THE Ipswich Jets have conceded time on the competition but plan to make the month before Christmas count.
The Jets began their pre-season training at North Ipswich last night, having started later than their rivals in their preparations for the 2013 Queensland Cup season.
But what they lose in quantity of training they will make up for in quality.
"We've got four weeks until Christmas," co-coach Ben Walker said. "It's a lot less than the other teams so we don't ease them into it."
The Jets have lost key players Brendon Lindsay (retired to coach the club's FOGS Cup team), Lorenzo Maafu (Parramatta) and Ramon Filipine (released) but have found some handy replacements.
Jacob Ling has returned from a year in Wollongong spent trying to crack the St George Dragons ranks and will offset Maafu's loss in the second row.
Former Jets players James Furminger and Josh Seage are also back at the club.
Having failed to break into the Brisbane Broncos senior ranks, outside back Furminger and forward Seage have returned from Broncos feeder clubs Redcliffe and Wynnum-Manly respectively.
Lindsay's five-eighth position could be the toughest to fill, given how crucial his experience and leadership around the park have been to the Jets in the past two seasons. The arrival of former Souths Logan half Dane Phillips could prove the answer, while Walker suggested talented youngster Sam Parcell could also be a candidate for the pivot's role.
Lindsay and Filipine were part of the Jets' 2012 leadership group and stepping into the breach for 2013 is last season's players' player Rowan Winterfield.
It is a mark of Winterfield's development since joining the club for the 2011 season that he has been added to captain Keiron Lander and vice-captain Ian Lacey as one of a leadership trio.
A man of few words, the towering prop leads by deeds on the field.
"I'll be just doing the same sort of thing," the Blackbutt product said.
"Actions speak louder than words.
"I'll just try and play good footy."
Keep reading your QT for all the major Jets news as they prepare for the 2013 season.