The past two days have been very exciting for the Trobjevic family.
On Monday, Tom – the outstanding Manly full-back – turned 21. The family had a double reason to celebrate a few hours later when Tom and Jake were selected in the Australian Kangaroos squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Manly Sea Eagles Media Manager Wayne Cousins caught up with the brothers today to talk about the World Cup, the birthday celebrations, and their love of golf.
Wayne: How did you find out about being selected for Australia?
Jake: Manly Football Manager Gareth Holmes rang around lunch time. He was my Kangaroos Manager last year on the Four Nations tour. He called us individually to congratulate us. We really appreciated it.
Tom: When Gareth told me, I was pretty shocked, and pretty happy at the same time. Growing up, you dream about playing for Australia. I had the chance to pull on the green and gold for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII game in PNG a fortnight ago. To do that for the first time alongside Jake was pretty special.
Jake: I’m so happy for Tom. It is always a proud moment whenever you get picked for Australia, but when your brother gets picked as well, it is pretty cool. With the World Cup being played here, hopefully we can get to play in a game or two together in front of our family and friends.
Tom: Any opportunity to wear an Australian jersey is very special. To be able to represent your country playing the game that you love is a great honour. Hopefully I can get a game or two and wear those colours again.
Wayne: The family must have been pretty excited by the selections?
Jake: Mum, Dad, and Nan were pretty happy, as was our younger brothers, Ben and Luke.
Tom: Mum loves her footy and now she gets to watch us play a bit more this year, so she is very excited.
Wayne: Is it fair to say outside the family home, your biggest fan is your Nan?
Jake: Nan loves her league. She watches every NRL match each weekend, and knows every player. Just loves her footy. She always comes to the Manly games at Lottoland. She came up to Brisbane to watch me play Origin, and has travelled to the Gold Coast to watch Tom and me play.
Wayne: When you are in representative camps, what do you look to gain the most from it. Is it the chance to learn more from the likes of some of Australia’s greatest players in Coach Mal Meninga and Captain Cameron Smith?
Jake: Cameron is such a great leader on and off the field. His record speaks for itself with what he has done in the game. He is a great bloke and is always willing to help you improve your game.
Tom: To be able to learn from someone like Cameron Smith will be very special within itself. Blokes like him, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, are legends of the game with what they have achieved. To be in camp with them and to learn off them is an honour. If I got the chance to play alongside them in a match, it would be pretty surreal. I want to learn as much as I can from them.
Jake: Mal is a quality person and a natural leader. He really puts a lot of pride into the Australian jersey and everyone buys into it. When he speaks, everyone listens and there is this aura about him. I have learnt a lot from him already.
Wayne: With Tom’s birthday and you both making the Australian squad, how were the celebrations?
Tom: There was no party. I’m not a party person. We just went out for lunch at the Newport Hotel, and then enjoyed a dinner at Lucky's & Pep's in Newport. Ben and Luke got me a box of Pro V Titleist golf balls, and I got a nice watch from Mum. Jake just gave me money. He has plenty of it, so he was happy to give money to the less fortunate (laughs)
Jake: I wanted to get clothes for Tom because I always wear his, but I didn’t know what to buy. Would he like it? Would it be the right fit? It was too hard, so I thought it be best for Tom to get them. That’s fair enough, I reckon.
Wayne: You could have got him some golf shirts at least?
Jake: He has that many golf shirts, it’s not funny (laughs). You should see them all. Trust me, he doesn’t need any more.
Tom: The guys at Nike help me out with that. I do love my Nike golf shirts.
Wayne: How is the golf game coming along, boys?
Jake: It is not good at the moment because we haven’t been able to play much lately. We will try and get a few games in soon, and then after the World Cup, we will go up to Jamie Lyon’s place up north. He is a member of Ballina Golf Club. Hopefully I can get the handicap down, and just maybe, take a few dollars off ‘Killer’.
Wayne: What is the handicap now?
Jake: I’m a single figure marker...nearly down to 3 (laughing). No, I'm off 14. Tom is off 22.
Wayne: Describe each other’s golf games?
Tom: Jake can chip pretty well but if he shanks one shot, he is mentally gone. It’s similar to the footy field. He has no ticker (smiles cheekily).
Jake: My driving is pretty average. My low irons are good. I do get rattled if I shank one. Tom can hit them alright but he is pretty erratic. When he gets hold of one, he hits them pretty long.
Tom: It is pretty rare.
Jake: We do love our golf and we are members at Mona Vale. We have also joined Wakehurst now with (team-mate) Dylan Walker. We played with ‘Walkz’ at Wakehurst a few weeks back when he got his hole-in-one on the 13th hoke – a little par-3 down the hill… nice hole. It’s a great course, Wakey.
Tom: I basically cheered like I got it.
Jake: It was Chad Randall (Manly Assistant Coach) and me, versus Tom and ‘Walkz’. They were all over us and Chad and I thought we were going to pull a shot back on that hole. Then Dylan holed it.
Tom: You can put this in…Chad was so bad it was unbelievable. Jake put Chad on his back and tried to carry him. He was a burden.
Jake: When ‘Walkz’ got the hole in one, we all went berserk. We carried on more than him. It was the first one I had ever seen. It was so good.
Tom: I thought Dylan was pretty humble about it though (laughs).
Wayne: Thanks for the chat boys. Good luck at the World Cup and also with the golf game.
Jake: Cheers mate