Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Purcell Following in the Shadow of 'G.I'; Jets Latest Speedster Draws Comparison to NRL Great

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Purcell Following in the Shadow of 'G.I'; Jets Latest Speedster Draws Comparison to NRL Great

Article excerpt

BEN

WILMOTT

ben.wilmott@qt.com.au

Quick facts

First club: Mitchell Magpies

2015: Scored 22 tries, three goals (94 points) in 13 games for the Allora Wattles Warriors in the TRL competition.

NEW Jets recruit Michael Purcell has plenty of people talking after a stellar first outing for the Ipswich premiers.

In round one of the Intrust Super Cup, Purcell scored a try against Norths Devils in his first appearance for the Jets.

The 22-year-old has a history of hitting the ground running. Last year he scored four tries in his first game in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition with the Wattles Warriors against Brothers Toowoomba.

He would later repeat that effort against Brothers, bagging another four tries in their second encounter, to leave the Toowoomba defence clutching at air.

The lanky winger from Charleville has impressed Jets co-coach Shane Walker, who likened Purcell to one of rugby league's biggest names, Greg Inglis.

"I saw a photo of G.I. as a 16-year-old and I saw some real similarities," Walker said.

"Their bodies as early players are similarly built as well as the way they move and get around the park.

"He (Purcell) presents and injects himself into games really well."

Purcell told the QT that Inglis was one of his biggest role models growing up.

"I definitely felt like I followed a couple of the greats, like Johnathan Thurston and over the last few years since Greg Inglis started at Norths, I definitely started following him," Purcell said.

"He's been my biggest role model and aspiration."

The former Mitchell Magpie did not want to compare his own ability to one of the games brightest stars but was inspired by the Golden Boot Award winner.

"I wouldn't compare my football game to his," he said.

"He's a lot better than me.

"I can only look up to him and hopefully be where he is one day."

Co-coach Shane Walker said the young speedster had been on the Jets' radar for some time.

"We had been hearing a lot about it hum for a number of years," Walker said.

"We talked to some of the Toowoomba boys and they wrapped him. …

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