Topics:  brisbane broncos, ipswich jets, james furminger, redcliffe dolphins

Jet on a wing and a prayer

James Furminger in action against Easts Tigers.
James Furminger in action against Easts Tigers. Kathy Furminger

IT WAS never a difficult decision for James Furminger to return to the Ipswich Jets for the 2013 rugby league season.

Furminger's contract with the Brisbane Broncos, that saw him spend the past two seasons at their feeder club Redcliffe, had finished.

And for all his high regard for the Dolphins, his heart remained with the Jets.

"It's good to be back with all my good mates," the 21-year-old winger said.

"I always wanted to play back in Ipswich."

In 2009, Furminger played two games for the Jets in the Queensland Cup but spent his time at Redcliffe in the lower grades.

"Whenever we played Ippy, we'd joke around with Brad Wolens (Jets CEO) and Johnno (Jets chairman Steve Johnson) and say we were coming back," he said.

So he is delighted to be training at North Ipswich again. It will save him more than 10 hours a week in time driving to and from training and home games.

But it wasn't a wasted two years, with Furminger part of a winning culture at Redcliffe.

"I don't wish I didn't play at Redcliffe," he said. "I learnt a lot and it was a good club to be involved with. There's a similar atmosphere at the two places (Redcliffe and Ipswich) where everybody's pretty close.

"It was just so far away."

The travel time saved means Furminger can put more effort into his training.

"I look forward to training now rather than it being a chore," he said. "It also gives you more time to work on your own training."

Which is something Furminger knows he will have to do to achieve his main goal of playing Queensland Cup in 2013.

With the Jets releasing right winger Ramon Filipine, there is a vacancy Furminger would love to fill. "I want to have a crack in the Cup and play a few games," he said. "I had a taste in Ipswich with two games and haven't had a crack since."

He acknowledges that coming from a different club may mean others get the first chance ahead of him. Even if that means taking on Filipine's role as part-time front row forward, making valuable metres through the middle of the ruck.

"I'll just do what I can do," Furminger said. "I doubt I'll be as effective but I'll definitely have a go."

At 187cm and 95kg and blessed with pace, he has the right physical attributes to make an impact.

FURMINGER FACTS

  • Work: Studying physical and special education and working part-time at the Inala special education school.
  • Favourite players: Steve Renouf, Billy Slater.
  • Biggest influence: Dad has always got a fair bit to say.
  • Best advice: Train hard and opportunities will come.
  • Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with: Carl Baron. At least you'd get a laugh.
  • How do you relax: Try and have a sleep before training, watch a movie or play Playstation.


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