Jets players Matt Parcell (left) and Ethan Ellison have played well above their young ages for the Ipswich Jets Colts this season.
Jets players Matt Parcell (left) and Ethan Ellison have played well above their young ages for the Ipswich Jets Colts this season. David Nielsen

Young Jets on course to top

IN a disappointing season for the Ipswich Jets Colts, the development of two youngsters has stood out as a highlight.

Matt Parcell and Ethan Ellison have ‘future star’ marked all over them.

Ellison is still at school but has already proven how tough he is, making his FOGS Cup debut in the front row against Redcliffe last Sunday.

At just 17, he was playing against men a decade and more his senior, in the most physically demanding role on the field.

Yet never did his coaches doubt his ability to handle it.

“Ethan’s mad, he loves it,” Jets Colts coach Mark Bishop said.

“He can’t get enough footy.”

After five games for St Peter Claver College at the Queensland Confraternity Championships the week before last, in which his school coach Todd Riggs said the youngster played himself to a standstill, Ellison backed up in SPCC’s 20-12 defeat of St Mary’s of Toowoomba last Friday.

That was followed by half a game for the Jets Colts on Sunday, then his FOGS Cup debut.

Today he is at it again for his school team as it takes on Wavell State High in the South Queensland pool of the Australian Schoolboys Cup.

“He went well,” Bishop said of Ellison’s performance against the men last Sunday.

“He takes no backward steps, that’s for sure. He just doesn’t stop.

“The tougher the better. He’ll cart the ball up all day. In defence, if anyone comes in the middle, that’s the end of them.”

Parcell showed his potential on debut for the Jets Colts last season.

After getting plucked out of the Norths under-18 team, where he’d been playing hooker, he scored three tries on debut for the Jets from the wing.

This year he has been used everywhere from second row to centre.

“Matty was out injured for eight weeks and we really missed him,” Bishop said. “He’s working off the ball all the time. Any breaks we make, I’ll guarantee he’s the one backing up.”

Bishop expects the two to be picked up by the Gold Coast Titans in the near future, if the club knows what’s good for it.

But he has seen too many promising Ipswich footballers passed over by the NRL club, for which the Jets act as a feeder club, to get his hopes up.

Last Sunday, former Ipswich players James Furminger and Justin Lemberg scored in Broncos feeder club Redcliffe’s win over the Jets.

They were picked up by the Brisbane Broncos after being overlooked by the Titans.

“We hope the Titans will pick them up,” Bishop said of Parcell and Ellison.

“Otherwise, the Broncos pick them up and we play against them.”

That’s the last thing he wants to see, knowing what Parcell and Ellison are capable of.

Parcell is 18 and Ellison just 17 so if they’re not picked up by an NRL club for next season, don’t be surprised to see them lead a revival of the Ipswich Jets Colts – unless they’re playing higher grades by then.



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