Ipswich Jets recruit Dalton Phillips has set himself three main goals for 2020 - to play consistent football and cement a spot in the team’s 17, play finals footy and complete his tertiary studies.
“I am still doing my business side with my trade, I am due to finish it this year,” Phillips, who captained both the Queensland University and the Australian University representative teams to wins last year, said.
“I have to catch up on a couple subjects and then I will be finished this year, so I am hoping to have that all wrapped up this year and have all that behind me.
“I was studying at (TAFE in) Mooloolaba last year, a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services to be a business owner and ... a licensed contractor.”
In order to pursue his on-field goals, Phillips, who can play both in the second row as a lock as well as at hooker, said he made the decision to join with the Jets to further his chances of playing more Intrust Super Cup.
“It’s been refreshing to be honest, just to be at a new club, new people, different style, a new look at football and for me, I am really enjoying it to be honest,” Phillips said.
“I would like to cement a spot in the 17 with Ipswich, whether that is starting or coming off the bench, everyone likes to be one to 13, but that doesn’t worry me, if I have a role or job to do coming off the bench, I just want to be playing and playing consistent footy.
“Obviously, I would love to be playing finals footy and win a comp, like you do every year, competitive nature, you want to win everything you go into.”
A hand injury late in the season ended his run with the Sunshine Coast Falcons last year, but he was happy to have recovered in time to lead the tertiary representative side in a successful tour of Fiji in October.
“Last year, I probably didn’t play as much Cup as I probably would have hoped to,” the Caboolture Snakes junior said.
“I strung a few games together, but then got injured and had an operation towards the back of the year, but in saying that, the Falcons was a very well (serviced) team across the board, from one to 17 each week.
“I enjoyed my time there, but I just thought, a little bit of fresh scenery or a change of football, that sort of stuff (would help).
“The previous year, I had broken my thumb and it just didn’t heal properly and I saw a surgeon when I was in Brisbane and it still didn’t heal properly ... I just sort of managed it, and I saw the surgeon and got some x-rays and there were bits of bone floating around in it and ligaments torn off the bone.
“And when they went in and operated on it, it was worse than what they thought, so they had to reattach both ligaments and remove bone – pretty nasty.
“So that sort of cut the end of my season short, but I was on a timeline to be back to tour for Australian Unis and be back for that.”
Phillips, who also works as a supervisor for a building company, said while he was enjoying his time with the Jets, he still had plenty to learn about the way they go about their football.
“It has its challenges as I am learning a new style, and from being a previous clubs where you might say it was a bit more structured, but I am really enjoying the Jets and what they bring to their football philosophy.
“(Coach Keiron Lander) is awesome to be honest, he’s straight up and down, straight to the point, honest, but I can’t see too much changing,” Phillips said.
“Keiron was involved with the Walker brothers when they were there and ... while he’ll have his own little twist on things, as an overall, it will still be Ipswich footy.”
Ipswich Jets gains and losses
Dalton Phillips (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Luke Pollock (Norths Devils), Keenan Yorston (Easts Tigers), Gerome Burns (Souths Logan Magpies)
Ben Shea (Redcliffe Dolphins), Marmin Barba (Redcliffe Dolphins), Billy McConnachie (Redcliffe Dolphins), Michael Purcell (Easts Tigers), Christopher Ash (Brothers Ipswich), Joshua Seage (retired)
*Gains and losses list provided by the club and correct at time of publication
More Intrust Super Cup Gains and Losses