

Nichols, who has represented his state and also donned the Pride's colours from under 13s to under 15s, admits his squad is youthful but he has every belief it can be a force.

In a pre-season tournament, the firsts imposed themselves on rivals of the calibre of The Southport School and Melbourne Grammar to claim a confidence-building victory.

After two rounds, IGS sits on four points in a tie for second with Gregory Terrace, following a 3-0 drubbing of Brisbane State High and a dogged 2-2 draw against the old enemy Brisbane Grammar.

Ipswich's stars will be licking their lips at the prospect of a crucial round 8 clash with Southport, who currently are clear leaders on six points.

IGS will meet Terrace in the decisive final round. However, in the cut-throat round robin every encounter is critical and Ipswich will need to be well-prepared and ready to perform at their peak regardless of opposition.