Back-breaking effort pays off for Bronco Alex Glenn
AFTER being told at 15 he could not play contact sport, Alex Glenn has to pinch himself as he gets ready for his 200th NRL game.
The Brisbane Broncos back-rower said his back was so badly out of alignment that doctors feared any contact sport could put his spine at risk, so a chiropractor banned him from playing rugby league.
Now 28, New Zealand-born Glenn moved to the Gold Coast as a 14-year-old and played his junior league with the Burleigh Bears, but after getting the news about his back he was forced to watch on for three frustrating years.
He will line up for the Broncos against the Panthers tomorrow night and cannot believe he is reaching the big milestone after the trials and tribulations of his early playing days.
"It's surreal. To be playing 200 games in one of the toughest competitions, it's a big milestone for me,” he said.
"I don't know whether it was a growth spurt but my spine wasn't lined up right.
"I got real sharp pains at 15, saw a chiropractor and was told to pretty much give up contact football for a couple of years.
"I could have got in a bad position (in a tackle) and not been able to walk or play any sport again.
"Whenever it comes to your spine I take it pretty seriously.
"But it was tough to give up the sport you have loved since five years old.”
Glenn said chiropractic treatment and his love of surfing helped get him back on track and he was taken by the Broncos in his first season playing for the Bears in the Queensland Cup as a 19-year-old in the centres.
"It was quite surreal. It happened so fast,” he said.
"First year back I didn't have any expectation, then to be signing a NYC (Broncos under-20s) contract, I was over the moon.”
Glenn is off contract with the Broncos and is hoping to sign off on a new deal soon.
He will be hoping his 200th game will be a little better than his debut for Brisbane in 2009.
"I knew I was going on at the 20-minute mark, so every five minutes I was going to the toilet,” Glenn said.
"It was in front of 50,000 fans and against the Cowboys - I couldn't control the butterflies.
"So I don't want to think about this milestone too much otherwise it will make me nervous.”