Why precious project reflects Ipswich commitment

OPINION

BE proud. Be inspired. Be grateful Ipswich.

The International Honour Board unveiled at the Ipswich Knights clubhouse is a precious collection of achievement that needs to be remembered and treasured.

It's the most comprehensive and complete history of Ipswich's world-class footballers, compiled by two of the city's most experienced soccer enthusiasts.

The finished product of John Roderick and Ross Hallett is a splendid showcase of 54 internationals to have played for Ipswich clubs since the early 1920s.

They include national captains, feared goal scorers and some of Ipswich's best known sporting families like the Kitchings, Gibbs, Nunns and Voglers.

The honour board lists an impressive array of talent from Ipswich's first capped Socceroo Alex Gibb in 1922 to the most recent national player Neil Kilkenny (cap 493 in 2006).

In between are many footballers, each with terrific stories of endeavour.

The honour board fittingly features the seven Coalstars women to have represented their country and laid the foundation for the Matildas teams that have forged such a fine international reputation.

The honour board will be mounted at the entrance of the Ipswich Knights clubhouse at Bundamba, providing a wonderful reminder of past successes. It will keep stories of their deeds and fascinating lives alive and hopefully inspire the next generation of Ipswich club footballers to chase their higher level dreams.

Eleven of the 54 internationals attended Saturday night's function.

Among those was Gary Wilkins (cap 201), who represented Australia in 1967.

He accurately rated the project "extraordinary''.

After enjoying the tremendous presentation delivered by Roderick, Wilkins said the work put in was something he had not seen anywhere else.

While the Encyclopedia of Socceroos launch in Ipswich was a milestone event last year, the latest Ipswich compilation better reflected the deeds of Ipswich's elite players over a century.

Roderick and Hallett deserve special praise for their efforts, along with those who assisted them in the project like Coalstars stalwart Michelle Sawyers and researcher Nev Cruickshanks.