He started 2010 as an unknown park footballer and finished the Dally M Rookie of the Year and a member of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII, but Broncos forward Matt Gillett was still disappointed with his remarkable debut season.
Don’t get him wrong, there is no hint of arrogance or swagger in this appraisal; it is simply the young kid from Bribie Island being his own toughest critic.
Gillett burst onto the scene, scoring 12 tries from 22 games, but the youngster believes he ‘slackened off’ towards the end of the year and was gutted when the Broncos missed playing finals football.
It’s this hard-line approach to the game that has Gillett primed for another massive season.
“I just want to play consistent footy again,” Gillett said.
“I was pretty disappointed with how the year finished for myself and how the team finished as well.
“I was thinking about the game too much at the end of the year and how it was all going to pan out. I think I was playing the game in my head before we even got out there and that affected me a bit.”
The level-headed 22-year-old has learnt from his incredible debut season and while admitting it was a dream year, he plans to make 2011 even better.
“I will definitely change the way I approach the game in that aspect,” he said.
“I won’t think about the game all the time and will get away from footy when I’m not playing.
“When I’m on the field at training and in the matches I’ll switch on – but then I just need to do my own thing away from the game.”
Gillett was named in the second-row alongside Corey Parker and Alex Glenn to take on the Cowboys in Friday night’s blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium.
After being asked to cover a number of positions last year, Gillett wants to make the spot his own.
“I trained in the second-row for the whole offseason, I did the same thing last year but got thrown around a bit into different positions, hopefully I can cement a spot in the second-row this year,” he said.
“I’m nervous every time training is on, because you have to impress the training staff, to try to get your position locked down.
“There are a fair few players competing for the back-row, and only three spots out on the field.”
There is no doubt Gillett and his teammates will have their hands full on Friday night, the Cowboys have a strong line-up including Premiership winner Glenn Hall and the returning Dallas Johnson.
“They’ll be strong and they have Ashton Sims as well,” he said.
“We played the trial against them in Alice Springs and there were a few niggles between the boys out there, and I reckon there will be a bit of friendly banter out there again on Friday night.
“All the supporters are hanging out for the first game of the year, it is always very special and hopefully Suncorp Stadium is packed out, it should be a great atmosphere and a good game.”