By Joseph Price
The sons of former rugby league great Dale Shearer have been instrumental in boosting the Coolum Colts’ hopes of making their A grade debut.
Jesse, 27, and Jakson, 25, have been fundamental to Coolum’s success since re-entering the competition in 2017, providing a combination that was vital to the club’s maiden Division 2A Premiership.
“I feel like our games complement each other well and we share a pretty strong bond and connection off the field which I believe translates well on to the field,” Jesse said.
With a lot of dedication coming from its players and coaches, the small rugby league club has been pushing its case for a Division 1 birth.
The Shearers believe the club has laid the foundation for a shot at back-to-back premierships and to develop into an A grade team.
“I believe we already have the talent and ability to not only compete, but win at that level right now, with a number of players capable of playing at a much higher level,” Jesse said.
“Having a Div 1 side would only draw more talent to Coolum and would also help develop a pathway for the juniors to higher level football, which I think is a win for the club and for the community.”
Growing up, both boys dreamed of following in their father’s footsteps of becoming NRL players.
With Dale coaching the boys throughout their junior years at Coolum, it was their teens that took the extremely close brothers on different paths.
Jesse strived to become an NRL player, leaving Coolum to play A grade for Noosa and Maroochydore, but always wound up back at Coolum where he said he enjoyed his footy the most.
“When I finished my junior football, we didn’t have an Under 18s so I ended up playing in Coolum’s Div 3 side and was fortunate enough to win a couple of premierships with them, but I always wanted to play at a higher level, so I knew I had to go elsewhere,” Jesse said.
Although Jesse continued his pursuit of a professional contract into his early 20s, Jakson found a new passion in refereeing.
“I had my mind set on being a referee in the NRL, and that’s where my mind was for the next 10 years,” Jakson said.
Unfortunately for Jesse, a series of serious and untimely injuries affected his playing opportunities which resulted in a loss of self-confidence and the hunger to play.
“I stopped enjoying my footy and after a while I realised it wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore, and it wasn’t something I wanted to dedicate all my time and effort towards,” Jesse said.
“Now my main motivations are taking the chance to play with my brother, my mates, and for my junior club.”
While Jakson was on track for a NRL refereeing career, the amount of traveling involved mixed with the temptation to play again ultimately led him back to Coolum.
“I had to go and have a run again, the competitive edge in me wasn’t satisfied and I was missing the feeling of winning alongside a bunch of mates on a field,” Jakson said.
Despite playing plenty of touch football and Oztag together over the years, this year will be their third rugby league season together following their return to Coolum in 2017.
As a father, Dale could not be prouder and certainly believes both boys have the skill to take them further but is happy to see them just enjoying their footy together.
“The boys definitely could have gone on to bigger and better things and probably still could if they had the time,” Dale said.
“Obviously they both have speed to burn which you just cannot coach.”
Jakson has inherited his father’s try scoring ability, currently leading the try scoring tally in the Division 2A competition, after topping the list after Coolum’s dominant 2018 season.
While Jesse and Jakson admit the surname carries loads of expectation and sledging from rivals, it has shaped them into the men they are and has helped them develop thick skin.
“I think people think it’s offensive, but for me I know I have always laughed it off, or just used it as motivation to play harder,” Jakson said.
The pair said that they are loving their time back together at Coolum, playing a very special brand of football which has the undefeated Coolum Colts knocking on the door of the Divison 1 competition.
“It would be amazing to finally see my junior club from U8s be able to field players from U6s all the way through to Div 1,” Jakson said.
“I don’t think there’s any better feeling than being out on the field and playing competitively with your brother.”
The two will line-up for the Colts this Saturday against Beerwah as they look for their eighth straight victory of the season.