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June 9, 2006

Djaan hears a NSW call

From: The Northern Star, Australia - Jun 9, 2006


DJAAN Jarrett’s deafness has helped him develop an ability to adapt to difficult situations.

After all, when you’re born with a disability it’s almost a requirement.

But it’s this ability to adapt which has proved invaluable for the Ballina Seagulls in their 2006 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League campaign.

Already this season Ballina coach Chris Binge has played Jarrett at fullback, wing and centre, with the 21-year-old excelling in all positions.

However, the Seagulls will be without Jarrett tonight when they face arch rivals Marist Brothers at Oakes Oval, Lismore, because he is in Mackay preparing to represent the NSW Deaf team against Queensland in their annual grudge match.

"I’m playing fullback on Saturday and I’m the vice-captain," Jarrett said.

"Last year I played as well, but at five-eighth."

Jarrett moved to Ballina after two seasons with the Central Coast Jersey Flegg side.

He spent last year with Queensland State League side Brothers Valleys in Brisbane.

It was an easy decision; much of his family lives at Wardell, while his father Dean Jarrett was a prominent member of the Ballina premiership-winning team of 1993.

"I was looking to settle down and my grandparents are at Wardell," Jarrett said.

"I have a traineeship at the ANZ Bank."

Jarrett believes being deaf is not too much of a disadvantage on the footy field.

"It’s an easy game," he said.

"You don’t need to hear anything and I can lip-read as well.

"We go through the motions at training and if we stick to the plan I know what’s going on."

But he admits he’s had run-ins with referees who didn’t know he was deaf.

"I try to let them know before the game now," Jarrett said.

Binge carries Jarrett’s hearing-aid in his pocket during the match so his young charge can hear his half-time address.

Jarrett’s unavailability has forced a reshuffle in the Ballina backline, with Shane O’Connor included on the wing.

Brothers have named an unchanged team from last weekend and coach Craig Hodges is hoping for a big crowd for only their third home game of the season. Under-18s kick-off at 6pm, with first grade at 8.30pm.

BALLINA: Fullback, Shaun Laurie; wingers, Damien Buckley, Shane O’Connor; centres, Jamie Quinn, Clarence Kelly; five-eighth, Justin Bolt; halfback, Willie Hammond; props, Dylan Montgomery, Tyler Iverson; hooker, Matt Temby; second-rowers, Matt Slattery, Eddie Killingbeck; lock, Alwyn Roberts. Interchange: Steve Kelly. Coach: Chris Binge.

MARIST BROTHERS: Fullback, Evan Hickling; wingers, Cavill Brewer-Charles/Nathan Tolley, Brad Johnson; centres, Adrian Gooley, Dylan Coleman; five-eighth, David Krause; halfback, Brent Peterson; props, Simon Andrews, Des Maher; hooker, Scott Gibson; second-rowers, Luke Scott, Kevin Walker; lock, Luke Campbell. Interchange: Alan Campbell. Coach: Craig Hodges.

© APN News & Media Ltd 2006.