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Thursday, 25 October 2018
Page: 11260


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (12:40): Ipswich boasts a long history of involvement in soccer, or football, dating back to the late 1800s. Indeed, the first teams in Ipswich come from places like Bundamba and Blackstone, which were full of Welsh and Scottish miners. The first game of football in Ipswich is recorded as being held on 26 June 1886 at the North Ipswich Reserve, where rugby league and football are still played. The first game is recorded as between the Rovers of Bundamba and the Queenslanders of this city—Ipswich. The Dinmore Bush Rats were formed in 1888 and it's interesting that the new and resurrected club is in my first Blair Sports Links booklet. This follows on from the very successful Blair Disability Links and Blair Seniors Linksbooklets. I have given out more than 100,000 of these booklets to local community groups, organisations and individuals.

I was pleased to be with the shadow minister for sport, Senator Don Farrell, at the launch of the Blair Sports Links at the Brothers Leagues Club, the biggest leagues club in Ipswich. Last Saturday night I attended the Western Pride Football Club gala annual awards. I congratulate the under-13 girls' team and the under-18 men's team for winning the grand final, building on the victory of the senior men's team last year in the National Premier League.

Ipswich has a long history, as I say, of football, and recently the Western Pride put in a bid for the A-League licence. Sadly, we were rejected by Football Federation Australia and we were cut, along with Wollongong. It's very disappointing for the local community, but I join with the general manager, my friend Pat Boyle, in being confident our bid is alive in the next round. Respected sports journalist David Lems of TheQueensland Times said:

It's hard to comprehend why Ipswich has been rejected as a franchise in an expanded A-League competition.

The Football Federation chief executive is David Gallop and, when he was the chief executive of the NRL, he favoured expansion and expressed strong support for the western corridor bid for the Ipswich Jets, joining with Toowoomba and Logan in a bid to enter the NRL. I urge him and his whole executive to look with kindness upon the application in future for the Western Pride.

Ipswich is a place where sporting legends are made and we have people like Ash Barty, the current tennis legend; Alfie Langer, a former Queensland and Australian halfback; and Leah Neale, Olympic silver medallist in swimming. Ipswich is a great place for football, and I was pleased last Saturday night to join in congratulating so many players. It's interesting, Ipswich has the first captain of the first-ever Australian men's team, which played New Zealand in 1922, and Alex Gibb has been posthumously awarded the No. 1 cap by Football Federation Australia. Wouldn't it be propitious then if Ipswich got the next A-League licence, not this time but the time after?

I want to congratulate the many people who received awards and accolades. I want to congratulate Belinda Kitching, a former Matilda player and coach of the Western Pride women's team. She made a terrific speech last Saturday night, congratulating her team and the work they had done. And I particularly want to congratulate: the player of the year in the men's team, Joe Duckworth; the best and fairest, Hayden McHenery; the players' player, Joe Duckworth; the golden boot, Dylan Wenzel-Halls, with 23 goals from 11 matches—that's a great record. The senior women's player of the year was Zoe Lambi; best and fairest, Georgina Adnum; players' player, Holly Van Der Zee; and golden boot, Sophie Weatherby for 15 goals in 26 matches.

I also want to congratulate a young guy who coaches the under-18s men's team and the under-20s men's team, Jordan Manning. He likes to use the word 'massive' but I thought it was his effort that was massive in coaching these two teams. It is really a challenge for him to do that, but he deserves special mention for overseeing both teams while playing for the under-20s. Congratulations, Western Pride. I look forward to seeing you and watching you play in the A-League in years to come.