PJ Marsh set to return to

PJ Marsh has put an end to speculation regarding his playing future with the New Zealand Warriors by announcing that he will return home to Australia with his wife Kelly for the birth of their first child.

PJ Marsh, who joined the Warriors in 2002 from the Parramatta Eels, has not been able to play football since the round 14 game against the Eels in 2003. He partially dislocated vertebrae in his neck when tackled in the early stages of that match and subsequent fusion surgery shortly after proved unsuccessful. Marsh underwent a second fusion procedure earlier this year, the final results of which will not be known until late 2004.

?I have enjoyed my time in Auckland incredibly as I have played my best football here. I went on to play in a Grand Final and played State-of-Origin for Queensland from the Vodafone Warriors.

?The support and friendship of the fans and players will be very much missed by Kelly and myself. Kelly and I are looking forward to the birth of our baby in September and hopefully the doctors have good news for my neck injury later in the year as well,? Marsh said.

?For the rest of the year I know the players will do themselves and the fans proud as they get ready for what will be a special year in 2005 with the players that are coming.

?To the players and management of the Vodafone Warriors I say thank you for everything and god bless,? Marsh added.

Although the decision has not come easily, PJ and Kelly Marsh have been in ongoing talks with the club and PJ?s manager Jim Bannighan for some weeks, as all parties worked together to resolve the best way forward for PJ and his family regarding his playing and employment future.

PJ?s decision to move back to Australia is totally respected by the club, and the Warriors wish him and his family all the very best for the future in whatever endeavours they choose to pursue. PJ Marsh will return to Sydney today.

There will be a press conference held in suite 10 of the West Stand at Ericsson Stadium at 11am today to service the requirements of local media.