Jeremy Schloss celebrates scoring a try for the North Queensland Cowboys against St George in 2000. Picture: Cameron Laird.
Jeremy Schloss celebrates scoring a try for the North Queensland Cowboys against St George in 2000. Picture: Cameron Laird.

Booval field copped brunt of footballer’s constant kicking


THERE is a patch of ground on the oval at Sacred Heart School at Booval that might still need some much needed water and sunshine so it can make it back to being green grass.

A young Jeremy Schloss spent a lot of time making the poor groundsman at school lay awake at night with his constant kicking and chasing.

When Queensland School Sport named the team of the century for each region last year, Jeremy Schloss was named at lock for Met West. He joined the likes of Brigginshaw daughter and dad - Ali and Larry - Johnathan Thurston, Des Morris and Joe Ofahengaue.

It was a hell of a team.

When the final schoolboy team of the century was named, Bob Lindner from Met East and Cannon Hill State School was the lock but Schloss had given a good account of himself up against a crack field for the lock position.

"That was a real honour,'' Schloss said. "The players in that schoolboy team were unbelievable. It was great times growing up in Ipswich.''

The QRL Carbine Colt of the year in 1993 found his way at the Jets and a finals appearance in his first year as the Jets went down to Souths at Lang Park 36-4 and an early exit from the finals.

"All I ever wanted to do was play for the Jets,'' Schloss said.

"I am a local and love Ipswich, and both sides of my family are still there.

"The happiest memories are going to the Oval when I was young and thinking about playing for the Jets then to get to do it.

"Watching Cliff Sinn play, he was my favourite.

"I took a year off after colts to do my degree and came back in 1993 to play for the Jets and we had a great year.''



Kevin Langer. Picture: Charlie Payne
Kevin Langer. Picture: Charlie Payne

Schloss said being coached by Kevin Langer was a highlight. "He's just a very funny man,'' Schloss said.

"Playing with Brett Kaatz was an unreal experience."

Schloss was off to the Chargers.

He had four years and 51 games for the Coast with another finals appearance for the Gold Coast in 1997 beating the Steelers 25-15. The young Jet scored a try in the first and only finals win for the Coast.

"I got the call from Phil Economidis asking to play so I went down and played in the Reserve Grade and then made my debut in 1994,'' he said.

It was off to South Sydney and North Queensland in Schloss' 114 game NRL career.

The year 1997 was when Schloss received the best phone call of his life. He was told he would come off the bench for Queensland in Origin.

"It was Des Morris that rang, and I was so excited,'' he said.

"The week is everything you could imagine. Fatty and Choppy were just unreal. They spend the week talking to you about Queensland and what that means - five million people are looking to you on Wednesday night.

"I remember that phrase for the rest of my life."

Rampaging forward happy at home

YOU might find David Attenborough crouching beside Rohan Hancock explaining to younger viewers in soft tones "here we have a species of footballer that never went far from home but charged into his prey with no self-preservation when representing Queensland and Australia''.

Those same viewers might need an explanation about a world where you can be in Warwick but play for Australia.

Hancock never left his home and did not take up offers from Sydney or Brisbane but it did not stop the rampaging forward.

Hancock played for Wattles in Toowoomba and played for Queensland in 1978 and 1979 playing against Great Britain in 1979 before Origin in 1980.


Australian Jillaroos forward Steph Hancock with her father, and former Origin hardman Rohan Hancock.
Australian Jillaroos forward Steph Hancock with her father, and former Origin hardman Rohan Hancock.

Hancock would play four interstate games and five Origin games for Queensland and three Test matches including a sacred Kangaroo Tour in 1982 with the Invincible side.

"I made the Toowoomba side then Queensland Country and came up against two Ipswich boys in Rod and Des Morris they were playing for City,'' he said.

"Always knew what was coming when you played Ipswich boys but I didn't mind it.

"I did alright there and then played for Queensland in 1978.

"The training was harder than in Toowoomba, first camp with Queensland I lost 10kg in a week.

"I went to Warwick in 1980 and played. My brother in law was the coach and said come play here.

"I got picked for the Australian side to tour New Zealand in 1980 from Warwick.

"It was massive. My sisters and parents flew to New Zealand to watch me play I played against Auckland and those games but not the two Tests."

Hancock would receive the greatest of phone calls on his way back from New Zealand.

"Chris Close and I were on the tour and we were the only two Queenslanders picked from Queensland for the tour,'' he said.

"Choppy was at the Dolphins and I was at Warwick and we found out we were both in the first Origin side."

The memories of that first night do not take too much prompting to come flooding out of Hancock.

"I was behind Arthur, they called us out one at a time, Arthur Beetson then my name in front of 33.000 people at Lang Park,'' Hancock said.

"The most I had played in front of would have been maybe a couple of 1000 if it was a grand final in Toowoomba or Warwick."

Two years later, a Test appearance did not end well even though Australia won 11-8.

"I didn't make my Test debut until 1982 against New Zealand at Lang Park, I ran my first hit up straight and hard at Kevin Tamati,'' he said.

"Well you know how that ended for me - knocked out."

On the never leaving his beloved Killarney, Hancock had few regrets but largely remains unmoved.

"I came close a few times, on that 1980 tour Peter Moore was the Canterbury boss and tour manager and he was in my ear,'' he said.

"The Bulldogs had lost their two props and he said $10,000 for 10 games. Trip to the States at the end of the year, house to live and car.

"But nuh couldn't do it. I was lazy to be honest too comfortable and I regret that a bit now but it just was not for me living in Sydney.

"There was offers from Brisbane too, Redcliffe and Souths made calls every year.

"My wife was going through some things the other day and came across a letter from the QRL declaring my pay for Origin as $1200."

Hancock's life has not changed too much from his playing days.

"I am still at Killarney just not too far from Queen Mary Falls,'' he said. "We are just building a new house, I could never leave."

One concern was on Hancock's mind and it involves his daughter Steph Hancock the veteran of 20 Tests and two NRLW premierships for the Brisbane Broncos with 15 appearances for Queensland.

"At the moment my daughter Steph and I are the only father daughter international pair but I am worried about Wally's young girl Jamie-Lee she goes all alright and I think she may cause us to lose our top spot."

The Ipswich players that earned Hancock admiration was a simple answer.

"Ray Kelly and Larry Brigginshaw, two terrific players from Ipswich,'' he said.

"I would have played with them every week if I could."

Kelly was man of the match for Queensland Country over Newtown in 1979 in the AMCO Cup and earned Hancock's respect.

Asked where his Origin jumper from game one was, he answered: "I gave it to my children."

That probably makes sense. It is at home and never leaving.

Cooper's stat

ROHAN Hancock, FOG number 11, played five Origin games and made 101 tackles. He played 344 minutes and made 57 runs.

Norm Carr, FOG number 14, played three Origin games and made 44 tackles. He played 165 minutes and made seven runs.

Jeremy Schloss, FOG number 101, played three Origin games and made 40 tackles. He played 125 minutes and made 24 runs.