Ipswich Jets forward Mitch Carpenter palms off the Sunshine Coast defence. Picture: Warren Lynam
Ipswich Jets forward Mitch Carpenter palms off the Sunshine Coast defence. Picture: Warren Lynam

Mitch shares economics of isolation


POWERHOUSE Mitch Carpenter takes us inside the secret isolated world of a Jets forward leader and reveals the dark arts that happen when he isn't adding to his 59 games for the Jets.

Monday: I dedicated the majority of the day to an economics assignment I had due that night, where I still had just under half to complete. So naturally, I spent the majority of the morning procrastinating. I finally hooked in that afternoon and managed to complete it later that night.

Tuesday: A slow day at work, completing a bit of office work, and some odd jobs at my family's hotel. I got a workout in that afternoon. I've been doing a few bodyweight prehab workouts. I'm attempting to iron out a few little niggling injuries while I have time off footy.

Wednesday: Another day at work. It's delivery day so it's spent unloading pallets beer, wine, and spirits. The afternoon/evening was spent walking the dogs followed by a 2km run. Thought it was best I get a bit of cardio in.


Mitch Carpenter. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Mitch Carpenter. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Thursday: Spent this day punching out all the fun stuff, watching uni lectures and tutes. I got another lower body workout in the afternoon, following that I walked my dogs again and got a stretch after that.

Friday: Another day in the grind at work. I consider getting a workout in that afternoon, although I choose to have a few beers with a couple of mates instead.

Saturday: A big day off with a few more beers and a flutter on the horses. I will say it wasn't a very successful day on the punt. Did not have my eye in this day.

Sunday: Spent the morning with my mum and family for Mother's Day. The afternoon wasn't overly productive, a large chunk was set aside for napping and recovering. I finished off my week by making a carbonara and watching Billions on Stan.

Parcells typify Ipswich toughness

IF I was going to build an Ipswich footballer, I'd make him tough and resilient.

He'd have to be from Ipswich and play for Queensland and Australia while trucking it forward in an era where there was little other choice but to keep your head down and sometimes hope for the best in regards to your safety. He'd be quick out of dummy half and be smart too, great defender and a leader of men.

He'd be as Ipswich as coal dust, Jacaranda trees and McMahons Sars and the dashboard light would be on to indicate humble and flashing bright green to indicate Ipswich pride.

I'd probably just build a Parcell.

Percy Parcell came to Radford and settled down and it wasn't long until he was playing for Ipswich Brothers and Queensland. It wasn't too long after that his son Gary was following the same path.

Parcell would tour with the Kangaroos in 1959 and be part of the last Queensland team to take a series off the Blues until Origin came along 21 years later in 1980.

The 1959 tour of the UK would stretch from September until January 1960 and take in 38 matches including six Test matches. Parcell would play in five of those Test matches. He would return to England for the World Cup in 1960.

Parcell reflected on his trips to England. "It's a long time away isn't it?"

"They were good fun, it was a great time in my life, I am very grateful.

"Tough football against the English, they had a few forwards that would like to touch your face and grab your eyes.

"We sorted it out though," Parcell said with a smile.

Parcell's proudest achievement was being part of the all Ipswich front row with Dud Beattie and Noel Kelly in 1960.

"Kelly was mad, truly mad but a great friend with Dud, I am proud we all came from the same city, it won't ever happen again I don't think."

On the temptation to leave the area and chase glamour in Sydney or Brisbane Parcell was sure that it would never happen.

"I got offers but I didn't want to leave the area, I never thought too much about it. This is home."


Ipswich Jets old boy Steve Parcell.
Ipswich Jets old boy Steve Parcell.

When I'd completed building one Parcell I'd need to build another one to keep it tight in the middle of the ruck, who better to turn to than Steve Parcell who toured France with Queensland Residents in 1989 and is a builder himself and would provide the next blue print for an Ipswich footballer. I'd need a Jets captain and leader who men followed and he'd be a fearless defender.

When Jets hooker Jeff Ashe was injured Ipswich turned to a second row from Fassifern to fill the void and he never gave it up again moving to hooker and becoming captain.

"Growing up, dad was just Gary,'' he said. "He grew up in the area and everyone just knows him. We knew what he achieved.

"He'd never make a big deal out of it, he never even forced football on us.

"He would tell us stories and we loved that. He loves the game and that's what he's passed on."

If I have Steve Parcell patrolling the ruck then I'd need some speed off the bench. Matt Parcell played for Queensland Residents in 2015 and scored a try coming off the bench- running out of dummy half.

The grandson of Gary and son of Steve Parcell who is in England with Hull Kingston Rovers. Matt is an Intrust Super Cup Premiership winner with the Jets, his try scoring efforts in the 2015 finals will never fade.

From the Jets first win over the Pride to the Jets State Championship over Newcastle Parcell scored 10 tries in five games. As soon as the Jet playing the ball rolled the ball back to Parcell, you wanted him to run. Please run.

Parcell thought about the role of his family "When we were growing up, we probably didn't really understand much about them both playing footy especially Pop playing for Australia but as we got older we obviously understood it more.

"Pop loves talking footy and especially different players he got to play with and still today when you bring up players he can tell you all about them.

"He always has plenty of good advice for me and is really good when I speak to him on the phone or when I get to see him when I'm back home.

"He and the touring team get brought up from a lot of people over here in England who want to stop and have a chat to me about it, either because they were there or because they remember the games.

"I think the games are pretty famous over here because Australia got beaten.

"The team played a game at Headingly Stadium, where I was with Leeds for three years and they played a game at Featherstone and I've played a Challenge Cup game there and did a couple of promos and it's always been brought up. If anything, I probably understand it a bit more since being over in England."

Genuine man

PETER Affleck followed his boyhood dream from Quilpie to Valleys and got to play for the team he loved his whole life.

"I loved Valleys so to play for them was pretty special," Affleck recalled.

"Hugh O'Doherty was such a Valleys and Ipswich star.

"Don't think I have met a more engaging or genuine man.

"I came to Brisbane with Chris Close who came from Cunnumulla, we both came down to Brisbane to play for Valleys in 1979.

"I played at Valleys until 1984 and I am grateful for what they did for me.

"I still have involvement with Valleys' Old Boys."

Affleck has gone about repaying the debut to rugby league through his role at Men of League.

The Men of League organisation identified that there was a pressing need to establish a network that accessed the tight-knit rugby league community's desire to help its own.

So they set about building a foundation that provided practical assistance and social support to anyone that has been involved with rugby league that falls on hard times.

"Anyone can fall on hard times and sometimes players when they retire don't know how to ask for help so we can help.

"The Foundation provides assistance with everything from surgery, rehabilitation, equipment and specialist care to wellbeing visits to homes and hospitals to address social isolation and promote mental health.

"We had an office in Brisbane but that wasn't enough we now have an Ipswich branch with Pat O'Doherty and Moreton Bay as well.

"Ipswich is such a Rugby League area, it is vital Men of League have a presence there."

Cooper's stat

THE Jets clinched a State League semi-final spot with a 26-6 win over Toowoomba at Lang Park on May 11, 1986.

The Jets led 14-6 at half time after Gordon Langton scored his sixth try in six games in the State League that season.

Allan Langer and Glenn Haggath scored for the Jets in the second half and the Jets were off to the finals.