Giv­ing his all in fi­nal cam­paign

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Black­hawks half­back Michael Park­erWal­she is de­ter­mined to guide his team through a Queens­land Cup fi­nals surge now a weight has been lifted from his shoul­ders.

The Bul­letin yes­ter­day re­vealed Parker- Wal­she had an­nounced his re­tire­ment at sea­son’s end, along with cap­tain An­thony Mitchell, ahead of Satur­day’s cru­cial clash against the PNG Hun­ters at Jack Man­ski Oval.

Parker- Wal­she made the tough de­ci­sion dur­ing his re­cent sidelin­ing through in­jury, say­ing the two weeks away from foot­ball helped him con­tem­plate the fu­ture.

The news came as a shock to Black­hawks sup­port­ers and mem­bers, given the 26year- old is still play­ing some of his best rugby league.

Last week­end Park­erWal­she ( pic­tured) laid the plat­form for the Black­hawks’ much needed 24- 14 win over the CQ Capras, his high­lights in­clud­ing a pin­point high ball for winger Jonathon Reuben to tap back inside for cen­tre Jor­dan Drew to score.

But Parker- Wal­she is at peace with his de­ci­sion, say­ing the tim­ing is right.

“I’ve got an­other cou­ple of things go­ing on in my life now, and for the last few months I started think­ing about the things that will look af­ter me when my footy days are over,” he said.

“I’m part of a busi­ness that has been ex­cep­tion­ally good to me and that’s what I need to con­cen­trate on now.

“When I was out in­jured I was away from the group for a while and that gave me ex­tra time to be by my­self and think about the de­ci­sion.

“The body’s tak­ing a bit longer to heal and I’m not get­ting any younger.

“The Black­hawks pride them­selves on giv­ing 100 per cent, and that’s some­thing I soon won’t be able to do any more. The last thing I want to do is not be able to give 100 per cent for this team.”

A for­mer North Queens­land Cowboys un­der- 20s half­back – who formed the NYC’s best halves com­bi­na­tion with Michael Mor­gan – Parker- Wal­she was re­cruited to the Black­hawks’ in­au­gu­ral Q Cup squad af­ter play­ing Townsville and Dis­tricts Rugby League with Brothers. He re­linked with B l a c k h a w k s coach Kris­tian Woolf, his men­tor the at Cowboys un­der- 20s, and a hand­ful of for­mer NYC team­mates.

“The orig­i­nal con­ver­sa­tion about my re­tire­ment was with Woolfy and that was pretty tough, con­sid­er­ing he’s been my coach for six to seven years,” Parker- Wal­she said. “He was a lit­tle shocked, as with most of the boys, but like I said it just felt right and they’ve been sup­port­ive.

“Now I can just con­cen­trate do­ing my best for the team and hope­fully hav­ing a red hot go in the fi­nals.” The sixth- placed Black­hawks can guar­an­tee their fi­nals berth with a win over the lad­der­lead­ing Hun­ters on Satur­day, which is the Black­hawks’ fi­nal home game of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Kick- off is 4pm.

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