Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

'BACK ON BOARD'; Purcell, Connors Recommit to Jets for 2019 Season

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

'BACK ON BOARD'; Purcell, Connors Recommit to Jets for 2019 Season

Article excerpt



THE IPSWICH Jets have moved quickly to re-sign two of their most dynamic playmakers amid anticipated interest from rival clubs.

Michael Purcell and Jayden Connors this week extended their time at the Jets into the 2019 season.

CEO Jason Cubit said the club opted to make retaining the two livewires a priority.

"I think players as exciting as Jayden and Michael are always going to attract attention from other clubs," he said.

"We wanted to make sure we locked them down as soon as we could."

Purcell, 24, has 51 tries in 53 games for the Jets over three seasons.

He debuted in round one of the 2016 season, scoring in the 38-24 win over Norths Devils.

"The Kangaroo Catcher" has crossed the line 15 times in as many matches in 2018, including back-to-back hat-trick hauls just two weeks returned from a broken arm.

"He hasn't skipped a beat since he's been back from injury," Cubit said of Purcell.

"His try-scoring feats speak for itself. He can break a game wide open, which is obviously very exciting for people that come along to games, and important from the team's point of view as well.

"We're extremely thankful to have him back on board."

Connors, 23, was made to bide his time in the Jets' BRL side last season before breaking through to play four matches at the end of the year.

His round 21 debut was one to remember, scoring twice as the Jets defeated the Northern Pride 32-22 at North Ipswich Reserve.

Connors has played in every game in 2018, starting in the Jets' past six matches with incumbent hooker Kierran Moseley recovering from a broken leg.

The fleet-footed Connors has taken the opportunity with both hands, with six tries in his past 10 matches testament to the improvement in the playmaker's game.

"I guess it's been a breakout year for him," Cubit said of Connors.

"His football has gone to another level this season. After Kierran's injury, he's taken over the hooking role, played big minutes and has been outstanding. …

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