Ramon shown door
STRIPPED of his player-of-the-year award, the Ipswich Jets' best player of 2012 Ramon Filipine has been released by the club.
Filipine paid the price for repeated off-field incidents involving alcohol, the last which saw him throw a beer can at the a person at the Ipswich Rugby League grand final in September.
At the start of the Jets' presentation night, Filipine was among the half-dozen players said by MC Mark Braybrook to be the leading pollers in contention for the player-of-the-year award.
Filipine took out the best back award.
But as the night wore on, and the points tally from different stages of the season was revealed, Filipine's name was conspicuous by its absence, while fellow backs Brendon Lindsay, Ian Lacey and Jarrod McInally were among the points accumulators.
It as good as confirmed reports Filipine had been stripped of the best-and-fairest award for his off-field misdemeanours.
The Jets have been unwilling to comment on the issue but the Queensland Rugby League website last week listed Filipine as having been "released" in its player gains and losses list for the 2013 Queensland Cup season.
One source at the Jets said he had not been released but, with his contract having expired at the end of the 2012 season, had not had it renewed. It certainly wasn't for his performances on the field.
Filipine was outstanding in 2012. The big winger could well have won the award for forward of the year, as well as the back of the year award he did receive, such was his contribution making metres through the middle of the ruck. He provided the Jets with an extra forward while still proving an accomplished finisher on the right wing.
Jets co-coach Ben Walker did not want to comment on Filipine's release, but it is understood he and fellow co-coach, brother Shane, were firmly in support of the player remaining at the club. The coaches believed the club had a duty of care to help Filipine with his issues, but club management obviously felt differently.
Jets chairman Steve Johnson also refused to comment on the issue while Jets chief executive Brad Wolens - the one person apparently able to comment - has not returned calls from the QT for two weeks.
Gains and losses
Gains: James Furminger (Redcliffe Dolphins), Bobby Nona (Darwin), Billy McConnachie (Mount Isa), George Marchant (Bradford, UK), Joe Walsh (former Huddersfield Giants, UK), Tom Guymer (Gold Coast Titans), Sam Caslick (touch)
Losses: Lorenzo Maafu (Parramatta Eels), Brendon Lindsay (Retired), Adam Boettcher (Retired), Todd Riggs (Retired), Luke Walker (Retired), Ramon Filipine (Released), Mark Appleton (Souths Logan), Luke Page (Burleigh Bears)