Cleeland swift to pass on thanks

SUSPECT TECHNIQUE: The Swifts defenders mistimed this tackle in their match against Redbank Plains. The Redbank Plains Bears recovered to win the game and advance to an elimination semi-final against Goodna at the North Ipswich Reserve this afternoon.
SUSPECT TECHNIQUE: The Swifts defenders mistimed this tackle in their match against Redbank Plains. The Redbank Plains Bears recovered to win the game and advance to an elimination semi-final against Goodna at the North Ipswich Reserve this afternoon. David Nielsen

AS he accepted his award for Ipswich Rugby League player of the year last Saturday, Swifts five-eighth Josh Cleeland thanked his club's football operations manager Paul Srama for bringing him to Swifts.

"He kept coming around my house to convince me to join," Cleeland said.

He also thanked his partner Samantha, who was his main support through his knee rehabilitation.

"She's the one who looked after me after the operation," he said.

"It was her and my family.

"I had no contact from anyone from footy."


Fassifern snub

WHILE Josh Cleeland was a well deserved winner of his awards, not all choices were met with universal approval.

The Fassifern camp, in particular, was unhappy halfback Kali Nauqe was not named representative player of the year, which went to Brothers' Jason Connors.

Nauqe was originally the only Ipswich Diggers player selected in the Queensland Rangers team.

Connors was later called into the side but withdrew due to injury.

The Fassifern snub led one angry club official to declare no Bombers player would play for the Ipswich Diggers under his watch again.

There were also some eyebrows raised that Swifts coach Lee Addison did not claim the coach of the year award, taken out by Norths under-18 coach Mick Newton.

Newton was modest in his acceptance of the award.

"It's difficult to say I'm coach of the year when there is a whole lot of pressure applied to other coaches," he said.

Perhaps Addison missed out because no-one believes a word he says these days.

He has spent all year talking down the prospects of his Bluebirds and Saturday night was no exception.

When asked if Swifts were a threat to Brothers' title favouritism, Addison tipped Brothers to win every finals game by 50 points.

"There's no pressure on us at all," he said. "Brothers will be even more dangerous."


Rule bender

OFFICIAL awards aside there were some unofficial ones handed out verbally last Saturday night.

Both Norths captain Josh Roberts and West End coach Jae Woodward reckon West End captain Dale Lewis would be a lay-down misere for one every year.

Both reckon Lewis is the master of conning the referee into believing his innocence.

He'd also go close to winning any award given for claiming free drinks, though Roberts might not be far behind him.


Fun in the mud

FUN comes in different forms for many people. Just ask Ipswich athlete Paul Shard.

He takes up the story.

"I had the most awesome day at Tough Mudder Caloundra,'' Shard said of the recent challenging event.

"With two passes through the ice enema, two Berlin walls, twice through electric eel, three times bombing off walk the plank and twice through electroshock therapy, I got my money's worth completing the 17km course.

"The hardest thing was trudging through the mud mile. I've never experienced mud so thick. But it was so funny seeing my 60-year old coach (Peter Reeves) lying face first in the mud exhausted.

"Our whole team made it over every obstacle.

"What a fun day!''

Some people love punishment.


Tasty treat

PHANTOM has learnt Ipswich City Bulls footballer Norbert Duga is more than a handy player.

He's something of a chef, especially when it comes to treating his partner Talitha.

At a BBQ with some Bulls players and partners celebrating Talitha's housewarming and her recent birthday, Duga's true talents were discovered.

After a number of beers had been consumed, he let a little gem slip regarding his birthday surprise for dessert-loving Talitha.

All was revealed when some Bulls team-mates found the menu Duga created for the romantic night in with Talitha. Plenty of effort went in to its creation.

The splendid list featured a special bowl of strawberries with ice cream, delicious cheesecake of the week, a serving of apple pie with ice cream, banana bread with special butter and sweet caramel custard pudding, followed by ice cream and tea and coffee.


Good sportsmanship

IPSWICH Hockey is doing its bit to promote positive play and sportsmanship.

Apart from signs outside the dugouts encouraging fair-minded behaviour, two items on the white board outside the dressing rooms remind the players and supporters about their role in sport.

One is a Peanuts cartoon captioned with: "My grandpa says if you do your best Joey, no matter what the score, you win.''

Next to it is the definition of sportsmanship: "A person who displays good sportsmanship always plays fair and by the rules. They make an effort to treat opponents, coaches, team-mates and referees with respect.''

They are sentiments everyone involved in sport should take a moment to ponder.


Kids praised

FINALLY on hockey and more than 400 kids enjoyed Ipswich Hockey's junior carnival at the Raceview complex last Saturday.

But while fun was the name of the game, so was the fantastic behaviour of the kids.

The hockey children were praised by vendors and ride operators for their manners and courtesy at the end of this year's Hookin2Hockey program.

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