Joel enjoyed a stellar back end to season 2011, playing five matches in the NRL under Jim Dymock before winning a NSW Cup Premiership. Pound for pound one of the best hitters in the competition, Joel became a father for the first time late in the year, welcoming a son, Joel Junior.
Joel Romelo joined the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs midway through the 2010 NRL season after starting his First Grade career at the Penrith Panthers.
Raised in Darwin before moving to Brisbane as a 12 year-old, Romelo made his mark in more ways than one in his relatively short time out west, being involved in a much-publicised training toe-to-toe with then teammate Trent Waterhouse in early 2009 before making his NRL debut just months later against the Canberra Raiders. He was also one of the standouts over 2008-09 for the Panthers in the Toyota Cup, where he built a reputation for his hard-hitting impact in defence.
The former Queensland schoolboys representative switched to the Bulldogs in March after being dismissed by the Panthers for disciplinary reasons, and the tough as nails hooker made amends while also doing some good things for the Bulldogs at NSW Cup level. His redemption came in round 11 of the 2010 season, when he made his debut in blue and white against his former club, taking the field at CUA Stadium in the absence of NSW Origin hooker Michael Ennis.
He would play the next two matches, against the Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers, to take his overall tally in the NRL to six games. A string of solid performances back in NSW Cup then had him set to finish 2010 in style before injury intervened to end his season early.
Favourite holiday destination? Queensland
Favourite food? Steak
Player you most admire?
Favourite sportsman (outside rugby league)? Roger Federer
Funniest team-mate? Corey Payne
Messiest team-mate? Josh Reynolds
Favourite TV show? Any sport
Biggest influence on your career? Hard to narrow it down to one person
Charity you support? Camp Quality & Save Our Sons
Are you an ambassador for any community groups? Camp Quality and Save Our Sons