Busy rugby league player Joseph Mika is splitting his time between the Ipswich Jets and Ipswich Rugby League competition. Photo: Claudia Baxter
Busy rugby league player Joseph Mika is splitting his time between the Ipswich Jets and Ipswich Rugby League competition. Photo: Claudia Baxter

Mikas moves making waves

JOSEPH Mika has spent much of this season playing FOGS Cup on Saturdays and Ipswich Rugby League A grade on Sundays.

Yet he still thinks he needs to be fitter to be at his best.

It gives an insight into the 27-year-old's character.

It explains why he leads the IRL's best and fairest standings, despite not having played the past two rounds, due to clashes with the FOGS Cup draw.

This weekend is the same with Mika lining up for the Ipswich Jets against Souths Logan tomorrow at Davies Park, while his Goodna Eagles teammates play Norths at Richardson Park.

Mika, who grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, has played in the Bartercard Cup, the country's premier league competition.

He rates it above FOGS Cup standard but below Queensland Cup.

He has been in Australia for three years and tried his luck with Sunnybank and Souths Logan before moving to Springfield two years ago and joining the Eagles and Jets.

"I think my form last year was a bit better," Mika said, his unconvincing argument again demonstrating his high standards.

"This year I'm starting to get into it. My fitness is getting a bit better. I've got to work on my fitness and my D (defence).

"My running game has been the best part of my game."

Mika has been used in the backrow and centres this season but his preference is the second row. "It lets me get my hands on the ball more," he said.

As modest as he is talented, Mika was surprised to hear he was leading the IRL A grade best and fairest standings.

"I've got a lot to work on," he said. "And there are a lot of guys I know who are doing well in the IRL."

He would love to be part of a successful Goodna Eagles side and win a grand final with his "family".

Yet he knows, as he approaches his late 20s, that he is getting close to his last chance to achieve his ultimate goal and crack the Queensland Cup.

To do that he might be better off focusing all his energy on playing for the Jets. But being himself is the motto Mika lives by, and that means playing for Goodna every chance he gets.

"I shouldn't be doing it (playing for both Jets and Eagles) but I enjoy it because Goodna is like a family," Mika said.

"I enjoy playing with the boys."

Mika rates the Eagles' chances of ultimate success this year highly.

"I think they should do really well," he said.

"In the past, discipline has let us down but we've picked it up.

"We've got a good coach in Shaun (O'Loan) and I love to play with them when I can."

The fun he has with Goodna is balanced by his serious ambition at the Jets, though enjoying himself remains a priority.

His teammates will tell you as much, having witnessed his pre-match dance moves in the dressing rooms.

"It is real professional at the Jets," Mika said.

"I've just got to perform every week. The happier I am, the better footy I play."

Player profile

Occupation: Storeman

Favourite players: Allan Langer and Jonah Lomu.

Best advice: Just be who you are.

Pre-match ritual: Some music and a bit of dancing in the change rooms. I say a prayer and I've got to get my boot laces right.

Favourite music: Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, R & B.

Favourite food: Island food, chop suey, taro, corned beef and chocolate.

Favourite TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Favourite movie: Friday.



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