Wynnum cult hero brings his superstitions to Jets
HE HAS a hang-up over crossing white lines and more superstitions than can be counted on two hands, but that is all part of what makes Jets recruit Peter Gubb such a great signing.
Clubs need characters, and whilst the Jets are not short of those, "Gubby" has been a welcome inclusion for his upbeat personality and the aforementioned gameday quirks.
Coach Shane Walker labelled Gubb "a welcome, refreshing change" to the team dynamic, adding he "walks to the beat of his own drum" when discussing the early impact the premiership-winning Wynnum-Manly winger has brought to North Ipswich.
One of the last remaining bastions at Wynnum of the highly successful Paul Green era, Gubb was something of a cult hero at the Seagulls.
He followed brother Charlie to the club in 2012, and won a premiership in his first season.
Gubb was part of the furniture at Wynnum, living across the road from the junior grounds and working at the leagues club.
"I hope they were," Gubb said when asked if the Wynnum faithful would be sad to see him go.
"A lot of the boys at Wynnum don't live locally. I think, because I lived in the area . . . the punters could relate to (me). Someone you would see watching the juniors on a Saturday just for something to do."
But all good things must come to an end, and Gubb admitted the decision to leave was one which weighed on his mind for a long time.
"I felt maybe I was getting a little flat at Wynnum," he said.
"I wasn't getting picked in the (Intrust Super Cup) team, and I wasn't sure if I was capable of doing what the coach said I needed to do to get back in the team.
"But I was so comfortable there, I was scared to make the decision to leave - I was probably thinking about it for a couple of years.
"You don't want to be disloyal, but I thought if I was ever going to do it, it had to be now.
"I did enjoy my last season at Wynnum. We won the (BRL) competition with a really fun team. But I didn't want to just go through the motions at training for another year."
Just why the Jets became Gubb's desired destination quickly became clear.
"I saw Ben Shea come out from Wynnum last year. Things didn't work out for him in his last season there, (but) he went really well last year (at the Jets) as almost the leading forward in the competition," Gubb said of his good friend and now two-time teammate.
"It was like he exploded again. I thought maybe (a move to the Jets) could do the same for me."
Despite having a brother in the NRL, Gubb was transparent about the nervousness he felt when he got to the Jets and rubbed shoulders with some of the bigger names.
For all his personal accomplishments - a premiership winner and Queensland Residents representative - Gubb still gets "starstruck".
"I was a little nervous meeting the big dogs to start with, like Tyson (Folipo), Marmin (Barba) and Purcy (Michael Purcell)," he said with a grin.
"I don't know why. Whenever NRL players get dropped back I always panic."
Another reason the Jets were so attractive a landing spot for Gubb was the relaxed environment around the team.
He said it was a drastic change to the culture at the Seagulls.
"Training has been really different to how it is at Wynnum," he said. "It's acceptable (here) to make mistakes because you're getting better at playing that open style of footy. At Wynnum, you get nervous if you make a mistake - 'oh, is that a cross next to my name?'
"I don't feel like it's that way out here. The physical training is similar, there's lots of hard work but it's a little bit more relaxed."
For all the discussion around what Gubb brings to the Jets off the field, it is on the field where he and the coaching staff anticipate he will make the biggest impact.
As a big-bodied winger not afraid to do the grunt work, Gubb is not the traditional pacey, sidestepping-type outside runner the Jets usually employ on the perimeter.
Walker added a key benefit of adding Gubb to the squad was his big game experience.
"He's played rep footy and is a grand final winner," Walker said.
"Guys that know how to win finals are always good to have in the team."