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Greinke on the move: 'Ipswich has played a massive part in my life'

Brett Greinke might be humming the Beatles song 'The Long and Winding Road' as he drives up to his first pre-season training at Ipswich Jets on November 7 ahead of season 2023.

The road that started out as a Jets’ ball boy while his dad Gary coached the Jets in 2001 and 2002 then moved the former Claver school captain to Red Hill, which saw him play 47 games in the Toyota Cup for the Brisbane Broncos, captaining the club in the heart-breaking two-point loss to the Warriors in 2014.

The road then went to the South Sydney Rabbitohs and 77 games at the Norths Devils and Brisbane Tigers, as well as the XXXX Queensland Residents in 2016 and 2019.

Now back home at North Ipswich Reserve.

“I always felt like I would play for the Ipswich Jets... I live in the area, dad coached here and I went to school here,” Grienke said.

Greinke during season 2022. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Greinke during season 2022. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

“Ipswich has played a massive part in my life. It’s part of you when you’re from Ipswich, to be area proud.

“I have never worn a Jets jumper, I didn’t get to play Mal Meninga Cup or Cyril Connell for the Jets but played plenty of games at the Reserve for school and against the Jets.

“My happiest memories are of dad coaching and we would pick up Reggie Cressbrook and take him to training. I would sit in the car with Reggie and listen to them talk footy... he was my hero."

Cressbrook’s stay in Ipswich would be brief with only 31 games - which included 20 tries and 22 goals for 125 points - but he left a mark on a young Grienke.

“Whenever anyone would ask who is your favourite player I would never say an NRL player.... it was always Reggie Cressbrook," Grienke said.

Cressbrook remembers those Jets days well and his car trips with a young Greinke.

“That’s made my day,” Cressbrook said.

“Makes me so proud to see Brett doing well and I remember going to training with Brett and Gronk. Brett was always going to be a classy player and it’s great he’s at the Jets.”

Greinke has been impressed with what he has seen and heard from Jets coach Ben Cross.

“I have met with Ben a few times and I am impressed with how he is going about putting things in place that will see the Jets and the Ipswich area thrive," Greinke said.

“I spoke to Steve Johnson and he put me in touch with Ben Cross about playing for the Jets and I have been impressed from that point on.

“I can bring a bit of experience... I am 28 now, and played in a few systems so I think I can bring all that to the Jets and help the younger forwards."

Greinke is looking forward to working with his new team mates.

“I worked with Rhys Jacks at school, and played with him at Brisbane Tigers, so I am excited about being with Jacksie again and Lachlan Cooper is a smart operator," Greinke said.

Sitting back on the sideline at Ipswich watching his son play in 2023 will be a highlight for Gary Greinke.

“I played for West End, and coached the Jets so we have a great family link to Ipswich and the area,” he said.

“I can’t wait to be back at the Reserve watching Brett play for Ipswich. I had a great two years coaching Ipswich and great memories.

“I think Brett will bring leadership, which is an area that Ipswich is probably struggling with at the moment with a lot of young guys.

“He was captain at all the clubs he’s been too and a leader so I think he can make an impact with young players."

That long winding road might be coming to an end and it ends where it started for Greinke at the North Ipswich Reserve, but he won’t be running out the kicking tee to his hero this time... he will have the chance to be a hero himself to a Jets ball boy in 2023.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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