Former MP signs on to pilot the Ipswich Jets

WAYNE Wendt has found his dream job.

Recently appointed as full-time Ipswich Jets CEO, the former Ipswich West MP wouldn’t swap his current job for any other.

He says he has never been as busy as he is now.

Also a former accountant, Wendt still gets asked on a regular basis if he is going to put his hand up to contest the seat of Ipswich West again.

“I get asked every day whether I am running again and it always the same answer,” Wendt grins.

“I loved every minute of it, but I don’t miss it.

“I enjoy what I am doing now. It is a very fulfilling role.

“The Jets came into fashion in 1982 so there is a very important tradition for us to maintain. There are a lot of people looking over your shoulder.

“It is probably one of the busiest jobs I have ever done, alongside running an accounting practice or being a member of parliament.

“But to get paid to be involved in rugby league…I am living the dream to be honest.”

Wendt says the two roles have more similarities than many people would realise.

“I have still got constituents…only in this case it is supporters, sponsors and players,” he says.

“They are wanting to know why is this not happening or why is that not happening. A lot of people want to know where we are going next year and why we didn’t finish on top this year

“In my job as an accountant I was an auditor so I was always asking businesses why they were doing this or that…and I’d come up with solutions. They are very similar roles.”

Wendt says working with Ipswich co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker has been a pleasure.

“They are the ultimate professionals and they leave no stone unturned,” he says.

“So when it comes to the sideline, I try and keep on my side of it and the coaches are responsible for what happens on the other side of the white line.

“But when it comes to administration, player welfare, payments, behaviour and responsibilities…that is my domain.

“We had 110 players contracted last season and we have 20 support staff that are all involved. It is a big business.”

Wendt says the club is kicking some significant goals off the field.

“Our crowds were up in 2013, our revenue is up and our sponsorship is up,” he says.

“We have more themed events next year. We have our pink breast cancer day, our indigenous appreciation day and our old boys day. Next year we are going to add our disability awareness day and our defence force appreciation day.”

The Jets’ top squad will begin pre-season training on Monday in their quest to become the first Ipswich side to win their first Intrust Super Cup.