Welcome back Trav
THE "Big Man" is back!
After a good season with the Minecorp Rockhampton Rockets in 2011, Travis Reed winged his way back to the city yesterday sporting a smile that said everything about why he has returned for 2012.
When Reed arrived in Rockhampton last year, he was not in great condition and required a lot of work before he was able to live up to his reputation as a player.
"They (Rockets) had faith in me to get in shape," he beamed.
Coach Neal Tweedy admits he had few doubts about getting in touch with Reed to persuade him to return to Rockhampton.
This time Reed has been in Europe, playing in Germany, an experience that does not go down as memorable for all the right reasons.
"The team did not have a good season," he said. "I was happy to be offered a job in Australia again."
The towering centre obviously respects Tweedy and the professional way the Rockets go about their business.
"From the top down they are very professional," he said.
"For me it is like going to the Lakers as each year they go for one thing and that is to win the championship."
Reed, whose bubbly personality is every bit as large as his massive frame, said he enjoyed being with the Rockets and is keen to go one better than last year when the team ended the QBL season as beaten finalists.
The Rockets' other restricted player Ryan McDade is not unknown to Reed and he admits he is happier having him as a team-mate than having to play against him.
"I played with Ryan and I know his ways and how physical he is," Reed said. "I never look forward to training when I have to face him."
He also struck up a friendship with other members of the Rockets roster last year.
"Mitch (Philp) I love as a little brother," he said. "And Peni (Nasalo) as an older brother."
Although looking forward to getting out and playing for the Rockets, especially at Hegvold Stadium where Reed says he plays in front of "the best crowd in Australia", the big man said he will take a few days to adjust to Australia once more. "I'm still just a little "laggy" (jet lagged)," he said.
Minecorp client relationship officer Stuart Reoch said he is happy Reed has arrived in time to go with the Rockets to Emerald on Saturday. "We are hoping to build a profile for Minecorp out there," Reoch said.
Company vehicles will be prominent as the Rockets conduct a coaching clinic for the kids from 1-3pm before playing a trial match.