Ferrets get Phillips

First Grader
Luke will be cool hand for Ferrets
ADAM LUCIUS
03feb05
HE'S travelled from the cold of Canberra to the sweat and humidity of Townsville in search of a game of footy and played in two grand finals, but Luke Phillips will see out his career in the relative obscurity of park football - and he couldn't be happier.

The 29-year-old five-eighth-fullback has linked with Forestville in the revitalised Manly-Warringah A Grade competition, ending the briefest of retirements.

And while he says he is only a phone call away should the Sea Eagles run short of troops, Phillips insists he is content to play in front of hundreds instead of thousands on grounds where Eskys dot the sidelines and players turn up for work the next day.

``I'm pretty excited about it,'' he said after taking a stroll around Ferretville Oval.

``I don't know too much about the team or the competition just yet but I can't wait to get out there and play for fun without any real pressure.

``If Manly need help I'm around but my NRL days are pretty much behind me.

``There were just too many injuries in the end and then work commitments took over.''

Those commitments with LA Games, a company specialising in games machines for pubs, constantly brought him into contact with new Forestville coach Dave Hoban.

Phillips was just the sort of player the Ferret's boss needed.

``If he was fully fit and free of work commitments I've got no doubt he could play at that level (NRL) again, so to get him to Forestville is massive,'' Hoban said.

``He's played with quality players and under quality coaches and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable.

``It will be great for the young blokes to play with someone of his calibre.

``We're a young side and we'll be looking at Luke to help steer us around from five-eighth and just provide that touch of experience.''

Still at an age where players are entering the final stages of their NRL careers, Phillips jumped off a few stops early after stints at Canberra (1996), North Queensland (1997), Manly (1998-99) and the Roosters (2000-04).

He won a premiership at Bondi Junction in 2002 but is best remembered for his performance in a losing side in the 2000 decider against Brisbane.

``Winning the grand final was the highlight for me but that 2000 game is brought up a fair bit,'' Phillips said.

``I was pretty happy with what I achieved in my career and now I'm keen to put something back in and help `Hobes' out at the same time.''

The Ferrets will form part of a new-look A Grade competition featuring at least six teams with a heavy emphasis on home grown talent.
 
Journey Man
Me too Lary.

It does seem like he was influenced by the coach/workmate to play again though.

Good to hear that if we do suffer a major injury to Brett and Lennon isnt making it that we can call on luke.
 
Winging it
Staff member
I thought Luke was a very handy player but his career drifted from brilliance to mediocrity. I think it is great he is still putting in and enjoying his footie.
 
First Grader
All the best to him. He was a very good player and would be a good backup to Brett.

Will be interesting to see if he ends up in the Maroon and White this year!

In some ways I hope not as we might be in trouble if we have to go there.

He could have been a good option in the Centres???
 
Journey Man
i dont think he would ahve been any better in the centres as our current options - Hill, Hicks, Steppa and Alberts but as a backup fullback or 5/8th he would be very valuable.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
24 21 3 499 44
24 21 3 390 44
24 20 4 322 42
24 16 8 252 34
24 16 8 141 34
24 15 9 109 32
24 12 12 -143 26
24 10 14 -3 22
24 10 14 -36 22
24 10 14 -97 22
24 8 16 -142 18
24 8 16 -171 18
24 8 16 -214 18
24 7 17 -249 16
24 7 17 -288 16
24 3 21 -370 8
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