Norths juniors Waylen Manuel-Bartlett and Jay Bartley show the size differences between under 13 players. But both are expected to play in the top division under a new Ipswich Junior Rugby League ruling.
Norths juniors Waylen Manuel-Bartlett and Jay Bartley show the size differences between under 13 players. But both are expected to play in the top division under a new Ipswich Junior Rugby League ruling. Sarah Harvey

Player development at risk: coach

THE claim that clubs like Norths are sacrificing the development of players to chase trophies doesn't sit well with Norths under-13B coach Cody McQueen.

"We won three games all last year," he said of his team's efforts in the under-12 White (B) Division.

So it is not surprising 12 of the 15 players in the under-13 B squad McQueen coaches said they did not want to compete in the stronger Green (A) Division this year.

The Ipswich Junior Rugby League has ordered Springfield, Goodna and Norths to mix up their two under-13 teams so that both can compete in a more even Green Division.

But McQueen believes elevating his players to the Green Division will negatively affect their confidence and set back their development. "We've brought some boys up," he said.

"The rest are just getting that confidence

"I think putting them up is going to go push the competition back to like under-8s.

"The bigger guys will go straight through them."

McQueen also has concerns for his players' safety after one was concussed when trialling against the imposing Springfield As.

"I'm not their parents but I do care," he said.

"And I don't want to see players get injured.

"It's about developing skills, a team mentality and how to play the game properly."



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