Former Manly star Anthony Watmough is chomping at the bit to face his ex-teammates in the opening round of the 2015 season, according to Sea Eagles skipper Jamie Lyon.
Watmough, who travels an hour and a half to and from Parramatta each day for preseason training, has maintained regular contact with his Northern Beaches associates and has revealed his excitement for round one.
Both Lyon and Watmough have been key members of Manly’s success over the past decade. Together, the pair has collected two premierships and has built a strong bond along the way.
However, come season kick-off in March, both players will find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they face-off against one another for the first time in over a decade.
“It will be a good game to play Chocy out there, his first game in Parramatta colours. It’s going to be a little bit different but like I said it’s going to be a great game and atmosphere and a great one for spectators,” Lyon said.
“The boys still see him around and catch up with him. He’s still in the area and I’m sure he’s just as excited as us to play against each other.
What was formerly Lyon’s stomping ground is now Watmough’s new home. The Eels have made Pirtek Stadium one of the hardest places for opposition teams to travel to, and having been beaten at the venue last season, Lyon is fully aware of the task that lies ahead.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s obviously going to be a hard game, as they all are. I’m expecting a massive crowd at Pirtek (Stadium), so it’s really a great game to get the season started,” Lyon said.
The Sea Eagles will have to make back-to-back interstate trips into Townsville and Brisbane mid-season, but Lyon and his teammates have ways around overcoming the struggles of long-distance trips.
“It’s always tough but we try and make them a little bit fun as well,” He said. “We try and play a little bit of cards and spend a little time together, so we quite enjoy it as well. “