6 October, 2022

Rattlers welcome new coach

PUSHING for a finals berth is among the goals for newly appointed Brisbane Valley Rattlers coach Billy North, who will guide the senior Fernvale-based AFL club in its second year.

Brisbane Valley Rattlers president Graham Smith welcomes Billy North to the senior coaching role.
Brisbane Valley Rattlers president Graham Smith welcomes Billy North to the senior coaching role.

The Ipswich-based North said he was “pretty excited about it, to be honest” but also “a bit nervous” as it will be his first full season as a senior coach.

North took over as interim coach of the Rattlers in the latter part of their debut year in the Queensland Football Association (QFA) Division 4 Seniors South competition, and oversaw the club’s breakthrough wins.

Brisbane Valley’s two victories were in the last two rounds of the 2022 round-robin season, following 12 defeats.

“I was over the moon,” North said of the winning finish to the season.

“I knew what we were capable of.

“We had a pretty good team considering it was the first year for the club.

“It was just a matter of getting the numbers on the paddock.

“I’ve seen other clubs start from scratch and not win a game in their first two or three years, so to get two wins was great.”

Although the Rattlers had about 35 players registered for their maiden year, they struggled to field a consistent team due to injuries, weddings, funerals, work and family commitments.

A number of hefty defeats did not reflect how competitive the Rattlers were in most of their games, as opponents commended them on their efforts and the way they played.

“I love the way they play football,” North said.

“They’ve got a lot of heart and courage, and they just keep going.

“I wanted to be a coach, and I thought this would be a good start.”

Rattlers club president Graham Smith welcomed North to the coaching role, with the president saying the new coach brought an array of experience.

North said he had a good relationship with Smith, after North played under Smith at the Ipswich Eagles in 2015.

In addition to Ipswich, North’s AFL career also included stints in Cairns, the Northern Territory, and Albury-Wodonga.

North’s sole premiership success was with the Ipswich Cats juniors. While a senior player, he was sometimes an assistant coach at a junior team, such as the Nightcliff Tigers U14s in the NTFL.

“Footy to me is a bit of a religion,” he said.

With the Rattlers set to stay in the same competition as last season, North said he wanted to push them into the finals in 2023 while there were also long-term goals.

North said long-term goals included the Rattlers having first and reserve grade teams, and playing in a higher division.

With North’s brother Jack playing for the Rattlers in their debut season, the new coach said he was also keen to develop a good culture at the club involving families and friends.

North said he was confident that most of the players from last season would play on next year, while other players would also come on board.

North and Smith said pre-season training would start on October 31, with fitness being worked on in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

“Post-Christmas, I’ll sort out the way we play…the systems, structures and that sort of thing,” North said.


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