Centurion Strasser finds way back home to Norths

In the end, Zach Strasser found his way to the Norths Devils – the club where the Strasser name first became known in Brisbane’s rugby league circles.

It took Zach a long time to get to Bishop Park. He started at Holy Spirit, Bray Park, in the Under 6s before moving to Brothers, Albany Creek, Redcliffe and the Broncos around his school days at Wavell State High School.

Strasser played more than 80 Intrust Super Cup matches for the Dolphins before moving to Brisbane’s northside and opting last year to play closer to home with the Devils and then new coach Rohan Smith.

There, the 26-year-old half joined his cousins Jake and Joel, who feature in the Devils’ Under 20 and Under 18 teams, while his father Ziggy proudly watches from the Bishop Park Hill.

Ziggy broke into Brisbane football as a centre for the Devils before moving to Valleys where, as a backrower, he was part of the Diehards team that broke Norths’ hearts in the 17-16 grand final result in 1990.

The Devils’ faithful who watch the games with Ziggy are glad to see the Strasser name back at Nundah.

Zach will play his 101st Intrust Super Cup match in Round 17 when the Devils host Souths Logan Magpies after reaching a milestone in last Sunday’s spirited away win over the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby.

“I’ve really enjoyed it here and it’s been good to be at the club where dad first started,” Strasser said.

“I was going to have last year off just to have a break from the game, but then I decided to come to Norths and have a look and I’m glad I did.

“This is a really tight-knit club – it really is a one-club feel across the grades – and it’s been good to play with some good mates and to keep developing my football.”

Strasser mixes his work as an electrician with his training schedule. He admits to not being a gym junkie, but his pure footballing smarts in the halves have enabled him to carve out an excellent career against players with more size.

He has re-joined former Redcliffe team-mates Jack Ahearn and Brandon Lee at the Devils while also teaming up with Connor Broadhurst.

All four of those players featured in the 2016 grand final when Broadhurst’s Burleigh Bears claimed the premiership.

Strasser’s versatility in the backline has been valuable for coach Smith, who has used several halves combinations this season through minor injuries and call-ups to the NRL.

Strasser was too young to remember his father’s career, but he knows he won’t be following him into the backrow.

“Looking at it, 100 games is a lot of games, but it’s taken me a long time to get there,” Strasser said.

“I’m not focusing on playing NRL anymore – that’s something I left behind after I finished with the Broncos – so I’m just focusing on enjoying my footy again. I’m really in it to play with my mates.

“But I’d love to win a grand final. We got close a few years ago and it’s something I’d like to do.”