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FRESH IS BEST: St Ives Fruit Market owner Naji Trad has held his lead in the popular QT-NRL tipping competition after a tough round.
FRESH IS BEST: St Ives Fruit Market owner Naji Trad has held his lead in the popular QT-NRL tipping competition after a tough round. Rob Williams

Fruit market guru sows seeds of tipping success

NAJI Trad loves watching footy, fishing and playing poker.

He also prides himself on providing fresh produce at the St Ives Fruit Market he owns at Goodna.

Chatting to Naji, one senses he applies all his astute skills to footy tipping too where he is leading the popular QT-NRL competition this year.

Despite only scoring four in last weekend's tough round, Naji held a two-point lead over Warwick Lansdowne and the tipsters at Brothers Leagues Club.

Naji said he doesn't have a tipping strategy.

"Not really,'' he said. "It's more of a feeling.

"I've been watching the games.

"I love the footy.''

Naji rates the Broncos his favourite team.

"I love what Wayne Bennett brought to the club and what he's done," Naji said.

"I don't mind the Bunnies (Souths) either. Come the finals, they'll be right."

Much of his sporting passion comes from playing rugby union (South Brisbane) and Aussie rules (Sherwood) as a junior. He was a rugby hooker and lined up in the half forward flank in Aussie rules.

However, it didn't take long to build his interest in fruit, after his father ran a store at Indooroopilly.

Naji has owned the St Ives business for three and a half years, surviving some tough times like the floods.

However, he appreciates the loyal customers he has, including those who see his tips in the QT each week.

"It's been good," he said, showing his sense of humour being part of the competition.

"They see my ugly head in the comp and come and say 'good onya, you're leading the comp'."

His challenge now is to keep his slender lead against some looming tipsters.

Naji likes fishing "anywhere they are biting" and playing a bit of poker.

As for providing fruit, Naji said he visits the market every day to ensure his customers get the freshest food available.

"We have good variety, a good shop," Naji said.



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