Bribie boys make good for Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bribie boys make good for Broncos

By Wayne Heming 20/07/2011 12:51:55 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane teammates Matt Gillett and Jack Reed began their journey together as teenagers with a title at Morayfield High but the Bribie Island buddies now have the chance to share in a far higher rugby league honour.

It's a far cry from high school football, but as the Broncos build momentum towards the NRL finals, the two 22-year-olds are striving to win the 2011 premiership alongside retiring Broncos legend Darren Lockyer.

It's no surprise Gillett, last year's rookie of the year, is there as a key member of the Broncos weaponry.

But for Reed, it's the buzz of a lifetime after spending last year playing for Norths in the Queensland Cup and watching his former classmate taking the NRL by storm.

He admits he didn't expect to do much more than debut in the NRL this season.

"I never thought I'd still be running around with the boys to be honest," said Reed who, with a strong finish to 2011, could yet emulate Gillett's rookie-of-the-year performance and challenge the likes of Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans and North Queensland's Tariq Sims.

"Just to get the opportunity to play one game was great and to still be playing is massive."

Their Morayfield High coach John Turner told AAP having two former students playing for the Broncos in the NRL was huge for the young kids in the area.

"Matt was always going to make it, he could do some amazing things, while Jack is self-made," said Turner who's seen thousands of kids come through their system.

Centre Reed, whose aggressive playing style is making him something of a cult figure with Broncos' fans, said backrower Gillett's debut season had been an inspiration for him.

So too were his words of encouragement when he joined the club for pre-season training late last year.

"Gillo is a big part of my background and my youth," Reed said.

"We used to hang out at school and off the field. We were in the Nippers together.

"It was an inspiration seeing him running around (for the Broncos) and killing it when I was in the Queensland Cup.

"When I came to the Broncos he pulled me aside and gave me some words of encouragement and convinced me I'd be alright."

Reed hasn't wasted any time winning admirers, including former Newcastle great Andrew Johns who recently commented how he already looked like a "200 NRL gamer".

Read laughs at suggestions he is becoming a cult figure with fans.

"I don't see that," he said.

"I just enjoy my footy. If people like watching me play, it just makes it more enjoyable to do."

Reed, who has the size and power to develop into a Tonie Carroll-style hitman, may yet end up joining Gillett in the Broncos back-row.

"It's part of the club's big picture I think," he said.

"I'm happy in the centres at the moment, it's my preferred position but if the coach thinks it's good for the team I'd definitely go along with it."

Playing in Lockyer's last season is something Reed finds hard to believe.

"The guy's an absolute living legend," he says.

"Playing with him at this age in his final year, you definitely want to play your best for him."

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