Thanks to Jay Buchan
IF ANYONE could be forgiven for finding the Jets’ pre-season training tough, it is George Marchant.
Having just arrived from Northern England, the near-40 degree heat at Jets’ training laid several low. But not Marchant.
“I’m loving it,” the nephew of former Great Britain centre Tony Marchant said in his thick Yorkshire accent.
“It’s a massive change in temperature. At this time of year at home, I’ve been charging up freezing snow-covered hills.
“Now I’m training in over 30 degrees. It’s a massive shock to the system.”
But it is a mark of the sort of bloke and footballer Marchant is that, knowing he was coming to Queensland, he made sure he was prepared.
“I put in a bit of hard graft so I’d be in good shape,” the 19-year-old backrower said.
“I like lots of sprinting with quick turnarounds and a bit of wrestling. I’m enjoying that.”
Marchant was captain of the Bradford Academy under-18s this year and played several games in the under-20s, which is roughly the equivalent of the NRL’s Toyota Cup competition.
“The 20s is a lot quicker and bit different to over here,” he said.
“Some of the first team players, when they’re coming back from injury or trying to find form, will drop down to play 20s. So you’re playing against Super League competition some of the time.”
His credentials indicate Marchant might challenge for the Queensland Cup squad in 2013.
However, he is starting with the colts and is happy to do so.
Marchant is in no rush to reach the heights to which he aspires, having taken inspiration from Kangaroos legend Petero Civoniceva.
“I’m reading Petero’s book, which makes sense to me,” Marchant said.
“He didn’t make it when he was 21 or 22 in the Brisbane comp.
“It took time for his body to develop so for me it’s a matter of when my body reaches its peak.”
In the meantime, Marchant’s focus is his personal improvement.
“I just want to play at the best level I know I’m capable,” he said.
“It would be a bad mindset to think I couldn’t play at the highest level.
“But I understand how the Walker brothers coach and I abide by what they say.
“So I’m happy to start in colts.”
Having had a taste of life in Queensland before, Marchant was always going to return.
On finishing high school in 2010, Marchant took the opportunity to spend a season in Mackay.
“I fell in love with Australia,” he said. “The people and the way of life.
“I had to return to England to study and I had a contract with the Bradford Bulls. But I knew when I was 19 and my contract was over and my studies finished, I might have the opportunity to come back.
“So when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it.”
Thanks to the support of the Jets management, Marchant chose Ipswich as his destination.
He is grateful to Jets chairman Steve Johnson and chief executive Brad Wolens for making it happen.
“Steve Johnson helped convince my mum and dad by finding me a place to stay (at the Ipswich University campus),” Marchant said.
“Brad Wolens was a massive help getting everything sorted.”
Height: 182cm. Weight: 93kg.
Favourite player: I worshipped my uncle (Tony) and Malcolm Reilly from the stories I’d heard about how hard he was.
Biggest influence: My mum and dad.
Best advice: You get what you deserve if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Who would you most like to get stuck in an elevator with: Chuck Liddell. I’m into UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) so it would be good to learn about his experiences.
Hobbies: Music and taking the chance to see the local area.
Favourite music: Foo Fighters, hip-hop.