GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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DOLPHIN second-rower Danny Green describes his signing with Redcliffe as ``going from the lowest low in his life to a high''. Midway through last season the fiery forward had been dumped by National Rugby League club Eels following an altercation at the Parramatta Leagues Club.
``I had been sacked from Sydney and was in a real low,'' he said. ``I was intending to go home to Ipswich and play with the Jets, but through a set of circumstances I ended up at the best club in the Queensland Cup.''
Green had been a rising star with the Eels after signing as a teenager from the Jets with five Queensland Cup matches under his belt. An Ipswich Norths local renowned for his physical approach to the game, he had spent two seasons with Parra before his turbulent end. ``Just as I finished with Parramatta, Luke Scott had retired and Steve Bleakley had rung player managers looking for a replacement backrower,'' he said.
``I just happened to fit the bill. Neil Wharton's brother also had managed the Ipswich Colts side I was in so Neil knew a little bit about me.''
By the end of the 2003 season, all Dolphin fans knew something about Green as he blended into the premiership pack with his fearless tackling and improving attacking skills.
``This is the best club I've ever been at,'' Green states. ``I thought that I might not fit in, but they are the best bunch of guys around. ``I know that when I was playing at Ipswich we all hated Redcliffe because we thought they were snobs and up themselves.
``But it's the winning attitude at the club that defines the Dolphins. They are all very competitive and this season will be even better with a lot more competition for spots. ``We're all friends but there is so much competition and a lot of sledging going on, but I love it.''
Only 21, Green has played in the backrow for his entire career and only took one A grade match last season to impress selectors before slotting straight into the Queensland Cup combination for the remainder of the season. He had planned on spending the off-season with a French club, mainly for the convenience of being near his girlfriend.
``I spoke to Neil and he said I was too young to be heading to France,'' he said. ``Neil said their competition was for guys winding down their careers and didn't want me to go.'' As it turned out, Green's relationship faltered and he has just completed the best off-season in his career. In a chilling message to rivals, he says he is the strongest he has ever been. ``I'm feeling fit,'' he said. ``This is the first time I have not had an operation in the off-season. My aim this year is to firstly make the side and then the starting line-up.
``It's going to be hard but Neil has told me I will get first shot at it and it's up to me to go from there. There's a lot of younger guys coming through from the lower grades and they keep you on the ball.''
At 92 kilos, Green might give away weight to most of his team-mates in the pack, but he proves to be a quick learner and his agility and nose for the tryline have not let him down so far.
Green has no fear about this season's Cup opponents, even though most clubs have bought heavily.
``It looks like clubs have decided to out buy us with imports of quality players,'' he said. ``But Redcliffe have purchased only one player this season in Nathan Sologinkin and he wanted to come to us because of our winning attitude. ``Burleigh Heads, Easts and Wynnum are some of the clubs which have made good signings, but I don't know about the rest of the outfits.'' A Redcliffe Leagues Club employee at present, Green is setting up his own business on the Peninsula. It will be called Garage Floor Effects with the Dolphin planning to spruce up many garage surfaces in the coming years.