‘Thanks for the battles Chris, you’re a worthy opponent’
GRAND final winning captain Ramon Filipine paid tribute to his opposing skipper after the Ipswich competition warrior confirmed his retirement.
Fearless Norths leader Chris Scanlan stood tall in his team's 44-14 Volunteers Cup defeat to the high flying Goodna Eagles at the North Ipswich Reserve.
"That's it brother. That's me done,'' Scanlan said.
"It's been a good career.''
Scanlan played in four grand finals for Norths over the last seven years, having a 50 per cent win rate.
That included satisfying back-to-back titles in 2014 and 15 - "something I'm proud of.''
Filipine said Scanlan deserved accolades for his courage and commitment.
"Before I actually played in the comp, I used to come and watch the A-Grade and he was running around,'' Filipine said.
"He was the benchmark.
"And then playing against him too, I just want to say 'thank you mate for all the battles'.
"He's been like a worthy opponent all through our time here.''
Filipine vowed to play one more season with Goodna before joining his tenacious footballing competitor.
"I always said I would finish off next year,'' Filipine said.
"This year, because of COVID, I was going to rule it out but the boys talked me into coming back. And then next year will be my last.''
Scanlan said it was difficult to compare this year's Goodna side to past grand finalists due to their imports.
"They had a bit of outside help but I'm proud of our boys,'' Scanlan said.
"Everyone's a Norths junior now and we stuck to our guns.''
Norths were also the only team to beat Goodna throughout their 10 qualifying rounds.
Despite a hefty injury toll including to key forwards, Scanlan said Norths wouldn't blame that for their final loss.
"We're proud of our big finish,'' he said.
The Tigers courage was displayed by winger Anava Fesolai who got through the whole game after having an operation overnight.
"I got Trevor Gillmeister to call him and he told him to suck it up and play,'' Scanlan joked, referring to when Gilly got out of hospital bed in 1995 to play Origin for the Queensland Maroons.
Scanlan hoped Fesolai would return to Norths next year after his recent spate of setbacks.
In his jubilant camp, Filipine was pleased to see Goodna finish the season the way they started - with skill, flair and incredible scoring firepower.
"We didn't deserve anything less than that so really proud of the boys,'' Filipine said.
"The boys deserve everything they got.
"We got the bench, bounce of the ball. We got the calls when we needed them.
"Those things don't come off anything else but hard work.''
While unsure what the make-up of next year's Goodna side might look like, Filipine was pleased with what was achieved this season.
"For some of them, this is their first season of senior footy so to get a GF (grand final) win in their first season, they will always remember that,'' he said.
Filipine has played in three grand finals for Goodna, winning them all.
He praised coach Alistair Taua'aletoa for guiding the side so professionally in this year's disrupted, different-looking season.
"A lot of us in the group are good friends as well and he's found the right balance,'' Filipine said. "To be hard on us but also have a bit of fun.''