Gillett keen to follow proud Broncos tradition
He will bring up a major milestone when he plays his 150th first grade game on Friday night and Broncos back-rower Matt Gillett is hopeful of following in the footsteps of past greats by playing his entire career at the club.
With back row partner Sam Thaiday to also celebrate his 250th game for Brisbane in the blockbuster against the Storm Gillett joked that he is talking to "all of them" with regards to possible suitors elsewhere in the NRL but hoped he could continue his career at the Broncos in 2017 and beyond.
Two of the four most-capped players in premiership history, Darren Lockyer and Corey Parker, spent their entire careers at the Broncos with Thaiday on track to become the third Bronco to play 300 games for the club by the time his latest contract expires at the end of the 2018 season.
One of the form forwards of the Telstra Premiership and a current Kangaroo and Queensland Origin representative, Gillett is understandably in high demand on the open market but admitted that the example set by the likes of Parker and Thaiday is one he would very much like to emulate.
"They're role models for us boys that are coming into the system," said Gillett, who made his NRL debut for Brisbane alongside Lockyer, Parker and Thaiday in Round 1, 2010.
"They've been here for so long and played so many games for the club and they're so proud of what they've done in their careers.
"Corey is leaving us at the end of this year and Sammy is going to play his whole career here.
"It's something for players that do come through the system to look up to and want to be like them and stay at the one club."
The retirement of Parker at season's end should ensure the Broncos can table an offer to Gillett competitive to the big dollars other clubs are willing to throw his way but the 28-year-old said he is not concerned if negotiations are not finalised prior to the start of the finals series.
"Not at all. I've pretty much had nothing to really do with it," Gillett said when asked whether contract talks had been a distraction.
"Just a few phone calls here and there with the manager and let him sort it out. It hasn't really affected me to be honest.
"All that stuff is still getting sorted out at the moment but I've been here for a while now and have really enjoyed my time.
"Hopefully I can continue enjoying my time here and stay at the Broncos but I've just got to focus on footy and let everything else sort itself out."
Having missed three games with a shoulder injury in the wake of the Origin Series, Gillett's return has coincided with a run of three straight wins for the Broncos, under-pinning his value to the team.
Eager to add to his two Test caps at the Four Nations tournament at the end of the year, Gillett said his availability for the Kangaroos will hinge on whether the tendon problem in his shoulder requires surgery at season's end.
"I'll get a scan at the end of the year and see how we go with that," Gillett said of the prospect of off-season surgery.
"I've just got to get through the end of the season whenever we finish and get that scan and see what's really going on.
"At the moment it's good to go but just got to look after it and get it looked after the season's done and see how we can go there."