Former Ipswich Jets teammates (from left) Michael Ryan, Dan Coburn and Mat Cameron have reunited at Brothers for the Ipswich Rugby League season.
Former Ipswich Jets teammates (from left) Michael Ryan, Dan Coburn and Mat Cameron have reunited at Brothers for the Ipswich Rugby League season. David Nielsen

Coburn tackles change at Brothers

HEADING from work to the first training session of the new year, Dan Coburn could have been excused for making a wrong turn.

He was heading to Brothers’ training at Raceview but 13-years of playing for the Ipswich Jets in the Queensland Cup had his internal GPS programmed to take him to North Ipswich.

“It’s a bit funny,” Coburn said.

“It’s different.

“I’d been at the other place so long.

“It’s a massive change.”

When Coburn and the Jets parted ways, over what he described as an insulting offer to continue with the club, the tough lock forward thought his playing days were over.

“I was pretty much giving it up but Shrimpy talked me into having a run,” Coburn said.

Shrimpy is Michael Ryan, who for a decade combined with Coburn as the heart and soul of the Jets forward pack.

Joining the police force last year meant Ryan couldn’t commit to the Jets, instead enjoying the season with his junior club Brothers as they reached the Ipswich Rugby League A grade grand final.

Coburn also played at the Jets with Brothers coach Heath McQueen and skipper Mat Cameron.

He took some convincing to turn out in the blue and white but has obviously warmed to the idea .

Coburn and Ryan will act as assistant coaches this season with Coburn possibly taking over a player/coach role next year.

“I’ll see how I go this year but it’s a role I wouldn’t mind getting into,” he said.

For this year, playing will be about having fun with his mates.

“Hopefully I can take what comes and just enjoy myself,” Coburn said.

“It’s been a tough couple of years, the last few at the Jets.

“Results-wise we were not having much fun.

“It was a massive high when Kevvie (Jets 2008 coach Kevin Walters) was there.

“Then it just fell away.”

Coburn has placed no expectations on himself for 2011.

“I haven’t really set any goals,” the 34-year-old said.

“I want to stay fit, have some fun and enjoy my footy.

“I’ve done a fair bit of running in the off-season, which I don’t usually do.

“I thought I was hanging my boots up so I thought I’d better do something.”

Stepping back from Queensland Cup to the IRL should be a leisurely change of pace for one who approaches the game with such intensity as Coburn, but he feels no pressure to prove his hard man status to new teammates.

“I don’t really think about that,” he said.

“I’m putting no pressure on myself.”

No pressure maybe, but it did not prevent an unfamiliar feeling welling up as he showed up to meet his new teammates for the first time on Tuesday.

“I was a bit nervous,” he said.

“I’m not big on change and it’s all new to me.”

Coburn’s competitive nature means that, while he is there to enjoy himself, he will inevitably set the bar high and expect others to follow.

“I’m trying not to put pressure on myself but I know I will,” he said.



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