Henjak excited about Gillett's progress - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak excited about Gillett's progress

By Wayne Heming 16/04/2010 04:58:27 PM Comments (0)

Rookie bolter Matt Gillett has taken just a handful of games to show why Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak had no hesitation tossing him into the NRL deep-end last month.

Earmarked by former Queensland and Australian halfback Mark Murray as a future representative player before his NRL debut against the Cowboys, Gillett's versatility has proven a real bonus for the injury-hit Broncos.

After debuting in the back-row and finding himself on the wing at times, Gillett will saddle up in the centres against a desperate Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday where he'll be able to put his footwork and ball skills to even great use.

"He's a future representative player. I think over the next two seasons he'll become the best back-rower the club has," said Murray who's representative career was cut short by an eye injury in the 1980s.

"I don't want to put too many wraps on the kid before he gets in there but he's a naturally gifted player that has skills that you can't coach, instinctive skills."

Henjak was quick to notice Gillett was a player with something special to offer after inviting the Bribie Island junior to pre-season training.

The 21 year-old has made the transformation from the Queensland Cup to the NRL easily, justifying Henjak's gamble and backing up Murray's prediction of better things to come.

"I'm really excited about what he's going to be like in a few years time," said Henjak, confident Gillett will handle his latest move into the centres with Israel Folau.

"I've been really pleased with his progress.

"To be honest, he's probably exceeded my expectations.

"He's never had a real pre-season before but he's handled everything we've asked very well."

Team-mate Josh Hoffman is hoping to again cash in on Gillett's off-loading talents in his first game starting at fullback.

Hoffman, who has finally won the battle for the No.1 jumper from teenager Corey Norman, scored a try against the Dragons last weekend off a nice pass from a wide running Gillett.

"Matt has got good vision and he set me up for a try against the Dragons last weekend so I'll be looking for his offloads," said Hoffman.

Henjak, said Hoffman, who was the front-runner for Karmichael Hunt's fullback job until injuring his ankle in the trials, deserved his shot after Norman played the first five NRL rounds in the No.1 jumper.

"It would have been a kick in the backside for him earlier in the year when Corey (Norman) got the fullback position," said Henjak.

"But his attitude has been great and he is a really nice kid.

"He's worked really hard. He hasn't sooked or moped around the place and now he's got his chance."

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