How cool footballer 'Ezy' kickstarted Ipswich's victory
AFTER scoring two vital goals in his first game back, Emmanuel "Ezy'' Peter didn't need an ice bath to ease any aches.
He emerged from the post-game cooler looking fit enough to play another Football Queensland Premier League match.
The Sudan-born footballer's superb double proved decisive in last night's rescheduled match at Bundamba, setting up an important season-opening 3-1 victory for the Ipswich Knights.
With his distinctive dreadlocks coloured down the shaved sides, Peter scored the Knights' first two goals in the second half to ignite his team against Southside Eagles.
His second goal in the 78th minute was a beauty, diving low on midfielder Lincoln Rule's well-weighted pass to head home the advantage.
"It's my first game back since last year,'' Peter, 28, said satisfied with his night's work.
"It was good. Lincoln put on a good cross and I was just at the end of it.''
Peter's first goal in the 54th minute came after he steadied himself in the penalty box and calmly slotted the ball past the Southside Eagles goalkeeper. That crucial effort broke the 0-0 halftime deadlock before Southside Eagles equalised.
The Knights' victory-sealing third goal came from another livewire footballer Mambo Kashindi. In the 82nd minute, the speedy winger turned on some fancy footwork before almost effortlessly driving the ball into the net.
Peter had only re-signed with the Knights last week, missing the pre-season games.
But he was eager to make the most of his fourth season at the Bundamba-based club after enjoying a low-key off-season playing community football for an African team called "Best United'' based at Annerley.
"I just stayed at home. It was a long off-season actually,'' Peter said.
"I didn't do much. It was pretty quiet.
"I just caught up with a few boys in the off-season that play at different clubs as well. They go down and just kick about and catch up. It's good.''
His latest haul on a lush Eric Evans Reserve field was his first double in some time, proving how valuable he is close to goal.
"I think I got about five goals last season but I didn't get a double,'' he said.
"But it was a bit of a difficult thing last season. I didn't get to play much in the first half of the season.''
The popular player was keen for more game time this season after receiving limited opportunities at the Knights last year.
"There's heaps of young lads here. It's pretty good,'' the former South Sudan national squad representative said.
"I didn't know how we were going to go tonight.
"I only had one session with them and they are full of energy.
"There's a lot of inexperience and just the big boys had to lead the way with the work effort.''
Peter was referring to players like classy goalkeeper Declan Murphy, captain and centre back Dale Robinson, Rule and speedster Jay Kitching in the midfield.
Ezy showed promising signs linking with new teammates last night. He had only previously played with Robinson, Murphy, Rule, Matthew Parkes, Eliott White and the suspended Devon Munn, who can return for the Knights' next game on Saturday night.
"It's exciting changes and we'll see how we go,'' Peter said.
"It looks pretty exciting and we're looking forward to it with a young squad.
"It's very good (playing for Ipswich). It's enjoyable.''
Away from football, the Redbank Plains player is a support worker, helping disadvantaged children in areas like Forest Lake and Indooroopilly.
"It's a very rewarding job,'' he said.
State of play
FQPL: Ipswich Knights 3 (Emmanuel Peter 2, Mambo Kashindi) d Southside Eagles 1 (Ethan Mccoy) at Bundamba.
Next match: Saturday (6pm) v Holland Park at Whites Hill Reserve.