Ipswich hatches plan to save footy competition
AUSSIE RULES: A review of the season opener has unveiled a plan that could save the QFA Division 2 North competition if matches can resume in late May.
Ipswich Eagles coach Kym Mansell and star off-season recruit Jacob Huisman were discussing how the team could go forward when a proposal for AFL Queensland to consider was raised.
Mansell said Huisman suggested teams could train on Monday nights and play Wednesday night and on Saturday when games were cleared to start again.
That would make it a 16-game series with this year's QFA Division 2 North competition expanded to 12 sides.
Mansell said that was an idea for footy clubs to ponder while the season has been put on hold - until at least May 31.
"We've actually put something to the league,'' Mansell said. "Whether they talk about it any more or put it to the other clubs, we're not sure.
"It comes down to whether all clubs agree on it.''
Before the shutdown, senior and Reserve Grade teams were scheduled to play each Saturday, as in past seasons.
The loyal Ipswich clubman and head coach said the cancellation of Division 2 fixtures was unexpected, even in the current coronavirus environment.
"We were a bit shocked actually because all they are talking about is crowds over 500, they will close everything down,'' Mansell said.
"It's not like we get 500 to a game.
"The boys were pumped (to continue). We're all disappointed.''
With no training allowed during the sporting shutdown, Mansell said the Eagles players would break until further notice.
"The boy are doing their own stuff now to keep fit,'' Mansell said.
"We're not allowed to train as a group. We're not allowed as a club to train as a group.''
Mansell said he would use his time away from the club to explore more playing options.
He was particularly chasing an inside midfielder to bolster the team's attacking aggression.
The Eagles lost their season-opener 85-82 to competition newcomers Park Ridge last Saturday.
The regular grand finalists were scheduled to play Gympie away this weekend before the directive came to stop play and training until late next month.