JUST hours before the Brisbane Broncos were due to play North Queensland last night, assistant coach Kevin Walters was back on familiar territory.
Walters (pictured) was at Swifts Sports Club at Booval, his junior footy club, for a sportsman’s lunch.
The guest speaker was swamped by well-wishers and old acquaintances from his days as a Swifts junior.
Not since Walters’ day, along with brother Kerrod and Allan Langer, has Ipswich had such a high representation at the Brisbane Broncos.
“It’s great,” Walters said.
“Me and my family grew up in Ipswich and Swifts was our second home really.
“The club put a lot of time and commitment into us.”
Ipswich products Joe Ofahengaue, Rod Griffin, Carlin Anderson and Matt Parcell are all on the books at the Broncos now, though only Ofahengaue has had a shot at the top grade.
“Rod’s got a great work ethic,” Walters said.
“I guess with them all, the message is to get consistent at everything they do.
“Both away from football and when they’re playing.”
Griffin has been consistently excellent for a good year, though Anderson mixes moments of brilliance with occasional lapses.
Parcell was a model of consistency last year, though was below his best in round one this season.
“The biggest thing I’ve found with guys who have a year or two Queensland Cup experience is to keep chugging away,” Walters said. “It’s not impossible for any of those boys to play for the Broncos.”
Daniel Vidot is the other Bronco at the Jets, though not by choice. He has been relegated to the feeder club while others are preferred by Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.
“He’s got to wait for his opportunity again,” Walters said.
“He’s been bumped back a bit to the Q Cup.
“We all know his capabilities.
“He’s got to be patient and play well.”
Walters does not think playing prop for the Jets will hinder Vidot’s chances of a recall to the wing in the NRL.