Wise advice for Ipswich footy finals
WHEN you've played at state league level and in as many finals as Trent McCrossen, it's easy to think winning will come naturally.
As relaxed as experienced Eagles recruit McCrossen is about Saturday's QFA Division 3 qualifying final, he offered some wise advise to his regular Ipswich teammates.
"The game doesn't change. It is just a reward you get at the end of the day,'' the Tasmanian born and bred footballer said preparing for Saturday afternoon's battle with home team Wynnum.
McCrossen, 35, has played in about 50 finals matches based in Devonport since debuting aged 15.
The highly regarded fullback savoured success in two of his eight grand finals, knowing what it's like to peak at the right time of the year.
Although the stakes are higher in elimination football, McCrossen said the Ipswich team needed to focus on what it does well to reach the grand final.
"The game goes up in intensity, a bit more on the line,'' he said.
"You just have to stay calm and composed. Don't panic when you get the ball.''
The Eagles only lost after the siren in their previous Aussie rules semi-final clash with Wynnum a fortnight ago.
In his second season with the Eagles, McCrossen shows his commitment by travelling from his Coolangatta base to play for Ipswich at every opportunity.
Although he's only been available for 10 games due to his night shift work on the coast, McCrossen has enjoyed his time at the Eagles. He joined the Ipswich club through another player and assistant coach Cameron Viney, after McCrossen came to Queensland in 2015.
"There's some good young players, some good people around the club,'' McCrossen said.
"Kym (head coach Kym Mansell) is highly passionate about the club.''
Preparing for Saturday's final, Mansell said former Tasmanian top league footballer McCrossen was a key inclusion, bringing a lot of football knowledge to the team.
The Eagles head coach was also pleased to have Jarrod Prakelt cleared by a specialist to play after being in doubt for some weeks due to rib damage.
However, another Eagles regular Jack Boston is likely to be rested, managing a grade one hamstring tear.
Mansell expected to field a similar side to the one that outclassed Kedron by 30 points in last weekend's semi-final at Limestone Park.
Apart from improved goalkicking, Mansell believes the team's fitness is paying dividends.
"We done a big fitness block about eight weeks ago and only finished it two weeks before the final,'' he said. "I think it's starting to show the benefits now.''
After feeling some nerves before the Kedron clash, Mansell was confident his team could qualify for another grand final.
"The boys have a spring in their step. No-one is sore,'' he said.
QFA Division 3 preliminary final: Saturday (2pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Wynnum at Kianawah Road.
Winner to play Moreton Bay in grand final.