Jets 'top gun' ready to take on captain role
HE MIGHT be without his usual wingman but new Jets captain Dane Phillips is ready to take the lead.
Phillips was named the man to take over from former captain and halves partner, Keiron Lander, who helped steer the Jets to a fairytale season in 2015.
Lander has been a huge part of the Jets success but Phillips has enjoyed his fair share of appearances on the highlights reel.
A life-sized banner of Phillips in action for the Jets last season adorned the balcony of the Treasury Hotel yesterday at the launch of the Intrust Super Cup in Brisbane.
The Jets featured prominently at the launch, with plenty of highlights from the Ipswich side played out over the big screen.
The green and white army begin their defence of the Intrust Super Cup title at North Ipswich Reserve today with a first round clash against the Norths Devils.
It will be a special moment for Phillips who was announced as captain of the reigning premiership side at training on Tuesday.
Phillips said his new appointment had only sunk in while attending yesterday's launch.
"It only really hit me once I got here and saw the other guys here," he said.
"It's a big opportunity for me and I'm pretty proud to represent the club here today. It's a good feeling."
The dynamic halfback was overwhelmed by the reaction from his fellow teammates but said he would not attempt to fill the shoes left by Lander.
"Probably the biggest thing was the boys congratulating me afterwards," he said.
"It's something I will cherish. I won't try to do what Kieron did, because I don't think I can achieve that, but I'll put my own little spin on it.
"I called my parents in NSW after I found out and Mum was pretty chuffed with the news. She's always been a big supporter of mine."
The 29-year-old said he hoped to bring his own personality to the captaincy.
"I'll probably crack a few more jokes than Keiron did," he said.
"Just enthusiasm on the field is probably the big thing and making sure the boys are enjoying themselves and having a good time.
"Try to lead by example on and off the field."
After a gruelling pre-season, Phillips said his Jets teammates were eager to get the season underway.
"The pre-season seems to get longer every year," he said.
"Norths have been a bit of a bogey side for us the last couple of years, we just want to get out there and start playing football."
Phillips predicted another big season for the Jets in 2016. He was eager to see some of the new additions get a run.
"There's the young bloke from Toowoomba, Mick Purcell, he's electric," Phillips said.
"He probably weighs about 45(kg) wringing wet, but get him the ball and he can definitely play some football.
"There's plenty of guys like that throughout the team, as soon as they get their chance they'll go great guns."
The Jets welcome back Marmin Barba and NRL contracted players Liam Capewell (Cronulla) , Carlin Anderson (Brisbane) and Billy McConnachie (Brisbane) for the round one clash against the Norths Devils today at North Ipswich Reserve.
- Name: Dane Phillips
- Position: Halfback
- Date of Birth: February 2, 1987
- Weight: 82kg
- Birthplace: Kiama, NSW
- Favourite NRL club: Wests Tigers
- Favourite food: Pizza
- 3.15pm: Intrust Super Cup Round 1 - Ipswich Jets v Norths Devils at North Ipswich Reserve.
- Earlier games: 10.30am - Mal Meninga Cup (U18). Noon - Cyril Connell Cup: Ipswich Diggers v Sunshine Coast.
- 1.30pm: Colts - Ipswich Jets v Norths.
Team list: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Liam Capewell 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Richard Pandia 6. Haydan Lipp 7. Dane Phillips (c) 8. Joshua Seage 9. Landon Hayes 16. Billy McConnachie 11. Nathaniel Neale 12. Salesi Funaki 13. Rory Humphreys 14. Sebastian Pandia 15. Elijah Alick 17. Marion Seve 18. Michael Purcell 19. Kyle McConnell 20. Abraham Atalla Co-coaches: Ben Walker and Shane Walker