A desire to try something new brought Patrick Gallen to the Redcliffe Dolphins and if things go according to his plan, he will be making his club debut this weekend.
The young utility, who can play as a hooker or a half, has been named on the ‘Team list Tuesday’ line-up to partner with his captain Cameron Cullen in the halves, with last week's No.7 Paul Turner named on an extended bench for New Zealand Warriors.
If Gallen runs out against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday, he will add to his tally of five Intrust Super Cup games, which he played with Northern Pride.
Match: Cutters v Dolphins
Round 1 -
Venue: BB Print Stadium, Mackay
“This year, I have made the move and I am really enjoying my time down here,” Gallen said.
“I just wanted to live somewhere else... I have been in Cairns and the Cairns area all my life, (so I wanted to) change something up, see if I can learn something more and I think Redcliffe is a really good club, so it was a really good opportunity to come and play down here.
“I decided I wanted to make the move about two weeks before pre-season – I contacted a few clubs and Crusher (Grant Cleal, general manager of football operations at the Dolphins) gave me a call back basically the same day and said ‘we want to have you down here’ and I said ‘cool’.
“And then when Redcliffe called me, I was like ‘yes, I am coming’ and I have family in Redcliffe, which made the transition happen more easily.
“I have only got about six games with Pride when I was up there, and we got the one game in last year and then it was cancelled – so it’s been a while between games.”
Originally from Innisfail, Gallen has been in Cairns since he finished school; he played juniors for a few clubs including Babinda Colts, Innisfail Leprechauns and also played with Southern Suburbs and the Pride.
For Gallen, playing rugby league was a given, as he came from a “league family”.
“My dad coached and my brother played and it was just that I played as well." Gallen said.
"My dad coached at Babinda Colts and my brother played there and I that is where I played my juniors.
“Everyone is still involved in footy, (but) my dad is just a spectator now.”
Mogg joined by Hodges and Hill at Dolphins
One of a number of new signings with the club, Gallen has been learning a lot from the coaches - Adam Mogg, Justin Hodges and Scott Hill.
“It’s cool, it’s really cool. It’s really cool," Gallen said of the coaching staff.
"Hodgo, obviously I knew who he was, I knew who Moggy was, but with Scotty Hill, I didn’t really know who he was at first and I was watching football highlights and they are like ‘Scotty Hill!’ and I was like ‘wait, that’s our coach’, but they all have a heap of knowledge and I am learning so much, so it’s pretty cool.”
Overall, learning is a theme for Gallen who headed back to university this year in his spare time.
“I am studying at the moment, I have just started my Masters of Teaching, so I have just started that today, so back into the books and I am also a fitness trainer at Fit Stop," Gallen said.
“Secondary is my focus and HPE teaching. It’s all online, it's sweet I just had to sit there and listen.
“I (have done) my sports science degree, but I think I just wanted to be a HPE teacher the whole time, I love the lifestyle of teaching I think.
“(I like to) be active and I enjoy teaching and I enjoy the sports side of it, so if I have do both – happy days.
“Off the field, I want to pass all my subjects in uni and progress with that – and progress as far as I can with my footy; I want to play Cup games, I want to play consistently good footy and have fun.”