Tyler Coburn sat watching and waiting; he was always balancing on a football watching the Ipswich Jets train and sucking on an ice cube he had stolen from the ice machine, taking it all in.
He was watching his dad Dan Coburn, a Jets legend.
Jets chairman Steven Johnson said he was sure during that time, Tyler was absorbing football like some sort of osmosis.
“Tyler wasn’t just born into the Jets, learning early what it takes to play elite rugby league, but born of the greatest Jet, so he learned his lessons from the very best,” Johnson said.
“No rugby league player has ever given more of himself to make it in the game than Danny Coburn and Tyler has been a good student.”
In Ipswich, rugby league is built on stories passed down from grandpa to dad to son and daughter, and then it starts again.
The stories of the Ipswich front row of Kelly, Beattie and Parcell in 1960 against France, of Alf kicking for Gordon Langton and of Kevie and Kerrod popping up all over the field with freakish ability to play backyard footy on the big field.
Then you have Dan Coburn, with his tough and uncompromising standards of play and behaviour.
Coburn is revered amongst Jets and Ipswich. He was a warrior for the Jets, 258 times.
Stories are passed on about Coburn laying concrete all day, but being the first and hardest at training.
“How many times do you think Dr Saunders has stitched up Danny Coburn?” comes the question. “A million", the answer would come back.
The younger Coburn watched and learned how to be a Jet and how to be a footballer from his dad.
How to run the hit up in the 77th minute that no else wanted and how to put your head where most people would not put their feet and how to have high expectations of your yourself and your team.
Johnson explained the evolution of young Coburn.
“When Tyler was young, he was tall rangy and fast,” Johnson said.
“I used to pay him five dollars a try and he scored that often I’m sure he was the highest paid Jets player.
“Like many young players, other kids got bigger and faster and Tyler was no longer a stand out, but knowing the lines to run, having the courage to run them and having a perfect defensive technique have become his long-term skills.
“We knew it was just a matter of time for Tyler‘s body to catch up and now it has, he stands poised to crack the Intrust Super Cup at 19.”
After two years in the Hastings Deering Colts competition, Tyler Coburn is ready.
Match: Jets v Blackhawks
Round 1 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich