Jack Ahearn has joined one of the most prestigious lists in Brisbane’s rugby league history – but he’s not the type to bask in its spotlight.
Ahearn has been appointed Norths Devils captain for 2019. The list of previous Devils captains is impressive – Clive Churchill, Cameron Smith, Mark Murray, Bill Pearson, Kevin Carmichael and Jack Reardon are among the men who have led Norths over the club’s strong history.
But Ahearn is relatively shy about his addition to this list.
Like another fullback a few suburbs away at the Brisbane Broncos in Darius Boyd, Ahearn prefers to lead with actions more than with words.
“It’s an honour to be captain but this is certainly not about me – it’s about being part of the team and I’m really looking forward to playing with this squad this season,” Ahearn said.
“This is my second year at Norths and coming here has really helped to grow my interest in rugby league. It’s a club that really improves its players.”
Ahearn was the Devils’ best in 2018 – winning the club’s player of the year award for a consistent season in which he played in every match.
Away from the field, Ahearn is passionate about his youth work and chaplaincy. He is the Chaplain at Clontarf Beach State High School
“It’s a role I love doing and it’s a privilege to journey with young people, assist them and be able to give spiritual encouragement as they face hurdles,” Ahearn said.
“Faith has really helped me grow as a person. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for in my life, particularly my parents, my wife Brianna and also rugby league.
“The coaching staff at Norths have been so supportive and insightful in helping me develop my leadership skills.”
Ahearn takes over the captaincy from John Palavi, who left Norths over the summer for a contract with the Gold Coast Titans.
Coach Rohan Smith said Ahearn emerged as the obvious choice for captain as the pre-season unfolded.
“Jack is a natural leader and he’s been a key part in bringing together the squad over the off-season as we welcomed some new players to our club,” Smith said.