To say Jake Trbojevic was excited over the contract extension for Trent Barrett would be an understatement.
The Sea Eagles vice-captain and Australian Test forward is a massive fan of Barrett, declaring he wants to play out his career under him.
Trbojevic sat down with Manly Media Manager Wayne Cousins to talk about Barrett and the culture he has created at the club.
Wayne: Jake, it is easy to see how pumped you are about the extension of Coach Trent Barrett until the end of the 2020 season just by your energy. He means that much to you?
Jake: I am that rapt. It's very exciting. We are very lucky to have him as our Head Coach. He has been enormous for our club. He has really turned us around, both on and off the field. We have really improved as a team. We are a close knit group and that is testament to him. I want to play under Trent my whole career.
Wayne: What was it about Trent you liked from your first meeting with him?
Jake: He is just a real down to earth top bloke. That was the first thing I noticed. He is a really smart footy coach. He played at the highest level for a long time and played Origin and Australia, so what he did in the game as a player you have a lot of respect for. When he talks, everyone listens. Trent is one of those blokes that you often hear people saying ‘they are playing for their coach’. He has the whole playing group on his side. You want to win for him. Manly is a real proud club and you want to go out and win every week. That comes from the top. Trent is so passionate and so proud to be at the Sea Eagles.
Wayne: Every player you talk to praises Trent for the culture he has built over the past two years. He really does care about your life on and off the field?
Jake: Trent wants the best for us as players, not only on the field but off it…that’s one of his greatest assets. He really cares about you, the person, and is not just worried about results, even though results matter. Losses really hurt him and when we win, he is so pumped. It is the whole package. This year proved how good he is as a coach by taking us to the finals. He really turned us around. He has taken this club off its knees. Everyone wants to play for him. On a personal level, Trent has really helped my game. I have been lucky enough to have now played for the Kangaroos and that’s because of his guidance.
Wayne: Your World Cup unfortunately ended early due to a pec injury. How is the recovery coming along and what did you take from the experience with the Kangaroos again?
Jake: The operation went well. I will have my right arm in a sling for a few more weeks but I reckon I will be doing full contact work by February. I loved every moment of being with the Kangaroos. To get to play for your country, there is no higher honour. (Coach) Mal Meninga puts so much pride into that Australian jersey. To start against England was a pretty special feeling. I got to meet a few new players and got to play alongside some future Immortals. Not many people can say they have done that, so that’s pretty special for me.
Wayne: You are person who is always active. We know you love your golf, so how are you coping and what have you been doing outside of supporting the boys at pre-season training?
Jake: I haven’t done much. I can’t even walk our dog, Cliffy (named after Cliffy Lyons) because it is too old (laughs). I’ve basically been hanging out for a few hours at my mate’s café, 11 Eleven, and at Livoti’s Restaurant. I came to training the first week because I wanted to see the boys as I’ve been bored at home (laughing). I just really enjoy seeing everyone and that’s again down to the culture we have here. As for the golf, I miss playing at Wakehurst and Mona Vale. My plan was after the World Cup to head up the coast to try and get some cash off ‘Killer’ (Jamie Lyon) on the course. At least the Australian Open Golf is on next week and I can watch my man, Jordan Spieth, play. When I first got into golf, he was killing it and was my age, so I started going for him. He has already won three majors at the age of 24. How good is that!