Medal winner off to Broncos
MATT Parcell has continued a recent Ipswich Jets tradition.
Just like Lorenzo Maafu (2012) and Nat Neale last year, Parcell has claimed the Allan Langer Medal as the Jets best and fairest and stitched up an NRL deal in the process.
Parcell accepted the Langer medal at Jets presentation night.
He expects to put pen to paper with the Brisbane Broncos this week.
Despite being lauded far and wide for his form this season, the Jets hooker was surprised to claim the top gong on Friday night.
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"I thought Keiron (Lander) had a good chance," Parcell said.
"During the countdown, after nine rounds I wasn't in the top 10, but I knew I finished the season strongly."
Parcell's slow start to the season was due to overcoming off-season shoulder surgery.
But as the year progressed his form became irresistible, forcing Jets coaches Ben and Shane Walker to leave him on the full 80 minutes most matches.
With the Walker brothers close to incoming Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, it is no surprise Parcell got his chance at Red Hill.
"It's really exciting and I'm pretty happy," Parcell said.
"I was sitting by the phone for a few days before I got the email through (confirming a Broncos offer).''
He also had interest from the Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs for his signature.
However a desire to remain near friends and family in Ipswich prompted him to accept the Broncos' one-year deal.
It meant after a week's break following the Jets' elimination from Queensland Cup finals, Parcell was back into it.
The goal is to be as fit as possible when the Broncos begin pre-season training shortly.
"I'll go to pre-season and train as hard as I can," he said.
Parcell's incredible fitness is what enabled him to play 80 minutes a match in the most demanding of positions.
He puts it down to his training regime and a diet that includes virtually no processed food.
"I don't really eat anything out of a packet," he said. "My game is all about being fit and speed.
"Getting out of dummy half fast, picking my times and what to do with the ball."
A top hooker needs to have the knack of perfect timing to know which option to take.
Parcell has displayed perfect timing off the field, his full-time Broncos contract coming just as he is finishing his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree.
"It's worked out really well for me," Parcell said.
"It's a good time to try to play professional footy."
If Parcell does not crack the Broncos NRL squad he will likely be back playing for the Jets through their feeder club arrangement.
But that scenario has not entered the self-assured rake's head.
"I'm pretty confident in my ability," he said.
"I'm definitely aiming to be playing NRL.
"I'm going to put 100 per cent into it."
- Best and Fairest: Matt Parcell.
- Players' Player: Rod Griffin.
- Best Back: Nemani Valekapa.
- Best Forward: Rod Griffin.
- Coaches' Most Valuable: Kurt Capewell and Troy O'Sullivan.
- Rookie of the Year: Carlin Anderson
- Best and Fairest: Michael Fisher.
- Players' Player: Fred Tila.
- Best Back: Luke Pollock.
- Best Forward: Rob Worsley.
- Coach's Most Valuable: Chris Ash and Pat McCullum.
- Players' Player: Peter Whittaker.
- Best Back: Daniel Jennings.
- Best Forward: Eugene Fui.
- Coach's Most Valuable: Jordan Tusa and Gerico Cecil.
- Rookie of the Year: Matthew Brown.