Ling's versatile on and off field
BEFORE he departed to the Illawarra to try and crack the St George Dragons NRL squad last year, Jacob Ling was working as the Ipswich Jets cellar man.
On his return to the club to play football this season, Ling was delighted to also return to a job at the Jets' Leagues Club.
He had to resume his role amongst the kegs in the cool room last week but only because Jets under-18 coach Brendon Lindsay, who also works at the leagues club, was off work.
When Lindsay is around, Ling does "a bit of everything", from rolling the kegs to administration work.
It is part of a plan to know the business inside out by the time the 25-year-old's playing days are over.
In the meantime, he is also focusing on doing all he can to help the Jets to the ever-elusive Queensland Cup title the club craves.
For Ling, that has meant providing maximum impact as an interchange forward with coaches Ben and Shane Walker preferring to use the multi-skilled back-rower from the bench.
"I'm happy doing whatever works for the team," Ling said diplomatically.
"It doesn't bother me.
"If they cut my game time down, it might be different."
There is not much chance of that with Ling's experience, hard running, strong defence and the ability to off-load a vital ingredient in their success.
Ling admits that between work, footy and training, there is little time for much else.
And while he admits a break at the end of a long season will be good, it's not because he has grown weary spending so much time at the club.
"It's good just being around the team," Ling said.
"It's a good club to be part of.
"We all get on well together.
"A lot of us have been at the club for quite a few years.
"We've got a good understanding of how we play. Off the field, we all get on well too."
It is that camaraderie in part which gives Ling confidence the Jets can improve on last season's fifth-placed finish.
"On our day, I don't think anyone will beat us," he said.
"It's down to our attitude and if we want it more.
"Everyone's got their routines and personal preparations.
"We just need to make sure we're doing that and we'll be alright."
Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers at Langlands Park, Coorparoo today.
Queensland Cup: 2pm today.
FOGS Cup: 12.15pm
FOGS Colts: 10.30am