Ipswich Force coach Brad George. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Force coach Brad George. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Elite Ipswich coach makes most of tough situation

AS a normally busy teacher and state league coach, Brad George has mixed feelings about the current coronavirus shutdown.

While disappointed the inaugural NBL North 1 women's competition was cancelled, the Ipswich Force head coach is seizing the opportunity to spend more time with his young family.

"It's actually quite refreshing to be honest,'' George said, having devoted the past 10 years to the demands of state league coaching.

"It's unusual to actually have the night structure and the weekends really.

"It's a good thing to have a break and freshen up.''

However, the plight of those doing it tough is not lost on the Bremer State High School teacher, especially parents and students.

Before the current school holidays, George was among the thousands of teachers setting up online information programs to assist students in coming months.

"That's all been done. So it's just wait and see now (what happens next),'' he said.

Having to take that course of action was not something George anticipated at the start of the school year.

"It's been pretty interesting to know what's going on each day,'' he said.

As for this month's highly anticipated launch of the new NBL 1 North conference, George said it was "inevitable'' the first season would be cancelled.

He preferred the decision to be made earlier given concerns over what might happen.

"It's hard to get motivation to training and that sort of stuff,'' he said.

"It was absolutely (the right call) - being able to make decisions with regards to bringing imports outs and flights . . . a lot easier than having to be up in the air and not sure whether they were going to postpone it or play it later.''

The Ipswich Force women's team had retained another quality roster, keen to build on the association's excellent record for making finals over many years.

With all the regulars back, led by former national league player Bree Farley, George had a pre-season program under way before the decision was made to delay the competition 12 months.

"We had a good team on paper this year,'' he said.

"The girls were extremely disappointed as they were excited by the possibilities this group could achieve.''

The players are now focusing on their own individual training.

"That's just the people they are . . . it's in their nature to stay fit,'' he said.

"They always talk and get along really well.

"They are good friends and talk a lot and do videos together. That's the benefit for them.''