Ipswich footy club's tribute to Anzac traditions
THE Ipswich Eagles will be inspired by the Anzac spirit rather than any opposition niggle in tomorrow's tradition-rich footy clash at Limestone Park.
The unbeaten Eagles QFA Division 3 senior team is looking to continue its winning run against Moorooka in the 2pm main encounter.
With a number of Eagles players switching to Moorooka in the pre-season, Ipswich head coach Kym Mansell said there had been a lot of social media banter leading up to the third round Aussie rules match.
"There's been a bit tradition against Moorooka and there will probably be a lot of feeling in this game as well,'' Mansell said.
"Moorooka have four or five players from our team from last year . . . and coming from them is a bit of animosity.
"We're just going to play it like a normal game, be as professional as we are, and just go about what we do best.''
Being an afternoon honouring the Anzacs adds importance to Ipswich's latest round.
"Throughout the club there would be at least 20 members of the defence force,'' the Eagles playing and coaching stalwart said.
That covers the Eagles men's and women's teams playing this season.
Eagles club president Clint Bateman said Anzac Day was extremely important for Ipswich and he was proud the Eagles could share in honouring our military.
"It is an opportunity for all of us to come together, and pay our respects to all those who have served and fought for the freedom we have today,'' Bateman said.
"In particular we honour those who fell in battle and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"At the Ipswich Eagles Football Club we have a very high number of members who are either currently serving, have served or have relatives who have.
"Up until 2000, we had a RAAF AFL side, which is where we descended from so we have a very strong connection with the ADF.''
With the RAAF base at Amberley growing substantially over the past decade, Bateman said "there are literally thousands of ADF families living in Ipswich so we have a high population of defence members, past and present.
"It is fantastic to see so many people of Ipswich attending the dawn services to pay their respects. After 104 years, the day is still honoured immensely.
"I think it will only get bigger every year.''
On Saturday, there will be another opportunity for people to pay their respects.
A ceremony at 1.45pm will be held before the senior men's game.
A minute's silence is planned before the women's and Reserves matches as well.
The senior men are again playing for the Anzac Cup. Ipswich has won the Cup the past two seasons against Moorooka.
The senior women and men's Reserves are each playing for an Anzac Shield.
A player from each match will be awarded an Anzac Medal for best on ground.
The Reserves match between Ipswich and Moorooka kicks off at noon before the main game and women's clash from 4.45pm.
After comfortable pre-Easter wins over Jindalee and Hinterland Blues, the Eagles are keen to build on their positive early play chasing another grand final spot this season.
"We're starting to gather a bit of momentum but at the same time we've had a few injuries so a couple of players had a week to get over their injuries as well,'' Mansell said.
"When we win this week, it sets us up a 99 percent chance of a top spot clash, for outright, a week later.''
That is away against Wynnum - but not before having plenty of motivation to beat Moorooka at home.
QFA Division 3: Saturday (2pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Moorooka at Mark Marsh Oval, Limestone Park.
Reserves play Moorooka at noon with the Eagles women playing the same club at 4.45pm.