Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

JETS HELP Shea FIND His PASSION; How a Call from Ben Walker Brought Star to Ipswich

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

JETS HELP Shea FIND His PASSION; How a Call from Ben Walker Brought Star to Ipswich

Article excerpt

CALLUM

DICK

callum.dick@qt.com.au

BEN SHEA is back enjoying his footy once again.

The former Wynnum Manly forward has appreciated the "more laid back" approach to rugby league employed at the Ipswich Jets, and has taken little time finding his feet in the green and white.

Through three rounds, Shea trailed only Jets teammate Sebastian Pandia for run metres gained in the Intrust Super Cup.

He is averaging a touch over 10m per run, and was named best on field by his teammates in the Jets' win over Easts Tigers in round three. But the consummate clubman was quick to shift credit to the workhorses either side of him.

"When you've got guys like Sebby (Pandia) out there for 80 minutes, offloading and backing up . . . Natty (Nat Neale) putting his body on the line every time, Rowan (Winterfield) and Tyson (Lofipo); when everyone is doing their job and putting their body on the line, it's hard not to put your hand up," Shea said.

The Queensland Residents representative found himself at a career crossroads in 2016, when he ruptured the patella tendon and separated the knee cap on his right leg.

After two surgeries and 12 months on the sidelines, including eight months off work, Shea briefly returned to play Reserve Grade at Wynnum.

But with a baby on the way, and the chance of re-injury putting his immediate working future in jeopardy, Shea stepped away to focus on his family life.

"Then I got a call from Ben (Walker) asking if I was interested, and I thought why not, I'll give it a go," Shea said.

Shea, who still lives in Wynnum and regularly sees his former teammates, immediately felt at home at his new club.

"It's been good, that they wanted me to come to the club felt good, it was nice to be approached by them," Shea said of his chat with Ben and Shane Walker.

"They told me not to change my style too much, to play my normal game and they would work that in a bit with everyone else around me. …

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