Try scoring ace thrives on Deadly Choices, Jets spirit
LIVEWIRE Ipswich Jets halfback Julian Christian jokes it's difficult to get away from his coach and boss.
However, it's a measure of his loyalty and Indigenous focus that the Ipswich attacking weapon has resisted the temptation to return playing in Cairns where he grew up.
Luckily for the Jets, Christian is happy scoring tries for Ipswich and helping head coach Keiron Lander in their regular Deadly Choice work assisting the community.
"We're pretty close outside of footy as well through our families,'' Christian said.
Christian, 23, has been with the Deadly Choices program since arriving at the Jets.
"All those days and events like that, we all do it together,'' Christian said. "So myself and (teammate) Kierran Moseley we both work for Deadly Choices and Keiron Lander is one of our bosses.''
The Jets halfback is regularly out at schools during the week, works on the Murri Carnival and helps Indigenous kids. He was just part of a clinic partnering with Rugby League Ipswich.
"It's good how we work as a team - the Ipswich Jets and Deadly Choices and bring them together,'' he said.
Born and bred in Cairns, Christian played his junior footy in the north Queensland city before leaving aged 15 to attend school at Kirwan State High.
"We were the first ones to win the national comp and then straight after that, I had to come down here to Brisbane and play for the Broncos under 20s,'' he said.
"Then my feeder club was the Jets and I've been here ever since.''
It was Lander who ensured Christian remained at the Jets.
"I know a few of the boys here as well so the Broncs sent me out here and I love the club,'' Christian said.
"I love the boys here. It's a good family club.
"Once I got here I just stayed here then.''
With a second child due in August, Christian loves spending time with his three-year-old daughter and partner when away from footy.
Preparing for Saturday's latest Intrust Super Cup match against the Tigers, Christian is already eyeing his 50 game milestone for the club.
He has enjoyed two full seasons at the Jets, anxious to play finals football for the first time.
"We better hit that win before my 50th game,'' he said, looking even further ahead.
"Hopefully (we make the finals) because we've got a few old boys that might retire after this year. So it's young fellas like myself that have been a while, we are just going to try and send them out on a good note with finals footy.''
Christian highlighted another of his team-minded attributes with the Jets.
"We're such a family club and we don't look to buy any other players from anywhere,'' he said.
"We bring up our own and there's been a fair few already this year and at the end of 2019 of the Colts boys that have come through - Ipswich locals.
"And we pride ourselves on that. It's really good to see young fellas that have come through the juniors of Ipswich and then they go through Mal Meninga and the Colts and eventually make their debut for Q-Cup.
"It's really satisfying to see the local boys come through.''
After scoring two tries and making some damaging runs in last weekend's 36-20 loss to the Sunshine Coast, Christian knows the Jets are on the verge of ending their three-game losing run.
"A couple of tries is always good but it's always disappointing when we are losing, especially on a losing streak,'' he said.
"We haven't had a win yet this year but hopefully we'll just focus on that and try and get the 'w' this weekend.
"We're improving each week.
"Our defence was pretty good (last week). Their first three tries came off kicks and they ended up beating us by three tries so we're looking at it as if they don't score those lucky tries off kicks, we're close.''
Having played in the halves or at fullback during his career, Christian said his favourite food is McDonalds when he's not playing. He loads up on pasta before a game.
The personable footballer also likes listening to Chris Brown on game day.
"That's probably one of my rituals. I love a bit of Ireland music before I run out and play,'' he said.
"Some of the boys that don't understand the lyrics don't like it but after a few Ireland songs I have to put my earphones back in.''
Christian said it was the players around him who set up his second half scoring opportunities last Saturday at the Sunshine Coast.
"It's very good,'' he said of the developing team chemistry.
"We've got a few old boys here but then we've also got some new fellas.
"We've got those Nat Neales, Tyson Lofipos and Kierran Moseley. They make my job easy.
"So my performance was pretty easy last week when I'm playing off the back of those fellas.
"When we started actually running hard and playing our actual game plan, it makes it easy for me to make some tackles and break the line. It comes off the back of my teammates.''
Saturday's match between the Jets and Tigers kicks off at 5pm at the North Ipswich Reserve.