Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Mateship, Rivalry, Respect; Coaches Enjoy Squaring off, Sharing a Laugh

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Mateship, Rivalry, Respect; Coaches Enjoy Squaring off, Sharing a Laugh

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Bushnell

A FRIENDLY rivalry between the under-20 coaches has been brewing all season and the score is set to be settled on grand final day.

The season's ledger currently stands at 4-3.

Goodna coach John Siaki reminds his Brothers' counterpart Darryll Squires of that fact every time the sides square off.

But both experienced mentors are willing to scrap the record and start from scratch as they prepare their players for the season-defining clash.

"He can have the four all year," Squires said.

"This is the one we want -- it is the one, it's the only one."

Despite leading the personal battle all year, Siaki considers Squires to be the frontrunner after Brothers took the most direct qualification route.

He said it would all come down to the match.

"He has the lead because he is at the grand final waiting for me," Siaki said.

"After the game we always have a laugh. He says 'I got one over you' and 'I'm catching you John. I'll get you'.

"And I always tell him 'you don't win grand finals at the start of the year'."

Squires and Siaki used to lock horns on the field.

Both have won premierships as players and taskmasters.

On occasions, escalating tensions prompted the duo to tussle but they always shook hands and buried the hatchet when the full-time siren sounded.

Nowadays, they share a deep and lasting mutual relationship.

"I respect him as a good friend," Siaki said.

"He is a good guy and an asset to Brothers.

"I can see him coaching A-Grade in the future.

"After the 18s final, I said to him 'are you coming to coach at Goodna next year'?"

While the main reason we play rugby league is to foster mateship, Siaki did not start coaching to make friends.

He took on the role to encourage the children and give them the opportunity to be the best footballers possible but he is glad to have made a lifelong mate in loyal Brothers' stalwart Squires. …

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