Fassifern build dangerous combination
FROM fighting for the wooden spoon last year, to one of the competition's frontrunners, it has been a big 12 months for the farm boys of Fassifern.
The losses from last year have been left behind as the Bombers find themselves in second place on the IRL ladder.
To find out what was behind the club's success in 2016, the QT sat down with Fassifern A-grade coach and captain Scott Ireland.
Most valuable new addition?
"I have to pick two and that would be Keiran Turner and Troy Hansen," Ireland said. "They are both experienced Queensland Cup campaigners and just having that experience on the field is valuable for us.
"Keiran has a smart head on him and Troy is just a tough competitor and really complemented our attack with his defence, which is something we've probably been lacking in."
"Definitely our attack and ability to score points has always kept us in the competition," Ireland said.
"Even though we were wooden spooners last year we were dangerous. As long as we can get the defence right we can win games."
Team to watch in the finals?
"Goodna deserve to be favourites with the way they've played all year," Ireland said.
"Definitely from the weekend just gone Brothers are well rounded across the field and gave us one of the hardest games of the year. They've got a good attacking backline. I'd give ourselves a chance against anyone but those two are the ones I'd keep a close eye on."
Quality of the IRL competition in 2016?
"I think it's getting better," Ireland said.
"It's one of the top regional comps in the state and it's taking the right steps.
"It's hard to get depth and that's the biggest issue the competition faces but the standard has been great and even at this point anyone can still make the finals which shows how tight the competition is this year."
Club's biggest unsung hero of 2016?
"Kent and Narelle are massive for this club they help with everything," Ireland said.
"We've got a great bunch of volunteers. The Rangers are another who are outstanding, John looks after our Reserve grade team as manager and Heather is always doing anything she can.
"With a club like ours we need loyal volunteers and the fact that they are there every week makes you want to play. We'd do anything for them."
Best team outside A Grade?
"Well we've only got one but the Reggies have been incredible," Ireland said. "The results in terms of where they sit on the ladder doesn't tell the story of their season. We've don't have a Colts side so we have those player propping up our other grades and the numbers still haven't been off.
"We are still sitting guys on the side at this point in the season and normally we'd be lucky to get that at the start of the year.
"The future is bright for this club because of that. There's a spine of players there that will develop into A-grade players and every club needs that."
With youth, passion and devoted volunteers, the Fassifern Bombers have a bright future ahead in the Ipswich Rugby League competition.
Player snapshot: Scott Ireland
Junior club: West Belconnen Warriors.
Rep honours: Queensland Country, Queensland Rangers, Ipswich Jets, Easts Tigers, Canberra.
Someone you admire: Mal Meninga.
Music like: My karaoke.
Favourite food: Seafood.
Other sports: Squash.
NRL club: Canberra Raiders.