The recently-appointed Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and 2021 Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems
The recently-appointed Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and 2021 Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems

Meet Ipswich’s versatile new coach with high ambitions

THE colourful tattoos on Brady Walmsley's arms highlight how important family is to Ipswich's valuable new recruit.

The images etched on his skin show the wonderful connection with wife Simone and their first daughter Graysen.

With another baby on the way, Walmsley knows how precious family is.

That is why he was delighted to be appointed Ipswich Basketball Association (IBA) development manager and Ipswich Force women's coach.

Having previously worked in Gladstone, Townsville-born Walmsley wanted to relocate to South East Queensland to be closer to his Gold Coast-based parents.

"When you've got kids, there's not a better place to raise them than on the doorstep of Movie World,'' he said. "So it's pretty good.''

He rates having a four-year-old daughter and brother involved in basketball as the most satisfying aspects.

However, helping his family is not the only reason he's excited about his Ipswich opportunity.

The former police officer and council engagement and partnerships manager brings a wealth of coaching experience to the city.

He grew up in Melbourne coaching association and representative teams from age 15.

Over the past decade, he has devoted considerable energy to state league and Queensland sides at national junior championships.

Walmsley worked as a police officer from 2011-16 in Townsville, Innisfail and Palm Island.

He hopes to apply those skills to coaching next year.

He moved to Ipswich after a senior role as manager of engagements and partnerships with Gladstone Regional Council. That was a community focused position working on development, reconciliation and action planning, along with disaster and investment roles.

Before his stint in Gladstone, he was the Basketball Queensland high performance manager from 2016-18, based in Rockhampton.

"Working in sport, I've had quite a varied career,'' said Walmsley, who turns 32 next week.

The Ipswich newcomer has graduated with a Certificate in Sports Coaching. He's studying a Masters in Business Administration leadership.

FORCE-FUL IMPACT: Ipswich basketballers leading the way

Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems
Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems

The Level 2 coach started his new IBA role at JBS Arena a month ago.

Apart from his development work, he will continue building next year's Force women's side playing in the inaugural NBL1 North competition which was delayed this year due to COVID.

"That was an attraction to the role,'' Walmsley said.

"I wanted to coach a good team with a really good platform to build from.''

Having coached Gladstone teams in the past two Queensland Basketball League competitions, he wants to help the Force women advance from regular finalists to shooting for championship glory.

"The Ipswich Force women are perennial playoff competitors in the league and I think there's an opportunity there to try to take them one step further than they've been,'' he said.

"We've already started talking to a number of restricted players, international and some in the WNBL but I think the platform for a good team is to have a really strong local Australian base. So that's where our attention is first and we will fill out our restricted players around that.''

With no formal links to Ipswich, he was impressed how the homegrown players developed in reaching the recent Queensland State League (QSL) semi-final.

"Again, that was a big part of my interest in this position,'' he said.

"I wanted to come somewhere where there is a good group of local players, a group of local leaders. And a combination of experience and an exciting youth element.

"I thought the result in the QSL - whilst it's not the same standard as the NBL1 will be - was really promising.

"If we can retain a lot of what we had and we can add some high profile pieces to it, it puts us in a good spot.''

Walmsley has worked previously with Ipswich Force co-captain Georgia Ralph in Townsville, a connection he looks forward to build on.

Preparing for next year's NBL1 North season, he's started recruiting with a view to beginning pre-season training February.

Among his coaching highlights was making a final with the Townsville Flames women in 2016 and guiding the Queensland under-18 boys to a bronze medal success at the national titles that year.

The Victorian representative junior player and Townsville state league basketballer also enjoyed success between 2013-19 with other under-16 and under-18 boys and girls sides.

But he joked it wasn't his best sport as a youngster before he developed a "one-track mind'' for basketball.

Walmsley said an appeal of being involved with basketball was 'the reliance on team''.

"Basketball is the sport because that's where my technical background is. But really it's about the leadership component to coaching that is really a driver for me.

"I'm someone that really values team sport.

"It's the balance of team and leadership.''

The Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems
The Ipswich Basketball Association development manager and Force women's coach Brady Walmsley. Picture: David Lems

In his 20 hour a week development role, Walmsley plans to re-establish, relaunch or create new initiatives to promote the sport and bolster playing numbers.

"My main focus at the moment is growth and participation,'' he said.

Among the development areas he is working on are the G-Force (girls only), Ipswich's academy and Force Future Stars programs.

He also wants to increase Ipswich basketball's footprint in schools.

"At the moment it's development and recruiting but it will become development and coaching in the new year,'' Walmsley said.

Asked how he measures success, Walmsley answered: "It's around growth and experience''.

"How individuals develop and how they enjoy their experience while they are engaging,'' he said.