Court calls time on playing days with Tigers
WHILE a footballer's value is usually judged by how good a player he is, it shouldn't be.
The example of Paul Court is the reason why.
After 19 years in the blue and gold of the Northern Suburbs Tigers, Court has made the decision to call time on his playing career.
Court's career is not noted for his representative honours, A grade appearance records or grand final heroics.
It is marked by selflessly serving his club to the best of his ability.
When he could no longer do that, Court decided to retire, though his contribution to the club he loves so dearly is far from over.
"I've never been a really good footballer," Court said.
"I just loved playing footy and I enjoyed playing for Norths."
This year's pre-season told Court it would probably be his last.
So when he broke his thumb mid-season it seemed someone was insisting it was time to retire.
"I struggled through pre-season," he said.
"I always said when I lost that bit of enthusiasm it would be time to hang up the boots. Otherwise you're not doing yourself or your team justice.
"It's never been about personal accolades, because I've never been good enough.
"You start because of your mates. So if you get to the stage you're not doing your mates justice you've got to look at yourself."
Court's selfless attitude is what makes him such a great clubman.
Even in retirement he will continue giving back to the footy club he served so long.
His seven-year-old son Ethan began playing at the club this season and Court envisages helping out for many years yet.
"I've probably enjoyed my footy more since I had kids," the father of three said. "They enjoy coming to training with you. It's always been a family club and it's great seeing them want to play.
"I want to start coaching the juniors or helping them out.
"Now I realise that as a player you get an easy ride.
"Playing is the enjoyable part.
"But I'm a firm believer you've got to give back."
Loyal and happy
PAUL Court is a loyal man.
He has only ever played for the one footy club, has worked for the same company, Aquatec Maxcon, just as long and spent his whole life living in North Ipswich and Brassall.
"I'm the type of person that if I like where I am I'm happy," he said. "Whether we're strong on the field or not, Norths has always been a strong club culturally. Undesirable people don't fit in here. No matter how good you are, if you put the effort in you will get a go."
Those were the same words club coach David Haug said to the players when Court moved from colts into the senior ranks at Norths years ago.
Court played in a losing Reserve grade grand final in 2011 and a couple in C grade in the 1990s.
"The competition was a lot stronger back then," he said.
"Our C grade side in '98 was probably better than most Reserve grade sides I played in this year."