New Whitsunday Brahman's player Patrick Akauola.
New Whitsunday Brahman's player Patrick Akauola.

Brahmans offer a fresh start for Devil

WHEN his passion for footy had almost dried up, the Whitsunday Brahmans stepped in to resuscitate Patrick Akauola’s love for the sport.

After eight years in the Norths Devils program, the new Brahmans signing needed a change of scenery after battling thoughts to quit.

The 22-year-old forward had a successful history with the Devils; he helped the side go to the national finals in the Under-16s competition and the state finals in the Mal Meninga Cup.

In U20s he was voted Devils’ player of the year and went on to debut for the ISC side in 2018.

“I did my pre-season at Norths this year, but the love for footy wasn’t really there,” Akauola said.

“It became like a second job for me. I still love the club, but I felt my passion drifting away.”

At the same time, Brahmans’ coach Tye Ingebrigtsen thought he had already put his cue in the rack when it came to signings. But as opposition clubs continued to add dangerous weapons to their roster, Ingebrigtsen hoped something big came his way.

“You’re sitting there thinking ‘wait a minute, do we have enough’,” he said.

Akauola was that big addition, bringing a boost to the Brahmans’ forward pack.

“He plays in the middle and he’s a big unit. I kind of want him to come to the club as that enforcer,” Ingebrigtsen said.

“We don’t really have someone like that at the moment. We have a lot of hardworking forwards, but nobody that plays the way Pat does.

“He’ll hopefully bring a different dynamic to our team.”

Akauola is looking forward to his move to the Whitsundays next Thursday for a fresh start. “It was sort of scaring me that I was almost quitting football, but the opportunity Tye gave me was a no-brainer,” he said.

Ingebrigtsen said the young forward would be another experienced player to help develop the younger roster.