Parker praises 'the ultimate footballer'
Veteran Broncos lock Corey Parker has expressed his happiness over Maroons and Australian teammate Johnathan Thurston's unprecedented fourth Dally M Medal ahead of Sunday's all-Queensland NRL grand final.
Speaking moments after Thurston was awarded the game's highest individual honour – after the North Queensland linchpin had already been awarded the Captain of the Year, Halfback of the Year and the Provan Summons Medal – Parker said the Cowboys star was a deserving recipient for all his awards at the game's night of nights.
"I think everyone is happy for JT. He's shown his worth over a number of years now and just the player he is. He thoroughly deserves what he gets accolades-wise," Parker said.
"If you were to define Johnathan Thurston with a couple of words you'd go with him being the ultimate footballer. His class, tenacity and competitiveness and all those things make him the player we see now. Above all he just loves playing footy."
But that's where the compliments stopped, with Parker saying Thurston will be treated just like any other player in Brisbane's grand final clash with the Cowboys on Sunday.
"Johnathan is just another player on the field for a team that we're going to be trying to beat. He's obviously a very important member of their side. But we're just treating him like any other player in a normal game," Parker said.
"Our confidence is great, we're in a grand final after all and it's been a great year for us. It's an amazing ride and we have one more game to go.
"From my point of view it's about enjoying the week. It's one of the best weeks of your life and so that's how I'm going to play it."
Parker didn't leave the Dally Ms empty handed either after securing the Representative Player of the Year award.
"It's good mate, it's an award that's always been held in high esteem," he said.
"I mean you only have to see some of the nominations and see some of the great players who have represented both Australia and the states this year and to be given the award is definitely something very special."