OLIVER Gildart could be forgiven for having part of his mind on the other side of the world.
But all thoughts are on Pemberton rather than Parramatta, Standish rather than Shellharbour and Gathurst rather than Glebe.
For the Wigan centre is only concentrating on helping his ‘clunky’ home town club to Grand Final glory before departing for the NRL.
Tonight sees the England man make his final appearance at the DW Stadium before joining Wests Tigers as the Warriors’ play-off campaign starts.
And despite a season that has seen them written off by so many, the belief they can go one better than last year’s agonising Grand Final defeat is still there.
Gildart, 25, said: “With the season and how crazy it’s been, I’ve tried not to think about the move.
“My last home game will be quite emotional personally but it’s been easy to separate that from my duties with Wigan.
“It doesn’t feel real yet. The time will come when I have to leave for Australia but I’ll just deal with it then. It’s not been too much like hard work though.
“As a team, we’ve been very clunky. We’ve not got certain things right but we secured fourth spot and anything can happen from here.
“And for a clunky side, having a chance of getting to the Grand Final isn’t bad at all. A lot of people write us off but we’re in a position where we can go on and win it.
“Individually, this season’s been frustrating. I tore my groin at the start and the volume of games coming back – playing two or three times a week – wasn’t ideal.
“Social media’s not a good thing to be on if you’re a sportsman, especially if you play for Wigan. People expect you to win every game and it can be brutal.
“But I see the work the lads put in every day, that’s what gives us confidence. We’re coming to the crunch end of the season with a lot of healthy bodies coming back.”
Gildart visited Hindley, the club nearest to where he grew up, to help enhance the facilities as part of the Pride in the Community initiative launched by England sponsors Ronseal which gives back to grassroots clubs.
And he is in no doubt the work being put in will pay dividends, adding: “It’s massive. I’ve seen Hindley develop over the years and it’s needed. In Wigan, a lot of kids play rugby league and it’s important they have great facilities to go to.”
*Speaking to the Sun, as part of “Pride in the Community”, an initiative launched by Ronseal, the UK & Ireland’s premier woodcare brand, to give back to grassroots rugby league communities.