Ipswich wish list that would restore deserved success
STATE league revivals, Olympic dreams and a long overdue sporting facility to be proud of.
It must be nearly 2020, which means it is time to roll out the regional sport wish list.
Top of the priorities for next year are having the Ipswich Jets and Western Pride achieve Queensland competition goals for different reasons.
Under well-travelled and highly motivated new coach Keiron Lander, the Jets will be looking to restore their finals’ reputation in next year’s Intrust Super Cup.
After a disappointing 2019 rugby league season, the Jets should have plenty of additional motivation to win the tight games and lock up a spot in the playoffs, where they belong.
For Western Pride, it would be fantastic to have their senior men’s team reinstated to the National Premier Leagues (NPL) football competition, where the Ipswich club started its journey in 2013.
While Western Pride still has a wealth of exciting junior talent and a rebuilding women’s side in separate NPL competitions, an important mission is to get the men from the Queensland Premier League (QPL) back into the higher level ranks.
Enthusiastic Pride coach Andrew Catton deserves support taking a new-look team forward after the relegation sagas of 2019.
The QPL could provide the perfect platform to bring on new Pride talent and restore some much-needed goal scoring confidence.
The Ipswich Knights made last season’s QPL finals while promoting a mix of youth and experience under astute coach Andy Ogden.
Given the commitment of senior team coaches like Ogden to regional football, the Knights also deserve to fulfil a dream of joining Pride in the 2021 NPL senior competition.
We will get a taste of the local derby rivalry in 2020 when Knights and Pride junior teams meet in the restructured Football Queensland NPL competition and the respective clubs’ senior teams clash in the QPL.
In basketball, it would be a terrific moment for the city to have an Ipswich Force men’s or women’s team win a state title crown.
While the women have come close a few times, the men have struggled to contest a finals’ series.
Next year’s revamped NBL 1 North series provides a fresh opportunity.
The 2020 wish list extends to sports like netball, Aussie rules, baseball and cricket.
In netball, it would be a dream come true to have the Ipswich Flyers win back-to-back titles in the Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition. Even better would be for the previous champions Goodna Sapphires to again reach the final as they did in the 2019 season.
It was a boost for regional netball to have two neighbouring city teams battling it out for honours. Ipswich was the winner with Flyers mentor Nicole Grant deserving praise for the way she prepared the team for success.
Still on netball and the Ipswich Jets teams also attracted a surge of support from their fine achievements this year.
With their inaugural Netball Queensland Sapphire and Ruby South seasons to build on, the Jets can dare to aim even higher in 2020.
The Jets top side just missed the finals after a consistent season, showing some brilliant skills and emerging talent.
The Jets Rubies qualified for the final, capping a remarkable debut season.
With supportive and experienced coaches like Tracey Jeanes-Fraser and Camille Rieck at the helm, the Jets are well positioned to stake premiership claims in the new year.
In Aussie rules, it would be fitting for the Ipswich Eagles men to emulate their female counterparts and win a long overdue QFA premiership.
The Eagles women showed what could be achieved on their way to securing their historic grand final victory this year.
The Ipswich Musketeers women achieved a similar feat in bringing together a team of newcomers to win the recent Greater Brisbane League baseball title in their debut season.
The parallels between both sides are clear. They were led by seasoned coaches Rex Watts (Eagles) and Lyndsey Campbell (Musketeers) who developed new skills and nurtured team spirit.
In cricket, it would be a joy to see the Ipswich Logan Hornets make the Queensland Premier Grade men’s grand final after years of fine development.
But while team successes are always rewarding, seeing Ipswich’s elite individuals achieve their goals is also gratifying.
In an Olympic year, the hope is for Ipswich to secure a number of representatives on the plane to Tokyo.
Among the hopefuls is QT-City of Ipswich Sportsperson of the Year Andrew Campbell, who is desperate to be part of an Australian baseball team at the Games.
Ipswich was well served by past Olympic baseballers including Peter Vogler and Steve Hinton.
Being a proud and loyal Ipswich achiever, Campbell deserves a similar opportunity.
While hoping for that, one of the biggest wishes remains unfulfilled.
That is getting an upgraded North Ipswich Reserve after years of indecision and stalling.
While the newly-opened Springfield Sporting Complex will become a wonderful hub in 2020, the city still needs a modern stadium in its heart. The tradition-rich North Ipswich Reserve fulfils that need.