Former Seagull 'definitely a Jet now'
BEN Shea will have a little extra motivation when the Ipswich Jets travel to take on Wynnum at Kougari Oval on Sunday.
One of the Jets' most consistent performers this season, Shea is a two-time premiership winner with the Seagulls.
He made the decision to leave the "Chook Pen” midway through last season, and linked up with the Jets in the off-season after being courted by Ben and Shane Walker.
Shea still lives near Wynnum, and a number of good mates remain at the club he will be looking to defeat on Sunday.
"I guess early in the season I had it in the back of my mind, but as it's gotten close I've had a different outlook on it,” Shea said on his impending return to Kougari Oval.
"It's nearly 12 months to the day, I haven't been back since.
"It'll be good to get back there, I get on well with a lot of the supporters. But that'll be after the game. Before the game I'll be focused on what needs to be done.
"I'm definitely a Jet now.”
That means arresting a two-game losing skid which has pushed the Jets back into a "logjam” in the middle of the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
After back-to-back losses to Souths Logan and Burleigh, Shea said Sunday's match is a "danger game” despite Wynnum boasting a 4-8 record.
"Teams below us on the ladder, we haven't had the best strike rate against,” he said.
"And I think Wynnum's form is probably a bit misleading. They've got a very good team on paper, had a lot of close losses and haven't won any games at home.
"They'll be champing at the bit to get a win at home. They got a good win away last week against Mackay, so they'll come in with a lot of confidence.”
With a home tilt against reigning premiers PNG next round before a week off through the representative round, Shea said it was crucial the Jets left Kougari Oval with the competition points or risk leaving themselves a mountain of work to do after the break.
"It's a huge game, with where we're at on the ladder at the moment,” he said.
"A couple of wins could really bump us up, but a couple of losses can bump us down.
"After the rep round we should get Michael Purcell and Billy Mcconnachie back. If we can stay up there and get guys of that quality coming back in, it will set us up pretty nicely.”
Despite his intimate knowledge of the Seagulls - Wynnum key man Peter Gubb is Godfather to Shea's son - the prop said the Walker brothers had not asked for any inside information.
"Really when it comes to our preparation each week, we don't look at the other team a hell of a lot,” Shea said.
"It's more about us, especially after the last couple of weeks. We talked about a few things at training that we need to rectify.”
Intrust Super Cup Rd 14: Sunday (3pm) - Ipswich Jets v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Kougari Oval.