In the Nick of Time

THE stars seemed to be in alignment for Nick Emmett to join the Pepsi Dolphins this season. Even though the talented centre played only 11 matches for Souths- Logan last season because of injuries, he was on the minds of both Redcliffe CEO James Hinchey and incoming coach Anthony Griffin. "I spent last year with the Magpies in the Queensland Cup and got on well with Griffo," he said. "Before Anthony was appointed this year, James Hinchey had rung me and asked what I was doing for the 2005 season. "When I found out Anthony had been appointed it made it all the easier to join Redcliffe." The Dolphins had prior knowledge of Emmett's abilities from his stint with the Redcliffe 2000 Colts side. ''I had signed with Parramatta from the Hervey Bay Seagulls and they wanted me to join a professional club for a year before coming to Sydney," he said. "I had played under 18s and A grade with Hervey Bay as a centre and wing and met someone from Redcliffe at a school carnival so it all worked out well." Emmett's three seasons with the Eels were soured by a succession of injuries, especially a lower back complaint which still troubles him. He said his three seasons at Parramatta were enjoyable with stints in the Jersey Flegg and Premier Leagues. "It was very hard and very competitive, but definitely a learning experience," the 23-year-old said. "When I came back to Brisbane I had sort of retired with my back injury but Anthony called and I played some of the season with Souths." Emmett's luck appears to have changed with his move to Dolphin Oval as he has missed only one fixture with injury. He has shared duties in the centres with veteran Greg Bourke as the Dolphins have overcome a tentative start to the season to forge their way into the top five. "This year has been great for me," he said. "I'm getting my form back and things are starting to look good, although I treat my back on a week-to-week basis. "We're turning things around, especially as Souths only won one game last season.'' Few centres in the Queensland Cup would match Emmett for power with his 100 kilogram frame. "I started at 107 kilos after I was in a good paddock in the off-season," he said. "There are a lot of good e3cntres in this competition. "Greg Inglis is all class, but hopefully he is playing NRL when we meet Norths again. Bob Blair was at Souths when I was there and he is tough and really strong. "He's from Maryborough and is only 20, however I think he will be playing NRL in a few years time.'' Emmett said coach Griffin had changed the Dolphins style of play. "I believe there is a new professionalism to the club," he said. "Things have changed this season but it takes a while before everyone is on the same page. "There's no reason why we can't win the grand final this season. If not this season, then in years to come. I can see us going from strength to strength as we start to gel as a team as we play more matches together.'' Living at Chermside, he has been working as a windscreen fitter with Windscreens O'Brien at Geebung this year. As regards his own future, Emmett trots out the perennial 'I'll take it one year at a time', which with his injury in mind, is on the money.