Norths Blue under 13 players celebrate last weekend's preliminary final win.
Norths Blue under 13 players celebrate last weekend's preliminary final win. David Nielsen

Former Jets player helps build confidence in youngsters

HAVING watched his team come from fourth to make this year's under 13 grand final, coach Brett Kaatz is more focused on the kids enjoying themselves than winning.

However, the former Ipswich Jets forward is pleased how his young Norths Blue side has stepped up in recent games.

"The way we have improved over the last month, I'm expecting a good showing,'' Kaatz said.

Norths Blue face an unbeaten Springfield Black side in Saturday morning's 9.30am grand final at the North Ipswich Reserve.

The Tigers beat club colleagues Norths Gold 20-4 in last weekend's preliminary final after a 26-0 victory over Brothers Blue in the knockout semi-final.

"They are a good little side,'' he said of his under 12 outfit. "They just didn't have that confidence.

"Coming into the last two games of the season, things started to turn around. They had a bit of belief in themselves.''

Kaatz is being assisted at the Norths Blue side by manager Stacey Griffiths.

His team captain is five-eight Caleb Jackson.

"They just enjoy coming to footy . . . and going out and having a good time,'' Kaatz said.

He said one of his players summed it up last weekend by turning to Kaatz and asking: "Sir, are we playing in the grand final?''

After representing the Ipswich Jets from 1987-95, Kaatz has spent the past 10 years, on and off, coaching juniors.

With so many Tigers' teams making grand finals in recent years, he's happy to help the Norths club keep encouraging the kids to enjoy their footy.

"They (Norths) have got a lot of juniors,'' he said. "They've got a good culture.

"It's all about looking after the kids . . . and make sure that they come back.''

Look out for a comprehensive grand final guide in Saturday's QT.



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