Myles McIvor

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Troy Aims For 300 Game Mark

EVERGREEN Dolphins prop Troy Lindsay will endeavour to achieve the 300-match landmark. Already the holder of the most number of first grade appearances with 263 matches up before the semi-final showdown with the Young Guns, Lindsay, 33, shows no signs of tiring. He has made it known he wants to play on for at least next season and most probably the following season. By the time he bows out at the end of the 2008 season, the durable front-rower would have reached the magic 300 number ... barring a loss of form or injuries. But given his outstanding performances this season, climaxing in selection for the Queensland Residents, it is hard to imagine the red and whites without the farmer from Wamuran. Affectionately known to team-mates and opponents alike as "Cow", Lindsay achieved his record-equalling 261st game at Dolphin Oval on July 30 against Souths-Logan. Centre Peter Leis created the long-standing 261 mark in his Redcliffe reign in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The following weekend Lindsay owned the record single-handedly after turning out against the Young Guns. "I'm enjoying my football more than ever, probably because I'm aware each season could be my last," he said. "To get up there with the likes of Peter, Obsty and Benno is something I'm very proud of ... they were really big names in Brisbane and Queensland football. "There's a lot of tradition at Redcliffe." Although he has been part of four Queensland Cup triumphs for the Dolphins, Lindsay said the persona highlight was winning the Brisbane premiership in 1994. The Dolphins beat Wests 24-18, only their second Brisbane grand final win. 'I was a young bloke in my first year in the top grade and it was 29 years since we had won," he said. "That was great but I've appreciated all the things that have happened during my time at Redcliffe." 1994 was the year Lindsay came closest to taking up an offer with an NRL club. "St George coach Brian Smith spoke to me a few times but I decided to stay put," he said. "I've had a few offers over the years, but that was the closest I came to leaving."

Dolphin Makes Meal of Sharks

UNASSUMING Dolphins centre Nick Emmett has gone from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy. In the space of a week last month, Emmett tasted the sour bite of a suspension for tripping in a Queensland Cup fixture as well as the delight of a National Rugby League debut for the Broncos. As coach Anthony Griffin revealed in his Redcliffe Leagues News column last month, Emmett was outed for two matches for tripping Easts skipper Matt Lockyer at Dolphin Oval. The two-match sentence eventually proved beneficial as the Broncos and the Queensland Rugby League unravelled some paperwork for the 24-year-old Dolphin to run on for the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium against Cronulla. It was decided the Hervey Bay product had served his time by missing the City-Country fixture (for which he had been selected) and then the Dolphins' loss to Burleigh Bears. So Emmett found himself on the park against the Sharks for an upset 26-12 victory by an under-manned Brisbane side dubbed the Baby Broncos. "I was surprised at the speed of the game," Emmett said after his NRL introduction. "It was really quick and a lot more structured than I'm used to. "I was told that I just had to worry about myself. I wanted to get a feel for the stadium so I went out and warmed up and that got the nerves out of the way." Emmett said it had been a big surprise to be called up by the Broncos even though he had spent a week plus training with them and realised their stocks were bare due to their State of Origin commitments. "There was a different build-up for me because I didn't know if I would get a start for Broncos with the suspension," he said. "I was waiting around all week to hear what had happened. I was supposed to know Tuesday morning so from then on every time the phone rang I thought it was the Broncos ringing to say what had happened." As it was, he still had time to organise for his girlfriend to come from Sydney for the match and his family from the Gold Coast. "My brother Tyson is a soldier serving in East Timor and he's a passionate supporter so I sent him a message saying I would be getting a run," he said. The match went without a hiccup for Emmett, who played for the entire 80 minutes and did not record a single mistake. "I didn't do anything too spectacular. I just did my job and everyone seemed happy with that," Emmett said. "Wayne Bennett told me to just play my usual game and the whole team emphasis was on a 85% completion rate and don't make unforced errors. We played a very direct game and worked on their edges. The Sharks only scored two tries and they were from kicks so our defence did its job. "We just worked to our strengths and that was enough for us to win a match not many people expected us to. A couple of times I thought I might even get a try as I was calling for it close to the line but we went over anyway." Emmett said winger Scott Minto had proved extremely helpful during the match. "Scott talked to me all the time and really looked after me," he said. "He was the first one to come over at training and introduce himself and he really looked after me. "As it was, I had the full week with the side but I didn't train with the starting team until the Saturday morning before the match. "Shane Perry has been with the Broncos all year and he also looked after me. He trains really hard and is a great organiser on the field for them." Emmett's contribution was noted in the after-match press conference by Bennett, who also included him as 18th man for the away match against Melbourne Storm two days after Origin III. ``Nick defended great and carried the ball well,'' Bennett said. "The players welcomed him in there as well and he felt a part of it." Redcliffe team-mates Pat Gardner and Ryan Cullen also were called up for Broncos training. "If the opportunity comes up there are a few Redcliffe players who could take the step up," Emmett said. "Pat might have been close to playing for the Broncos but he did his knee in the City-Country match. Ryan also went close. "Wayne Bennett wished me good luck with Redcliffe and said to come along to training anytime I had a free day. He said I was part of the time and who knows what opportunities might come up down the track. "I want to win the Queensland Cup with Redcliffe and then just go on from there with whatever comes up."

Jones Extends Stay with Raiders

FORMER Redcliffe Dolphin Ben Jones has re-signed with the Canberra Raiders after agreeing to a two-year deal with the NRL surprise packets. The tough second-rower has been a solid performer for the Raiders so far in 2006 and the club says he is looking to continue his first grade career with the Raiders until at least the end of 2008. Sidelined for the past month with a thumb injury, Jones was set to make his comeback in the Raiders' home match against Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium. Although a Queensland Cup premiership player with the Dolphins, Jones is somewhat of a late bloomer, making his NRL debut this year for the Raiders at the age of 25.

Tim Tops Class

TEEN Tim Yee has experienced a meteoric rise to fame. The 18-year-old, a member of Redcliffe's Development Squad, was in the Dolphins Colts side until called up by Anthony Griffin for the Queensland Cup. Injuries to outside backs Greg Bourke and Ryan Cullen and Nick Emmett's elevation to the Broncos meant a spot for Yee. "My first match was from the bench and I played stints at hooker and five-eighth," Yee said. "The next match was the TV one against Burleigh Bears when our rep players were away for the match against Country. "I played wing then and won the players' player award and have been there since. It's an awesome experience playing in the top team and everyone gives you confidence." A Redcliffe junior since under sevens, Yee dabbled in martial arts as a youngster but league has always had his attention. "The most noticeable difference from playing Colts to first grade is the speed of the game," he said. "It moves along so quickly and everyone knows what to do." The 88-kilogram Yee played centre and five-eighth in Colts this season after breaking into that squad late last season. He has settled into the winger's role, however five-eighth and centre still remain his favourite positions.

Squad Stands Out

TEENAGE winger Tim Yee has given the Redcliffe Dolphins Development Squad another burst of credibility. It's not that the 16-year-old format needs much introduction to rugby league fans after producing a string of State of Origin and Australian players over the years. In one year alone, squad graduates Petero Civoniceva, Brent Tate, Michael Crocker and Dane Carlaw turned out for the Maroons as well as donning national jerseys. A dig through match reports revealed that development squad members who played first grade at the same time include Brent Tate (1999), Trent Clayton (1998), Petero Civoniceva (1994), Charles Vis (2003) and Val Fa'amoe (2003) so Yee is in illustrious company. Squad co-ordinator Brian O'Brien has been there since day one and rates this year's squad as talented as any the club has boasted. "This is a pretty talented squad and I would not be surprised if quite a few don't go on to attain the very highest honours," he said. "This squad is equal to the best we've had." Electrifying winger Yee, a second year squad member, is only 17 and already has notched a handful of Queensland Cup appearances for the Dolphins as well as a players' player of the match award. Red-haired centre Ben Jones, another squad member, has caught the eye of the Sydney Roosters with the club flying the 16-year-old to Sydney for the statewide Jersey Flegg competition. "Ben has impressed the Roosters as he was man of the match twice in four weeks," O'Brien said. "I would not be surprised if the Roosters signed Ben as they have a high opinion of him. "Ben not only made the Queensland Schoolboys side but also the state under 17s side with David Hala and Joel Romelo with the trio playing the curtain-raiser to Origin II. "We ask our squad members to sign a BRL contract, but under no circumstances would we prevent a players from moving on to a higher level in the code." This season's 20-strong development squad, made up of teens aged from 16 to 18 and sponsored for the second year by Classic Sportswear, undergoes skills training once a month as well as dinner every two months to which selected speakers are invited. Topics can include financial advice, diet and public speaking. The squad is divided into three teams which compete against each other for an end-of-season trophy. Junior development officer Grant Cleal takes the on-field training sessions with help from Dolphins premiership players Barry Denduck and Ian Graham and junior coach Steve Peoples. The squad plays two matches against the equivalent Burleigh Bears squad as well as fielding a side in the annual country invitation trial at Dolphin Oval. In another boost for the squad, Southern Cross student Hala has been named in the Australian Schoolboys side to tour Great Britain at the end of this season. A 2005 squad member, Redcliffe High's Luke Capewell, also made the touring party.

Lindsay - Man of Steel

EVERGREEN prop Troy Lindsay is busy rewriting records with the Emerald Group Dolphins.Lindsay last month became only the second Dolphin to reach 250 first grade matches when he ran out on to Kougari Oval to take on Wynnum Manly in their Queensland Cup clash.The occasion was marked by a banner from the Red and White Supporters Club plus a few words at the club's after-match function.Only Peter Leis (261 matches) stands between Lindsay and the honour of being Redcliffe's match record-holder.If he maintains his form and stays injury-free, Lindsay should take on Leis' mantle by the end of the second round of fixtures this season.The only other Dolphins to have reached 200 first grade matches are Trevor Benson (237) and Tony Obst (230)."This is a fairly good achievement," a modest Lindsay said. "Not too many players get to make 250 games."I haven't thought too much about Peter's 261 games because I have not got there yet. I've got to get there first."Greg Bourke equalled the Queensland Cup points scoring record on the same day at Kougari."Remarkably, Lindsay is the only forward out of the quartet to break the 200-mark mark, although Obst moved into the pack late in his career."I've never played in the backs," a joking Lindsay quipped.Lindsay, who has just turned 33, has overcome a knee injury to register his landmark."I was out for five weeks at the start of the season," he said. "I had a grade two medial tear but it was fixed and it's been good since."I'm still enjoying my football, even more so now than when I was younger because I realise it is coming to a close. You learn how to enjoy it more."Lindsay has been at Dolphin Oval since 1989 when he joined the Redcliffe junior ranks."And I've been there ever since," he said.Premierships, representative honours, players of the year, captaincy ... there's no honour to escape the Wamuran farmer.Apart from running his property, he has branched out as a hay merchant and transporter.Despite the loss of Shane Perry to the Broncos this season, Lindsay embraced the link with the NRL superpower."I think it's a good thing because it allows Redcliffe to keep our younger players rather than have them turn around and play us," he said."We could keep players like Michael Bond, Wayne Bond, Liam Georgetown with us for a couple of years before they're good enough to move up to the Broncos."Fellow farmer Leis paid tribute to Lindsay, saying it was a testament to his fitness and enthusiasm that he was still playing so strongly.

Fletcher Flies Greek Flag

ROB Campbell set the trend several years ago at Dolphin Oval with international rugby league honours. Through a grand parent's heritage, big Rob turned out for Russia in World Cup qualifiers. Now another Emerald Group Dolphin has claimed international honours. Lively winger Adam Fletcher is a current Greece international and is licking his lips at the prospect of a match in Greece at the end of this year as well as the 2008 World Cup. There's also a planned match against Fiji in October. The Greek side boasts some handy players, including Wests Tigers premiership prop John Skandalis, coach Steve Georgallis and first graders George Gatis, Willie Peters and Michael Kokardis, although the majority of the squad don't play at a high level. Even Roosters superstar Braith Anasta could come into the picture. "I've played with the Greek national side a few times already," he said. "I qualify because both my grandparents were Greek, which also gives me a European Union passport qualification. It's the same as if I was born in England. "This is really handy for playing rugby league in England as I would not talking up an import spot, which usually go to NRL players.'' "My ambition this season is to consolidate a spot in the Dolphins' top side and if nothing eventuates from that try to get a start in England and then hopefully work my way into a Super League club." A newcomer to the club this season, Fletcher, 22, joined from the Magpies component in the premiership Wests Tigers conglomerate. "I played for the Wests side out of Campbelltown in the NSW Premier League," he said. "As a team we were not too crash hot, but the first grade winning the premiership created a good atmosphere and it was all a good experience and I learned a lot of things." Originally a Brisbane Norths product, Fletcher joined the Magpies in 2005 as a winger. "I played my junior football with Brothers Holy Spirit at Bray park and the Pine Rivers Bears before going over to North to play Colts," he said. "I played fullback in Norths but I have gradually moved to the wing, although I feel comfortable in either spot." Fletcher turned out for two seasons with Norths' then feeder club Aspley before spending 2001 with the Devils' Colts, enduring a grand final loss to Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval. "We lost 12-10, or something like that, and were warm favourites as we had a good team," he said. "It included Bill Slater, Jake Webster, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk. The second year I spent in Colts and reserve grade. "I knew Anthony Griffin as he was the Norths Colts coach before he was appointed assistant coach at the Storm and also contacted Mark Murray, who said Redcliffe needed some outside backs. "I gave James Hinchey a call and it went from there. I live at Bray Park with my parents so it is was easy to move back to Brisbane." Fletcher had been working with the Skins apparel outfit at Campbell as well as studying to become a personal trainer. That is still an ambition, although for the moment he is helping out at his family's snack bar at Brendale. "I usually work from seven in the morning to about two, when it slackens off," eh said. "The hours work in really well with football." Fletcher started this season in Premier League, notching five appearances before dropping back to A grade. "I need a couple of big games to get back into the Premier league," he said. "There's a good buzz around the club with all three grades doing well."

Legends Back On The Same Team

THEY were once fierce rivals on the field, both little generals directing their huge forward packs around the ground in the glory years of the 70s. They both played for one of the world's greatest rugby league clubs and against some of the games best, yet had never spoken a word to each other. It was fitting that they should shake hands for the first time at the Redcliffe Leagues Club at the official Dolphins season launch. It wasn't until Des Webb announced that Paynter Dixon was to be the new short sponsor of the Dolphins and introduced Mark Shulman as their business development manager that long-time Dolphins junior official Brian Winney finally realised he was in the presence of an old sparring partner. Mark said he was surprised to see Brian at the launch after so many years. "Halfbacks are often serious students of the game, so it is great to see Brian getting involved not only with the Redcliffe juniors but also as a representative on the QRL coaching panel," he said. "Paynter Dixon is very excited to be a major sponsor of the Dolphins. We believe we can help the club grow with our experience and expertise in project management." Brian was equally surprised about the Paynter Dixon connection. "It was funny to see Mark again. We both played for St George, we nearly played against each other in 1971 when I moved to Wests and a few years later, Mark bought my house when I moved to Queensland," Brian said. "Over the past 20 years I have seen the Dolphins grow and become one of the most successful and recognisable clubs in Queensland. Speaking to Mark at the launch made me realise there is bigger and better things to come and I can tell you there is no one better than Mark or Paynter Dixon to have on board." With these two great characters of the game supporting the club, it is no wonder the Dolphins can expect great things in season 2006. Paynter Dixon, the official short sponsor of the Dolphins, brings with them the experience of an award-winning long-term Australian identity which has expertise in building and redevelopment in the club, hotel, commercial and industrial industries.

Fox Sniffs Out New Opportunity

QUITE often it only takes that lucky break for a footballer to make a career breakthrough. Forget all the blood, sweat and tears over many seasons ... a twist of fate sometimes dictates his future. Although only 20, New Zealand Chris Fox knows something about the vagaries of rugby league. A promising junior in Wellington, he was snapped up by the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors as a member of their development squad. Although his parents live in Auckland, Fox still calls Wellington home and Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt his junior club. Current international Paul Whatuira and rising Cowboys star David Faiumu also hail from the same club. While Fox played for Wellington in the national Bartercard Cup competition, he also trained one night a week with the Warriors development squad in Auckland. Disillusioned by the departure of Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, Fox asked his manager to find him a new club at the start of last season. "I asked him to get me somewhere and I ended up at Redcliffe," Fox said. "I didn't know anything about the Queensland Cup yet alone the Redcliffe club. I was told it was near Brisbane and that was it." Fox turned up at Redcliffe in January last year, played a trial and found himself in the club's A grade. "I found it tough at the start as I'm pretty quiet and I was meeting new players all the time," he said. "And the heat was something else. Coming from Wellington I was used to it being cold and raining. I love it here now and won't go back home. My confidence picked up at the end of last season and I gained a good insight of what was needed to make the top grade." Fox loved the conditions and competition so much that he ended up Redcliffe's player of the year in A grade, a fair achievement for any newcomer to a club as strong as the Dolphins. "I was helped by the fact that I didn't miss any games during the season," he said. "A lot of players went back and forth to Premier League and I stayed in A grade. "I started at five-eighth, then went to centre and then fullback. The position I quite like is five-eighth." With his versatility, about the only position he can't play is front-row. The 2006 season brought more rewards for the nuggetty Fox, even though club captain Shane Perry maintains a hold on the No. 6 jersey in Premier League. Included in the top team's train-on squad for last year's finals, Fox was elevated to the Dolphins' top squad from the first fixture of the season. "I've been getting about half a game," he said. "My job is to come on and help out when some of the boys are getting tired. "I have been playing mainly hooker and some five-eighth. I love the tackling over here. The code is tougher back home but it's faster here and the skills are better. It's more of a bash-up at home." No relation to famous All Blacks kicking machine Grant Fox, the younger version weighs in at 85 kilograms. He keeps fit working as a paver/concreter with fellow Dolphin Richie Russell for the Redcliffe-based Redpine Paving. He also has had more good news this season with the arrival of his girlfriend from New Zealand. "She keeps me on track and it's all going well," he said. "My next goal is to try to get a crack at the NRL. "It doesn't matter what club it is, I'd just like to have a shot at it. The opportunity is here at Redcliffe to impress the right people." He is going about it the right way with his first Queensland Cup try against Easts in round 4. "I wanted to get a try," he said. "I was playing five-eighth and it was the last play of the game." He followed up with a try in the televised round 6 match against the Norths Devils, a fixture when he came into his own as Perry was on duty with the Broncos again. Fox rode his luck in the week leading up to the Norths match as he had to appear before the judiciary on a kicking charge. Luckily for himself and the club he was cleared and took his place at the base of the scrum with Marty Turner.

Alwyn Laps Up Bayside Life

MORETON Bay has proved an irresistible lure to new Dolphin Alwyn Simpson. The quicksilver back joined the Redcliffe club in the off-season from NSW Premier League club Balmain. Starting on the bench in A grade, he quickly worked his way up and now finds himself on the flank in the top side.

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