Santa lines up for Jets as Wolens moves on

Brad Wolens in Ipswich Jets colours.
Brad Wolens in Ipswich Jets colours. Sarah Harvey

THE Phantom knows there is much more to the Brad Wolens "resignation" from the Jets last week than is being let on.

Certainly there is much more than the official line the Jets have tried to peddle.

Rumours have been circulating like lolly wrappers in a willy willy.

Here's some of the best, though whether any of them are true, who knows?

  • The co-coaches, Ben and Shane Walker, would not re-sign with the club and had advised players not to re-sign with the club until Wolens was given the boot.
  • That Wolens knew of the coaches' ploy and had planned to sack them himself, having already scouted for their replacement, with former Burleigh Bears coach and Moores Pocket resident Jim Lenihan's name being mentioned.
  • That the Jets board restructure last year, which saw both leagues club and football club answerable to general manager Justin Hall and John Ribot (who is part of the consortium that owns the club), enabled them to sack Wolens, with club chairman Steve Johnson next on the chopping block.
  • That Wolens was escorted from the club this week, having sent out a few choice words in an email that was not in the best interests of the club, in management's opinion.
  • That Fred Tilla is in line for the CEO's job vacated by Wolens and Santa Claus has been recruited as the club's new front rower.


Parcells returned

BACK to more serious matters.

As the Parcell brothers, Matt and Sam, returned to Jets' training this week, they revealed some of the tips they carry from their famous rugby league father and grandfather.

Dad Steve is a former Jets captain while grandfather Gary played eight Tests for Australia from 1959-62.

"He's always got little pointers," Sam said of dad Steve's advice. "And just to make sure we enjoy it."

Gary's advice was somewhat predictable, given he was a front rower.

"He's always telling us to support and make sure we put up high kicks," Sam said.


Impressive figures

RHYS O'Sullivan's 5-3 had his Central Districts teammate and cricket stats tragic Wayne Jones ferreting though the archives.

"Here are some facts," Jones reported. "Rhys' 5-3 is eighth best of all time in Ipswich one-day cricket. Brothers player Craig Mackay got 6-16 early on in the season, which is the second best.

"Col Cooke's 7-38 for Waysiders versus Wests in 1991 at Ivor Marsden 3 is the best. Brothers' score of 68 is the lowest score against Centrals in 22 years."


Chook back

BEWARE lower grade cricketers.

You may soon find yourself facing a fired-up 39-year-old, 120kg state boxing champion bearing down on you.

That's right folks, Anthony Fowler has dusted off the protector once again to resume his cricket career with Swifts.

Chook modestly doubts he will be playing any higher than third grade but The Phantom is pretty certain Bluebirds reserve grade skipper Luke Smith has him earmarked for a spot in his side.

Fowler is obviously not good at retiring. He keeps failing, so don't be surprised if he is seen running around rugby league fields come March as well.


No bull

FOWLER'S return to the cricket pitch does not mean his boxing days are over, however.

The Queensland heavyweight champ is still looking to put on a fight night in Ipswich, possibly in March.

This means QT scribe Jay Buchan is back in training, hoping to make his un-professional debut on the undercard.

The only problem is his scheduled opponent, QT photographer "Dirty" Dave Nielsen, has pulled out of the bout.

The Phantom suspects his change of heart came after he saw the condition "No Bull" Buchan returned to work in after Christmas.

Now the search is on for an opponent for Buchan.

The only qualifications are you have to be under 80kg and have no previous experience in boxing or hurting people in general.

Anyone interested can email


In form

EASTERN Taipans skipper Nathan Fisher has been on a roll of late.

He got a hit on the Gabba last week at half-time in a Big Bash League game between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars.

On Saturday he led his Taipans to victory over Swifts, securing a one-day semi-final spot in the process.

Then on Monday, back at the Gabba to watch the Sydney Sixers play the Heat, Fisher was picked to try his hand on the money machine, out the front of the ground.

Given 30 seconds to catch as many Monopoly notes as he could.

With potentially $1000 to be grabbed, Fisher snaffled $360.


Butterfly effect

ARE butterflies attracted to budgies?

In the Ipswich 12-years Ian Healy Cup game last Wednesday, play was held up for more than five minutes when a butterfly landed on the pitch. As the bowler was about to bowl, the butterfly flew in the face of the batsman, causing him to back away.

Each time the players chased the butterfly away, it would circle the pitch and land on it again.

There were three attempts to have play continue, but each time the batsman was targeted by the butterfly.

Finally, six players and the umpire ganged up to chase the butterfly from the field.

The umpire, with 40 years of umpiring experience, said he had never seen anything like it.

Given that the team is coached by Wayne "Budgie" Bichel, could it have been the ultimate ploy to distract the batsman?


Your turn: IF you have any sports gossip or quirky pics, email Phantom at:

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