Despite the cancellation of the Intrust Super Cup season earlier this year, Souths Logan Magpies back Guy Hamilton is one player who has found plenty of positives from the forced break.
Hamilton has since found a new home at Runaway Bay in the Gold Coast's QTOP A Grade competition after a call from coach Nick Gleeson sparked the move down south for the 25-year-old.
He has been instrumental in leading the Bay to an almost perfect season, which saw them take out the minor premiership for the first time in the club’s history.
Despite the hour-long drive down the M1, Hamilton credited his love of footy as a driving factor behind the decision to play in the Gold Coast competition.
“I am someone who lives and breathes footy, so when I was given the opportunity, I jumped at it,” Hamilton said.
“My priority has always been footy so if given the chance to play, I’d always travel anywhere just to play a game.”
Having played in two pre-season trials with the Brisbane Broncos, Hamilton was eager to start the season with Souths Logan strongly to keep himself in the conversation, only for those aspirations to be put on hold for the meantime.
“I’d just started getting my name thrown in the ring and I was really wanting to start the season well to keep my name out there, so it wasn’t ideal for the competition to shut down and then for them to go into a bubble,” the 81-game Intrust Super Cup star said.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but I’m sure there are lots of players in the same situation, so sometimes you have to cop the good with the bad and wait for your chance.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play at the highest level and I am quite dream and goal-orientated, so that’s what I’ll want to do in the future that’s for sure.”
I am someone who lives and breathes footy, so when I was given the opportunity, I jumped at it.Guy Hamilton
Despite the setback, he has found plenty of positives in his return to local A Grade footy since finding a new home with the Seagulls.
“There hasn’t been many times when I haven’t come off the field smiling, without having stories to tell or having a laugh,” the Runaway Bay half said.
“While you are still competitive and determined to win, you’re able to just appreciate footy again and just experience being out there with a group of blokes and having things like a beer after training.
“You have the chance to enjoy it like you did as a kid where all you wanted to do was pass the footy with your mates and this comp has really done that for me.”
Despite not playing for the Magpies this year, Hamilton said the Gold Coast competition is no walk in the park, with the competition still showcasing some great local talent.
“The contact is still definitely there, but the speed of the game is a probably a little bit slower compared to Cup where you’re up against a high calibre of players, especially those with NRL experience," said Hamilton.
“In saying that, there is still some quality players running around in the Gold Coast competition.”
With Hamilton’s father playing and winning the competition with Runaway Bay during a short stint at the end of his career, the Logan Brothers junior said he hopes to create his own piece of history at the club.
“When the option to play at Runaway Bay came up, I called my old man up and he said he had a really good year there, so it felt only natural for me to go down and give it a crack myself,” he said.
Hamilton will have a great chance to leave his mark on the club when he runs out at five-eighth for this weekend’s sudden-death semi-final against Mudgeeraba, as his high-flying Seagulls look to cement their place in the QTOP Cup grand final.