24 hours ago - 4 Likes
For The Best
IT looks like a direct swap. Off to Penrith goes youngster Wayne Bond and in comes experienced half Marty Turner from England.
Of course, it's not that simple as numerous players will come into calculations before the first Queensland Cup match is staged.
Skipper Shane Perry is a constant in Dolphins halves with 19 appearances last season and Mick Roberts raking up 20 at half and hooker.
Bond played only six Queensland Cup matches in 2005, however his impact at half and five-eighth was dramatic and his spot will be keenly contested.
Turner, 24, has already arrived at Dolphin Oval and slotted in well at training in the humid Queensland conditions.
What a change from chilly Oldham Roughyeds in northern England where he spent last season. Known simply as Oldham RLFC until 1995 when they adopted the name Oldham Bears to coincide with the start of Super League, they went bankrupt in 1997 and a new team with the current name was formed to play at a lower level. The Roughyeds tag had been a long-accepted nickname for the old club.
"I had a good time in England even though we struggled into seventh out of 10 teams in League One of the National leagues, which is a level below Super League," the New Zealand-born Turner said. "I don't know whether I'd go back. Maybe for a holiday."
Although Oldham had several other Kiwis on its books, Turner was treated as its quota player and lived up to expectations.
"I played about 30 games at halfback during the season and only missed one through injury," he said.
Turner comes to the Dolphins with a wealth of experience through the Storm-Brisbane Norths tie-up.
It was through that link that Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin knew of Turner's capabilities and sought a replacement for Bond.
"Anthony was my coach in Colts in my first year at Norths in 2000 and then was assistant coach at the Storm," Turner said. "He contacted me when I was in England and asked if I was interested in coming back home.
"As it was, I was looking at returning to Australia and had told Pat Gardner, who's now at Redcliffe, that very fact. Maybe the word filtered around."
Turner spent five seasons with the Storm set-up and played a number of NRL matches, although he is perhaps best known for a near-fatal car accident in April 2002 after he had deputised for Matt Orford in the NRL.
"I missed the rest of 2002 and it took me the best part of a year to get over the accident," he said. "I'm pretty lucky that I'm now back to 100 percent.
"The training so far at Redcliffe has been tough and good. It's a good club and I'm fitting in well at training and with the guys.
"I know Clint Fraser and Adam Fletcher form my days at Norths, but I have to admit it will be a bit strange to run out in Redcliffe's colours after regarding them as the team to beat for seasons."
Turner is not allowing the grass to grow under his feet back in Australia. While he is doing landscaping work with a mate at present, he is keen to start an apprenticeship as an electrician.