Record breaking scorer Lollback making cameo in local league
FORMER Grafton fullback Mitch Lollback returns south of the Queensland border today.
He lines up on the flank for the Queensland Rangers side to take on New South Wales Ron Massey Cup representatives at Geoff King Motors Oval in Coffs Harbour.
After a standout season for the Ghosts last year, Lollback has been plying his trade for the Wynnum Manly Redland City Seagulls in the Brisbane Rugby League competition, which is a step below playing Queensland Cup.
The young fullback was selected to play for the Brisbane Rugby League Poinsettias representative side at the QRL State Division Carnival but was forced to pull out of the competition due to required dental surgery from an injury sustained earlier this season.
Despite not playing in the carnival, which acted as a trial for selection in the Rangers side, Lollback has been selected to replace Brett Coutts, who was forced out of the side by injury, on the wing.
"Someone pulled out at the start of the week so I was a late call-up," Lollback said.
"It was really just a stroke of luck that I made the side and it should be good to play representative football.
"I am really looking forward to it because it is definitely a step forward in my professional playing career."
For Lollback, who grew up in the Clarence Valley idolising NSW Blues' legend Andrew Johns, donning a Maroon jersey and standing opposite NSW is a little off-putting.
"It is weird staring across the halfway line at Blues jerseys," he said.
"I have always supported NSW and continue to support them but I guess you have to play for who selects you."
Lollback will line up on the wing, which is a foreign role for the attacking fullback.
"You know, I don't think I have ever played a full game of footy on the wing before," Lollback said.
"My first game for Wynnum Manly I may have played half a match there but that is about as much as I have played.
"But I do not think I will suffer from any lack of ball.
"Samsen O'Neill is playing the centre position inside me, he is a gun player from up near Townsville.
"All the guys in this side are guns.
"You can tell it is a step above what we have been doing this season at Wynnum but luckily the training has mostly just been ball skills work which is not too hard."
The call-up to the Rangers side was reward for consistent performances Lollback has been putting in on the field for the Seagulls side this season.
Grafton Ghosts manager Joe Kinnane said he was immensely proud that Lollback had been selected to represent Queensland.
"Mitchy called into the Ghosts' training on Tuesday night on his way to camp in Coffs Harbour and I tell you he is looking good," Kinnane said.
"He had a rough start to this season with the injuries but he is looking good now.
"I know it will be a bit tough for him pulling on a maroon jersey but I know he will give 110% no matter the jersey.
"He is a first class footballer and first class bloke."