PUNCHING ON: Ipswich Eagles captain Luke Konstanciak (right) is excited about the squad representing his club in the new season starting today.
PUNCHING ON: Ipswich Eagles captain Luke Konstanciak (right) is excited about the squad representing his club in the new season starting today. Claudia Baxter

Going forward no problem for Ipswich Eagles veteran

LONG-serving Ipswich Eagles captain Luke Konstanciak will open the 2013 season in a new role at full forward.

However, the respected leader is happy to accept the challenge surrounded by a team of experienced players and exciting youngsters.

Preparing for today's SEAFL Division 3 opener against University of Queensland, Konstanciak has been one of the club's backbone players since 2001.

However, he's lost none of the competitive instincts moving from the midfield or half forward flank to a goalscoring job up front.

"The old fire is still there, sure is," Konstanciak said.

"I've still got a bit of speed despite my age."

Konstanciak is also pleased to be reuniting with senior player Chris Devlin, who is back after knee surgery, and coach Mick Rush.

"Rushie has been steady already," Konstanciak said.

"He comes in, he's measured in his approach and the boys respect him. He's a good man manager."

Devlin has been named vice-captain in the leadership group along with another stalwart Matt Gordon.

As he prepared for Thursday night training at Limestone Park, the Eagles skipper was encouraged by the club's young players warming up.

"We've got a few old heads there like myself, Gordo (Gordon), Fatty (Devlin) and a few others but there's definitely a few young guns there," Konstanciak said.

"People like (Matt) Ubergang and these young fellas ... they are going to add a lot to us.

"We've got experience and leadership and we get these young blokes who are as keen as, and they're starting to prove themselves.

"They've got last year under their belts and now they will make a difference.''

Other young Eagles to watch these season include Justin Cummings, Tim Poole, Tyson Watts, Corey Kempthorpe and Rory Bullard.

Konstanciak said University of Queensland were always difficult to predict early in the season.

However, the Eagles are well placed for the new season after recently winning the Lightning Cup pre-season competition.

"We've got a good crew, good numbers which puts pressure on positions which is what we've been missing the last couple of years,'' he said.

Game Day

Ipswich Eagles senior squad for today's SEAFL Division 3 game against UQ Red Lions at St Lucia (2pm): Fullback - Tim Poole, Jarred Byrnes, Tyson Watts. Half back - Matt Gordon, Travis Gordon, Chris Matson. Midfield: Alex Canavan, Chris Devlin, Michael Podolak. Half forward: Grant Theelan, Matt Ubergang, Al Poulton. Full forward: Luke Konstanciak, Brett Nairn, Justin Cummings. Onball: Aaron Fortescue, Michael Weir, Mick Lyons. Bench from: Corey Kempthorne, Rory Bullard, Sean Thompson, Kym Mansell, Shaun Cooper, Nathan Hart.