FINE EXAMPLE: Troy Sharpe marks his 100th A grade game for Brothers when they meet Swifts at Llewellyn Motors Field, Purga tomorrow afternoon.
FINE EXAMPLE: Troy Sharpe marks his 100th A grade game for Brothers when they meet Swifts at Llewellyn Motors Field, Purga tomorrow afternoon. Kate Czerny

Sharpe set to hit magic milestone

FOR almost a decade, through plenty of highs and fewer, but equally significant lows, Troy Sharpe has proven himself one of Brothers' greatest servants.

The durable backrower plays his 100th A-grade game for the club when they travel to Purga to take on Swifts tomorrow.

Both teams will wear pink, in aid of the Kim Walters Choices Program's battle against breast cancer.

For Sharpe, who celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday, it is another afternoon doing what he enjoys most.

"I just love playing the game," he said.

"Not being with my mates is the hardest thing about not playing."

He knows only too well, having retired "three or four" times and endured a season out thanks to a knee reconstruction.

But the club and his friends there kept calling him back, which is why he is yet to make a call on next season.

He admits it is getting harder each year to recover following a tough match - something he expects on Monday after playing a Swifts side that has been playing an increasingly tough brand of footy in recent weeks.

Another thing that keeps Sharpe going, and what will keep him involved once he does retire, is the desire to give back to the club that has given him so much.

Sharpe rates former Brothers prop and Kiwi international Grant Young the best he's played with and is determined to follow his example.

"He was a really good guy for young players," Sharpe said.

"You always knew he'd have your back. I try to bring that for the young players, like Jake Redman. And to give advice if they need it."

The Ipswich A-grade competition has changed significantly since Sharpe stepped up to the senior ranks, first with West End, then Brothers.

But one thing never changes.

"It's still footy," he said.

"You've still got to go out and do your job."

Sharpe continues to do that as well as ever. He was rewarded this year by being selected in the South East Queensland team for the first time as a senior footballer.

GAME DAY

IRL fixtures

Today:

  • 2nd Division at Blue Gum Reserve - Bears v Eagles 3pm, Tigers v Cubs 4.15pm, Bulldogs v Tornadoes 5.30pm.
  • Eastern Cobras v Goodna Eagles at North Ipswich Reserve (U19 - 5.45pm, Reserve grade - 7.15pm).
  •  

Tomorrow:

  • Swifts v Brothers at Llewellyn Motors Field (U19s - 12pm, Reserve grade - 1.30pm, A grade - 3pm)
  • Norths v Fassifern at Keith Sternberg Oval (U19s - 12pm, Reserve grade - 1.30pm, A grade - 3pm)
  • West End v Goodna at Daniels Park (A grade 3pm)
  • West End v Valleys (U19 - 12pm, Reserve grade - 1.30pm).


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