Brown in doubt for state carnival after nasty injury

CLASSY DEFENDER: Wests A-grade and Ipswich under-18 hockey player Jarrod Brown needs a medical clearance to return after copping a ball in his jaw.
CLASSY DEFENDER: Wests A-grade and Ipswich under-18 hockey player Jarrod Brown needs a medical clearance to return after copping a ball in his jaw. Rob Williams

IT'S a terrifying scenario for any coach. It's even tougher when the training accident happens to a teammate who is one of Ipswich's most exciting prospects. And how painful is it for the injured player?

That's exactly what the highly regarded Jarrod Brown and stalwart Mark Sharrad endured at a recent Ipswich under-18 session.

Brown was left with a nasty jaw injury and cut mouth needing 12 stitches after a ball rebounded sharply into his face.

Sharrad was the Ipswich under-18 coach at Raceview when his Wests A-grade teammate was injured.

The former Ipswich Jets rugby league player, tenacious hockey goalkeeper and experienced Brothers cricketer had never seen anything like it in all his years playing sport.

"As soon as he got hit, I've gone 'no'," Sharrad said, fearing the worst.

"There was no blood initially when he had his mouth shut and he was holding it. But soon as I got there, his hand was just full of blood.

"I've seen people getting kneed in the mouth, people lose their teeth but I've never seen an actual jawbone get broke and his teeth all going in all different directions.

"It went horribly wrong for JB.''

What made it even worse was Sharrad's son Kyah was the goalkeeper at Ipswich training.

The freak accident happened near the end of the under-18 session at Raceview, where the players were working on a new eight-second shooting system.

"Jarrod was probably about the fourth person in," Sharrad said.

"Kyah came out like he usually does.

"Jarrod - probably from about a metre and a half away - just laced the ball straight into Kyah's pad and it came back twice as quick.

"It could have been a mill (millimetre) one way or the other and he wouldn't have got him. But unfortunately, he got him straight in the mouth."

Brown, 18, didn't lose any teeth but split his lip and needed 12 stitches in his mouth.

"It hurts a lot," the teenager said, struggling to talk.

Brown, also a Queensland Schoolboys representative, had no ill-feeling towards his goalkeeping teammate.

"It wasn't his fault, it was just an accident,'' Brown said.

Considered a future Australian player, Kyah was understandably upset after the ball thumped unpredictably into Brown's jaw.

"He's never seen anything like that happen to anyone before and a lot of the boys were in a bit of shock," the coach said.

However, Brown handled the mishap exceptionally well.

"To Jarrod's credit, he's one tough buggar, I tell you," Sharrad said, offering a lighter moment.

"I've watched him play for a number of years now and he didn't even swear once."

Whether Brown can play for Ipswich at the state titles in Townsville later this month will depend on a medical clearance.

Brown is regarded one of Ipswich's best under-18 players.

"The way he's bounced back this week is a big credit to his family and also to the medical staff,'' Sharrad said. "Fingers crossed, everything gets approved.

"It was a big shock actually to see what happened."

The injury denied Brown a spot in Saturday's elimination final won 6-2 by Wests over Hancocks.

The talented teenager cheered on his teammates - as best he could with a wired-up mouth.



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