Touch football players Jake, Meg, Tess, Toni and Scott Notley.
Touch football players Jake, Meg, Tess, Toni and Scott Notley. Cordell Richardson

'He held out a jellyfish . . . brains beat youth again!'

"EVERY year we holiday at Nobbys Beach with family and friends. When the kids were younger, we always had epic beach touch games in the afternoons,'' Toni Notley said.

"It was often win at all costs, and as we got older and slower the kids were all getting better and faster.

"One game, it was down to last try wins and the parents weren't looking good. Scott had the ball and was looking like no chance to score. As Tess came up to tag him, he held out a giant jellyfish he'd been hiding, waving it in front of himself all the way to the tryline. No child was game enough to touch him.

"Brains beat youth once again!”

THEY are the royal family of touch football in Ipswich, and the Notleys reign supreme on the field of battle.

Patriarch Scott is a member of the Touch Football Australia Hall of Fame, a World Cup winner and 61 times capped by Australia.

He and wife Toni met through a shared love of the sport. Toni is a multiple state representative and at one time named in an honourary Australian side.

Their eldest son Jake is a regular for Queensland in the State of Origin series, and is a current member of the Broncos' NRL Touch Premiership squad.

Meg has represented Ipswich on multiple occasions while the youngest Notley - Tess - is a star on the rise having recently made her first South West Queensland representative team.

This fearsome five boast more touch football talent than just about any other. It makes for some fierce family footy feuds.

"We're a very competitive family believe it or not,” Toni said.

"And it seems like everyone is happy for any of my daughters to beat me at this stage.”

The Ipswich Super 8s competition is Toni's brainchild, and the Notley crew have been regular attendees since its inception four years ago.

But this is Tess' first time competing in the elite touch football event, bringing the number of Notleys to five.

Still just 13, Tess previously only rubbed shoulders with her family in social touch outings but after much nagging, Toni finally budged and let her daughter get in on the Super 8s action.

"I said she had to wait until I thought she could compete and not get demoralised by playing out there (against high quality opposition),” Toni said. "She's more than held her own.”

In an all-girls youth development team, Tess might be the youngest player at the Super 8s.

Toni joked she could just about be the oldest - but that is the beauty of touch football, age is irrelevant.

"It's a sport where age is no barrier. Scott and Jake can play in the same team, Tess and I play in the same social team . . . all of us can play in this together,” Toni said.

Bragging rights amongst the Notley ladies have been shared to this point of the competition.

Toni's Meerkats got the win over Tess' Rebels, however fell to Meg's Falcons.

One might expect there would be less rivalry between Scott and Jake, considering the combination both play for back-to-back men's champions Fockers.

But for two experienced and highly-credentialed touch footballers, who also happen to be father and son, there can still be a friendly on-field rivalry.

"There can be a 'who's the commander' type issue at times,” Toni said of the duo's team dynamic. "But this is Jake's team and Scott is there to help.

"Really, Jake still has a lot to learn from Scott whether he likes to admit it or not. Even though Scott hasn't played Open touch for quite a while, there's still so much to be learned from him even now . . . he just has that 'touch brain'.”

With the competition approaching its pointy end, there is every chance a Notley could be part of a winning men's and women's team.

But Toni does not mind too much either way. She is just thankful for the opportunity to compete in the sport she loves, alongside the people she loves the most.

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