Ipswich Jets Skipper To Step Down At Season End
The Savige Pest Control Ipswich Jets Hostplus Cup Captain Nathaniel Neale has made the call to retire from Statewide Competitions at the conclusion of the 2022 Hostplus Cup season.
Nat, who was born and raised in Westmere, New Zealand came to the Ipswich Jets in 2011 where he signed a two-year deal and made his debut with the Ipswich Jets in Round One, 19th March, 2011.
Nat played with the Ipswich Jets, until he signed a one-year NRL contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2014, before returning to the Ipswich Jets in 2016, where he has continued to play, as well as representing Queensland in the Queensland Residents team in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He became Captain of the Jets in 2018 and has been a six-time recipient of the Ipswich Jets Allan Langer Best and Fairest. After so many sacrifices over the years, for the club he calls home, he now feels the time is right to concentrate on his career and his family with wife Kristy, son Hudson and new twin daughters Remi and Maeve.
Nat commented; “I would like to personally thank the Club, the sponsors and all the fans for all the support through the years. I am looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd one last time before finishing my career and season in Cairns on Round 20.”
Jets CEO Richard Hughes said; “Every club needs a man like Nat Neale, and we have been fortunate in retaining his services for so long. As Captain, he leads by his actions, and to be consistently named in the team of the week, reflects on the person he is and how much commitment he gives to this club, week in, week out.” Richard continued, “beyond that, he is a champion man to have around the club and we hope his retirement is short lived, so he can help bring up through, the next generation of Jets”.
Jets Chairman Steven Johnson said; “Nat Neal came to Jets from New Zealand as a young lad with big dreams.
He leaves the Jets as an inspirational leader of men, a qualified tradesman, devoted husband and a great dad who has lived his dreams; an NRL player and premiership winner, Queensland resident representative, best player in the Queensland Cup winner, multiple Alan Langer medals, and third most capped Jets.
Nat will never really leave the Jets as the standards he has set will live within the Jets forever to inspire tomorrow’s Jets”.
At the conclusion of the 2022 season, Nat would have played 180 Hostplus Cup games, scoring 38 tries (with the opening for more, before he finishes up) and winning the inaugural 2018 Petero Civoniceva Medal for the best and fairest player in the previously named, Intrust Super Cup. From everyone at the club, we thank Nat for his commitment, passion and dedication, and wish him and his family all the very best for their future.
The Ipswich Jets are thrilled to host ours and Nat’s last home in Ipswich on Saturday 13th August and we would love to have a big home crowd to send him off for the next stage of his journey away from the football field. Kick off will be 5:00pm with gates opening at 2:00pm.