Laidley-bred Peter Ryan is back working at the Broncos as skills and defence coach. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Laidley-bred Peter Ryan is back working at the Broncos as skills and defence coach. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

From Laidley to Super NRL and coaching glory


PETER Ryan grew up in Laidley where his dad owned the local butcher shop but Mr Ryan was not the only one doing plenty of chopping.

Ryan's tackling meant the Laidley Lions saw a fair bit of damage caused by his meaty shoulders rom under eight before he left for school and the Brisbane Broncos.

Ryan played 168 games for the Broncos, winning the premiership in 1993 and 1997.

He would have played the grand final in 1998 expect for being charged in the third week of the finals for a grade two careless high tackle.

He copped three weeks and missed the Broncos win over the Bulldogs.

Success has followed Ryan.

He won a Super 12 title at the Brumbies in 2001. He is one of only four players to win an NRL title and Super Rugby crown during their career.

The Ipswich Jets were there front and centre for Ryan's early career. Former Jets' chairman John Edyvean, original Jet from 1982 Sid Faulkner, and future Jets coach Tommy Raudonikis played a massive part in the Ryan story.

"I pretty much lived at John Edyvean house when I was young,'' Ryan recalled. "His son was a great mate when I was growing up.

"Growing up in Laidley was great. It was everything a young boy could want.

"I was youngest of six and we had land out of town with plenty of cousins around too.

"Dad owned the butcher so if he was doing the cheerios you were there getting a feed.

"What kid doesn't love cheerios?"

A young Ryan would find love at Laidley when he would sit and listen to future Jets' coach Raudonikis coach the local side.

"I used to run the line with the ball and then run up to the sheds to hear Tommy's halftime talk it was unbelievable language and I loved it,'' he said.

"We had Jet Sid Faulkner playing front row and he got suspended for biting a player's ear and I thought this is a life for me.

"They were hard men such big hits and they were doing it just for love."

The Jets were not finished with Ryan yet. A contract was delivered to the boarding house at Downlands College in Toowoomba for the young student.

"I got a Jets contract in the mail but for whatever reason I didn't get to sign it,'' Ryan said.

Then Ryan's sister intervened, leading to a one-way ticket to the Panthers and Broncos.

"My sister was working at the Travelodge in Brisbane and the Origin team was staying there so every morning she'd say to Wayne Bennett about how her brother was pretty good and worth a look,'' he said.

"Wayne did some checking through John Edyvean and I got a contract with the Broncos.''

In 1989, a young Ryan was off to the Broncos and a home at his favourite team Wests.

"I was always a Wests man and Souths I loved Mitch Brennan and John Ribot, the Broncos sent me to Wests to play so I was happy about that too,'' he said.

"I became a Souths fan. I loved Bruce Astill, thought he was criminally underrated."

Ryan is taking his defensive nous back to Red Hill and the Brisbane Broncos after being appointed to Anthony Seibold's coaching staff as the skills coach.

Ryan has already won a premiership in 2006 as part of the last Broncos coaching staff to taste success in September.

You can be sure that success will follow this time too, and the players might score some cheerios for lunch as well.

Grand final Coynes

IF you were heading along to the Brisbane grand final between 1987 and 1990, you would have come across a valuable Coyne at Lang Park.

Mark Coyne was first to cover the Coyne family in finals glory with Brisbane Brothers in 1987 against Redcliffe.

Older brother Peter went three scoops of the ice cream in the September sunshine with Valleys winning in 1988, 1989 and 1990.


Mark Coyne. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Mark Coyne. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Mark remembered how he came to join the Brethren.

"We lived at Sunnybank and Peter was already at Valleys so he was at the pub with Ross Strudwick having a beer and Struddy asked what's your brother doing next year?'' Coyne said.

"I said I was probably just going to play for Sunnybank again and he said come to Brothers.

"I played Colts in 1986 and scored a try in our loss to Wests in the grand final then graduated to A Grade in 1987.

"It proved a big year. I got my degree, won a grand final and signed with the Dragons."

The move proved a masterstroke by Mark Coyne with the Leprechauns finishing top of the table on 30 points and accounting for Norths in the finals and Redcliffe in the grand final 26-8 with Coyne scoring the third try of the big win.

"It was a great grand final and turned out to be the only one I won. I lost three at the Dragons,'' he said.

Peter came to Valleys in 1984 and stayed until he join the Dragons in 1992.

"Struddy had one of his sports shops at Sunnybank and the manager was involved at our club so I got pushed towards Struddy and Valleys,'' he said.

A young Peter Coyne would play for Valleys in the 1984 minor semi against the Dolphins, which included a star-studded team of Ribot, Brennan, Murray, Fullerton Smith, Niebling Trewhella and Poulsen.

The Diehards were onto bigger things after winning 18-16.

It would not get any easier for Coyne being moved to six for the preliminary final against Souths and trying to keep Meninga, Belcher and Jackson on the quiet. It proved too much for Valleys and they were eliminated 14-8.

Peter reflected on his time against the stars of Brisbane football.

"It was pretty daunting but when you're young you don't think too much about it,'' he said.

Mark Coyne and Peter Coyne had some vivid memories of trips to Ipswich.

"I remember I asked why they have a cage over the walkway for the away team,'' Mark said.

"You'll find out soon was the reply.

"Well I found out, guys were banging on the cage and it was a wild night.''

Peter cannot remember too much about Ipswich.

"I got knocked out in 1988 and my nose broken I recall waking up and Dr Tom Dooley has his tongs ready to fix my nose,'' he said.

Valleys and the Jets would clash in Round 4 of the State League in 1985 with Valleys winning 30-2 at Gatton and Grant Rix dominating the young Jets.

"I remember playing a State League game out at Gatton against the Jets," Peter said.

The 1988 and 1989 grand finals live long in the memory of Jets fans for all the wrong reasons, watching the Diehards live up to their name and never go away.

Valleys captain Peter Coyne reminisced the first two of three wins in September. Valleys would outlast the Jets 17-14 in 1988.

"They were very good Ipswich sides,'' Peter recalled.

"Ray Ovens was a massive danger and was really hurting us in 1988.''

Peter would prove too much for the Jets in 1989, captaining Valleys to a 28-4 win over the Jets at Lang Park.

"1989 was probably one sided but 1988 the Jets were well in it,'' he said.


Allan Langer - still rated a favourite player.
Allan Langer - still rated a favourite player.

On his favourite Ipswich teammate through his career Mark did not need long to consider his options.

"Alf and Kevin Walters, without a doubt. We got on really well in Queensland camp,'' he said.

"Not long goes by without Kevvie and Alf texting me about the 1992 and 1993 grand finals.

"It's really hilarious of them to keep reminding me."

Cooper's stat

THE first time Allan Langer captained the Jets was round 15 in 1986 against Souths.

Without Bob Kellaway, Glen Haggath and John Lydiat, the Jets lost 20-18 at the North Ipswich Reserve.

"Because of the all the injuries I was forced to send a bunch of kids out there today,'' coach Tom Raudonikis said after the game.

"I thought Allan Langer had an excellent game in his first as our captain."

Souths 20 (S. Gibson, E. Muller, K. Gittens, J. Stafford, tries G. French goals; Stafford and Wayne Cullen field goals) def Ipswich 18 (S. McCarthy, R. Strathie Kerrod Walters tries; A. Langer 2 K. McMaster goals).