Final mission: Tenacious Jets footballer keeps fighting hard
WHEN it comes to Ipswich loyalty and defying injury hurdles, Jets footballer Josh Seage is up with the best.
The fact he wants to give his all in what could be his final season for the Jets typifies his trademark Ipswich-bred qualities.
Since making his Jets debut in 2014, the former Swifts A-Grade and Broncos under-20 forward has battled through a series of injuries yet kept fighting back.
After his most recent setback, Seage is determined to fulfil an important role in whatever co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker demand of him.
Seage, 26, started the Intrust Super Cup season in superb shape having improved his fitness and diet.
After playing in the Jets' opening match against the Townsville Blackhawks he received an injection to tame the pain in his left knee from an overuse injury. But rather than the injection settling down the knee cartilage after two earlier ACL reconstructions, Seage suffered an adverse reaction.
"It just swelled up for about four or five weeks and I couldn't run or anything,'' the Ipswich State High year 8 teaching co-ordinator said.
"It wasn't happy for a few weeks so I just rested up looking to come back against Norths (in round 6) but I had one more week off with a few of the boys coming back.''
That decision proved the right one as Seage was one of Ipswich's best players in last weekend's historic 28-10 win over the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby.
The humble Ipswich born and bred sportsman was just pleased to help the team he made his state league debut with six seasons ago.
Just as important preparing for Sunday's round 7 clash with Tweed is that Seage has recovered well from the PNG trek.
"It's not too bad,'' the second rower/lock said. "It's just more looking after it and not doing too much at training and recovery, and icing it.''
While eager to play as much as he can for the Jets this season, Seage was honest about his rugby league future.
"I just want to get through the season and then decide what I want to do after that,'' he said, having lined up in 59 state league matches.
"I don't think I've got too many more years.''
As he works on helping the Ipswich Jets, Seage also feels a stronger person after a nine-month stint in France.
In 2017, he took leave from his job at Ipswich State High to train and play for the Albi Tigers in France's elite 1 championship.
The teacher concedes that provided lessons in life and rugby league.
"It was good, really eye-opening just to see a different culture,'' he said.
"I guess being in a country where you don't really know anyone, it was just good to meet new people.
"For me, because I've always been in Ipswich and all that, there was a lot of growing up . . . knowing what life is actually like.''
From being surrounded by so many supportive people in his home town and at school, Seage was thrust into a foreign environment.
"If something needed to be done, it was just doing it yourself,'' he said.
"Going over there, you don't realise how good the small things at home are . . . really missing friends and family but also being able to go down to the shop and understand what it says on the packaging.''
Playing in France also exposed Seage to new football methods unlike what he was used to at the Jets.
"It just showed me the different style that they play over there,'' he said. "It was a completely different style to what the Jets are playing as well so I had to go back and run block plays and just attack was a little bit different.''
That's why he he appreciates being home. "I'm definitely more comfortable with the Jets style,'' he said.
"Over here, everyone does their job. Over there, you sort of have to cover for other people.''
Being a part of last weekend's winning team reaffirmed what Seage enjoys most about the Jets.
"We didn't play our best football but everyone tried really hard for the entire game,'' he said. "That made a big difference.
"There was a period there where they were in attack a bit and really just shut them out.
"Even though when we had the game locked up, we were still making sure they didn't get any more points.''
The Jets will be hoping to maintain the same defensive might in Sunday's latest state league encounter over the border.
Co-coach Shane Walker said Ipswich would field a similar line-up to last weekend's with Jayden Connors returning at fullback and Rogan Dean moving to the wing.
Chris Ash will play halfback with Julian Christian serving a one-match suspension for a reactionary tackle in last weekend's win over PNG.
Intrust Super Cup Rd 8: Sunday (2pm) - Ipswich Jets v Tweed at Piggabeen Sports Complex.
Possible Jets line-up: 1. Jayden Connors, 2. Rogan Dean, 3. Rory Humphreys, 4. Richard Pandia, 5. Peter Gubb, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Chris Ash, 8. Tyson Lofipo, 15. Kierran Moseley, 10. Nat Neale, 16. Huskie Teutau, 12. Ben White, 13. Josh Seage, 11. Timote Paseka, 12. Shar Walden, 17. Blake Lenehan, 19. Mitch Carpenter.