HE earns a crust working in construction but Matt Nicoll is set to begin a rebuilding effort of a different sort with the Queanbeyan Blues.
A former premiership winning halfback with the Blues in 2002, Nicoll has rejoined the east Queanbeyan club after spending the past four seasons playing in Newcastle’s Tooheys Cup competition.
His signing is a huge boost for the Blues who have been without a recognized halves pairing this season and is currently on a three-game losing streak.
The side’s disappointing run reached a new low last-start after going down at home to the previously winless West Belconnen Warriors.
Nicoll’s experience in the halves, where he’ll link up with his younger brother Ben, will likely prove an invaluable asset as the Blues attempt to reestablish themselves as a genuine premiership threat over the coming weeks.
And despite having played just one game so far in his return to the club, the former Newcastle representative halfback acknowledged there was a certain amount of pressure on his shoulders.
“The Blues are a pretty proud club so there is definitely pressure there,” Matt admitted when asked about the expectations he could help turn the side’s season around. “But I’m at that stage of my career now where I’m a bit older and a bit smarter so hopefully that experience will get me through.”
Originally from Junee, the 30-year-old last played for the Blues as part of the side’s 2002 grand final win over the West Belconnen Warriors.
Since then, the carpenter by trade has enjoyed playing stints in northern Queensland, Wollongong and most recently with South Newcastle.
But the three-time Newcastle representative halfback said it had always been the plan to return to the Blues – even if it has taken a little longer than expected.
“When I left the Blues I was originally only supposed to be going up to Queensland for 12 months and it’s ended up taking me 10 years to get back,” he said.
“It’s been long enough…I’d just had enough of living away from home so I decided it was time to come back and finish off the season playing with my brother.
“I’ve got a lot of family back here so I was always going to come back at some point.”