Goodna under new management
THE Goodna Eagles will boast no shortage of ingenuity this year, with innovative businessmen Tyler and Brady Morton set to take ownership of the A-Grade side.
Thrust straight into the top flight, it will be a baptism of fire as the 22-year-old twins form a new-look halves combination in their first year at the RLI powerhouse club.
It was a straightforward decision to don black and blue, with pre-existing alliances drawing them to the Eagles' nest courtesy of numerous friendships formed through playing with Met West and an association with the Souths Logan Magpies, where their father worked as a strength and conditioning coach in their early teen years.
"We were only 14 and 15 at the time (at Souths)," he said.
"They were all older boys.
"They are still good mates now, so it was not very hard to choose to play with them.
"They just welcome you as if you have been there forever.
"They are all just a bunch of good blokes. I can't really fault it. I'd definitely love to win the grand final. For sure."
Blood is thicker than water and these two share a trust that is unrivalled.
Inseparable since day one, they have competed together throughout their lives and know each other's strengths and flaws inside out.
While they have a lot to learn and much to prove, the Ipswich Grammar School products' potential appears boundless and coach Corey Kirk is rubbing his hands together in anticipation of witnessing their capabilities.
A cunning footballer in his playing days turned astute mentor, the Goodna taskmaster knows he can take the brothers' games to the next level with just a few tweaks and positional pointers.
Blessed with natural ability, the pair who played on either wing in the 2015 1st XV are expected to thrive, and the Eagles to be the benefactors of their rapid RLI rise.
"It will be good to run out together again," Tyler said.
"We're pretty tight. We look out for each other. We can complement each other well.
"Corey is very knowledgeable and he has helped us a lot already, with running different lines and getting into better positions."
No strangers to league, they started at five with the Fassifern Bombers and were regulars for the Ipswich Diggers before securing a scholarship to IGS to play union.
While both possess strong running games, the better organiser of the two Tyler will offer direction at halfback, allowing Brady to inject his talents at will.
It maybe be their qualities off the field, however, that will afford their new club the biggest gain. For in the Mortons, Goodna have landed two bold, innovative, creative and driven individuals with an impressive entrepreneurial spirit who are determined to carve out their own path in life.
In their formative years since high school at a time in their lives when many of their peers are simply trying to find their feet in the big wide world, the pair have shown remarkable initiative.
Entering work as labourers immediately after school, they stacked their cash flat and saved enough to fund an eight-month adventure in the United States following a brief stay at Easts Tigers with the Mal Meninga Cup program.
Linking with the City College of San Francisco, they studied, saw the sights and had a crash course in American football, with Tyler lining up on defence and Brady at running back.
It was an unforgettable experience for the ardent fans of American sport who have long been enthralled by the popular culture, level of diversity and sheer size of the global superpower's cities.
"It was daunting but it wasn't daunting because we had been over there a couple of times beforehand and we loved it, so we just wanted to go overseas for a little while," Tyler said.
"They're a lot different from here.
"I'm fascinated by all of it."
The level of professionalism within sporting programs, the sheer athleticism of participants and the tender age at which it gets serious struck the siblings.
"The (standard of) the different facilities, the coaching, the way you approach a game and everything like that," Tyler said.
"They're a step above everyone else at that age over there. They ramp it up at a very young age. As soon as you get into high school, grade 10 and 11, they are professional."
Now living together at Corinda, the social media marketing diploma holders will look to reproduce that professional attitude with their own company known as Lujo Group.
Operating at the cutting edge in an exciting new industry, the business is a creative agency specialising in content creation, influencer marketing and social media management.
On the verge of success prior to the onset of coronavirus, the economic disruption has slowed their progress but it has not dampened their enthusiasm.
Showing maturity beyond their years, the brothers have refused to take the setback lying down.
Instead, they have been making the most of the uncertain period.
"We have been around the industry and studied it and how it all works," Tyler said.
"Our ideas are pretty innovative. We build social first campaigns for fashion labels, brands, travel companies and resorts, hopefully all around the world. Well that's the plan.
"We use influencer outreach strategies and unique content creation to reach different markets and target audiences of the brands. Covid has delayed it a little but we've been using the time to educate ourselves and better our skills for when Covid gets cleared up, so we can hit the ground running."