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Barba calls time on Cup, ready for new chapter

After an illustrious Intrust Super Cup career spanning six seasons, which included delivering the Ipswich Jets' first premiership in 2015, high-flying sensation Marmin Barba is changing focus to have a bit of fun.

The speedy dynamo's new "more laid back" rugby league chapter began in mid-November when he was encouraged to join pre-season training at West Brisbane Panthers. 

A pre-season, like at most clubs, that has included speed and agility, strength and conditioning, including contact sessions. 

"The time has come I think," Barba said, confirming his retirement from Queensland's top grade.

"It was pretty unfortunate that we only got to play one game this year and then COVID stopped everything.

"Having pretty much most of the year off, I really enjoyed the time off and spending a lot of time with my kids, family and friends.

"Just having a lot more time to myself made me think... it'd be good to just go back and play local footy and just have a bit of fun and get away from the serious side of footy.

"I'm pretty happy [with the decision]. I won a comp with the Jets and don't have any regrets with it at all. I'm glad I made the decision early and didn't leave it too late."

Barba said West Brisbane Panthers seemed to be a good fit for him. 

"A mate of mine that I work with - Monty Stevens - he's the reserve grade coach at Wests and we're really good mates, so he got me over to the club and they've been really good," Barba said.

"Pre-season is going well and everyone has welcomed me with open arms... I'm just really enjoying it.

"Being around the club, it feels like I'm back at Jets with everything so chilled so everything is going really well.

"I just can't wait for the season to start and just have some fun playing footy."

NRL pre-season training is also underway at the Brisbane Broncos. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
NRL pre-season training is also underway at the Brisbane Broncos. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

After going down to Wynnum Manly in the 2020 big dance, the main objective for the group in the new In Safe Hands Cup season is to avenge the heavy title loss.

"We're mainly looking to build off last season to have a good year next year," Barba said. 

"We're just taking little steps at the moment but I think the main goal will be obviously winning the comp next year.

"We've got a few good players coming over so I can't wait to see how we go."

As the former Cup flyer begins his new chapter with the mud and bloods, his main goal is to keep "tearing on with life".

"On-field, I really want to try and win the comp with Wests," Barba said.

"Off-field, I'll just keep enjoying it and spending it with my kids and family... nothing too major.

"I just want to keep having fun."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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