B’Hawks to lose two of the best
TOWNSVILLE Bl a c khawks duo Michael Parker- Walshe and Anthony Mitchell are retiring from the Intrust Super Cup at season’s end.
Parker- Walshe and Mitchell will retire from ISC to concentrate on their work commitments, and the hunt is now on to find replacements for the classy pair.
Townsville Blackhawks operations manager Adrian Thomson said it would be a difficult task to fill the void left by Parker- Walshe, arguably the ISC’s best halfback, and Mitchell who has 39 games of NRL experience.
“They’ve both led from the front from day one,” he said.
“They’ve been an integral part of getting us to where we are today, both on and off the field, and they will be big losses in that capacity.
“It’s more that you retire from training, not playing, and being put through pre- season and then training week- in, week- out.
“They have different priorities now; Ant’s got his business going very well and Mick’s settled right down with his own house, so they have different priorities then they did a couple of years ago.
“They’re local and we’re still hopeful they’ll have ties to the club in different areas.
“Walshey keeps telling us he’ll be 130kg halfway through next year with no training, but we really appreciate having those blokes involved.”
Saturday’s game against the PNG Hunters at Jack Manski Oval will be last regular season game Parker- Walshe and Mitchell will play at home, adding further significance to a game the Blackhawks must win to ensure their place in the ISC’s top six.
Parker- Walshe made his return from a shoulder injury in last weekend’s 26- 14 win over the CQ Capras, and Mitchell has been a bedrock at hooker.
They will play in an unchanged Blackhawks team that takes on a Hunters’ team which leads the ISC ladder thanks to a barnstorming run of consistency which has swept aside almost all teams, including the Ipswich Jets who they thumped last weekend 20- 4.
“The game itself is huge and we have a lot of respect for the Hunters,” Thomson said.
“It’s a big challenge for us, but we just want to make sure we do the right thing and pay tribute to two guys who have been really good for us.
“We’re well down the recruitment line and they are big holes to fill, there’s no doubt about it. But we’re pretty confident we will fill them.”
Saturday’s kick off is 4pm.