The late addition of Brendon Gibb has given the Wynnum Manly Seagulls a strong boost in the lead up to their important early season match up against the Redcliffe Dolphins at BMD Kougari Oval today.
The hard-working back rower suffered a calf injury in the final weeks of the preseason which has kept him out of the early rounds.
However he returns when his team needs him most, with the Gulls 0-2 without their forward enforcer.
His whole-hearted carries and inspirational defence will have a positive impact on his side’s confidence and head coach Jon Buchanan can’t wait to see the former Brisbane Bronco run out tomorrow.
“Gibbo plays with so much passion and our blokes feed off his energy,” he said.
“He runs a hard line and straightens up our attack when he is on the edge.
“I’m sure the Chook Pen will give a roar when he gets out there and I know he will give us and the crowd plenty on the weekend.”
Gibb enjoyed a wonderful first season with the Gulls in 2015, picking up the club’s Player of the Year award and earning the respect of his fellow team-mates, coaches and the Wynnum Manly faithful.
The former Norths Devils’ captain owes his recent success to a change in environment and making some tough life decisions.
“I was at Norths in in ’09, ’10 then ’12 and ’13 (with a stint at the Penrith Panthers in between),” he said.
“We had a really good group in Daniel Ogden, Matty Smith, Mark Vaiao and Nathan Cleaver. But they all left and then it was just me at Norths (from that core group).
“I needed a change and (Ogden) was telling me how good the culture was at Wynnum. I knew (Jon Buchanan) from Norths and I really like and respect the core group of leaders at the club.
“So I decided to come down to Wynnum and I am glad I did.”
The tough back rower is as honest off the field as he is on it. After a number of issues earlier in his career related to alcohol, Gibb chose to put his bad habits aside to improve his personal and family’s welfare and get his life back on track.
“I also had some life choices which I felt needed to change as well.
“I had been abusing alcohol for a long time so I decided to give it up at the end of 2014. It has been a long road and is hard all the time, but I needed to do it to keep me out of bad situations.
“I have become really happy and me and my family can see the benefits. I’m in a good space right now with a great partner, beautiful baby, wedding later this year and definitely still loving my footy.”
It was a tough and brave decision however he credits the love and support of his family for getting him through to the better place he is in now.
A man of immense personal fortitude, it is no surprise to anyone that he plays the game he loves with such heart.
Wynnum Manly will host Redcliffe in all five grades today, finishing with the epic Intrust Super Cup match at 3pm where both sides are searching for their first win of the season.
Gates open at 8.30am and the Cyril Connell Cup game kicks off at 8.45am.
If you can't make it to the ground - follow the scores on QRL Live.
There will be plenty of entertainment on the day including Broncos captain Corey Parker welcoming fans into the ground, a jumping castle, face painting and plenty of prizes to be won on the day.