Why Dolphins enforcer Gilbert never considered Broncos
Tom Gilbert says he joined the Dolphins without talking to cross-town rivals Brisbane out of respect for his former club.
The straight shooting Dolphins second-rower will take on the Broncos on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium in the Brisbane derby in hot form.
The 22-year-old is as tough as nails and brutal on the field. He's loyal and thoughtful off it.
When at the North Queensland Cowboys last year he decided to move to Brisbane to be closer to his family. He knew he wanted to play under Wayne Bennett but decided not to test the water at the Broncos.
"No, I just spoke to the Dolphins. I wanted to be a Dolphin,' Gilbert told AAP.
"I loved the Cowboys but I wanted to respect them in a way and I thought joining their rivals Brisbane wasn't the best way to go about it.
"I wanted to be here and play under Wayne and the older boys and be part of a new franchise."
When asked about Gilbert as a player, coach Wayne Bennett said simply: "I like what he brings."
That kept it simple for Gilbert when he assessed the uncompromising football he needed to play at the Dolphins to complement veteran leaders such as Jesse Bromwich, Mark Nicholls and Felise Kaufusi.
"Wayne spoke to me about some of the leaders he was going to get but he was always big about worrying about myself," Gilbert said.
"He said if it was about being a Dolphins player it was about what you can bring. When I joined I thought about what I can do for this team to make it better.
"I worked that out as the season went on last year and brought what I did last season."
Gilbert said it was a "tough brand" of footy with an ultra-competitive and resilient edge that the Dolphins wanted from him.
The Queensland representative is also settled away from the field.
"I wanted to be a Dolphin and play here. Family was of course a big reason," the Brisbane-born Gilbert said.
"I"ve had so much family at our home games. I had dinner the other night with my missus' family. I've had dinner with my family and nephews. They are all around now.
"It is something I missed in Townsville and that is what the Dolphins bring to me. The Dolphins brought me back home and to things I enjoy away from football."
The Dolphins are just glad they have Gilbert on board
"He is literally one of the most dedicated pros I have seen," Dolphins CEO Terry Reader said.
"Tom is focused, loves his footy and is one of the best trainers. He is an impressive young guy. There is a lot to like about Tom in every aspect on and off the field."