IN ACTION: Johnathan Thurston.
IN ACTION: Johnathan Thurston. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

David Shillington: 'I'd love to see him in Gympie'

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gympie Men of League will be doing all they can to get Johnathan Thurston to Gympie now that they have joined the campaign.

The Gympie Times launched the Bring JT to Gympie campaign on June 6.

"It would be a great opportunity for players and rugby league fans to meet the player many regard as Queensland's favourite son,” Gympie Men of League secretary Greg Pountney said.

JT dinkus
JT dinkus

"Men of League want to support The Gympie Times campaign because it would be great for Gympie and Men of League are part of the rugby league community in the Gympie region.

"Men of League in Gympie will be doing all we can to encourage JT to head to the Gold City.”

With the Devils having a tough season, the excitement JT could ignite in Gympie's junior and senior players could have them playing professionally.

David Shillington of the Raiders acknowledges the crowd after the Round 25 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Penrith Panthers at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Queensland Men of League manager and ex-Maroon David Shillington. LUKAS COCH

"Like most country town teams, (they) could do with some additional enthusiasm and participation. A visit from JT could provide this inspiration,” Pountney said.

"We tune in to watch these players on television and we are in awe of their skills. Many players have started that passion within junior ranks and to actually have the living legend himself in Gympie talking to these kids could ignite a dream of emulating JT and representing Queensland.”

"It would be fantastic to help JT celebrate the end of a great career and salute someone who is a role model to many on and off the field.”

Queensland Men of League manager and former Maroon David Shillington said a JT visit would be a good fit for the Devils.

"It would be uplifting for the Devils. They are not playing for big money or in front of a crowd but play for the love of the game,” Shillington said.

"Someone like JT, who is a natural skilful player and playing for the competitiveness and fun, they could relate to each other there.”

Despite a difficult year at the North Queensland Cowboys, Thurston's knowledge would be incredible for Gympie's players

"Pointers from JT wouldn't go astray such as how to goal kick, he's a sharp shooter and how to throw a cut out pass,” Shillington said.

"He is respected and under demand by the rest of the country but hopefully he can spare a day or two in, as the locals describe it, God's country.

"I would love to see him visit Gympie.

"Having been there are number of times myself, Gympie is a small town passionate about the community and rugby league.”

The Men of League Foundation provides a range of support to men, women and children within the rugby league community.

For more information visit www.menofleague.com or phone the Men of League Queensland office on 33676080.