Giving his all in final campaign
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.