The appeal of learning from two fine halves in Trent Barrett and Daly Cherry-Evans was the bait that lured former Shark Luke Metcalf to Manly
The talented five-eighth/half was one player the Sharks didn’t want to lose after leaving his home town of Coffs Harbour to join Cronulla’s junior program in 2015 before going on to played Harold Matthews and SG Ball.
A former student at Endeavour Sports High, Metcalf played nine NYC games for Cronulla this season and scored a hat-trick of tries for the NSW U18s team against Queensland.
At just 18, Metcalf has impressed in his first month of pre-season training and is relishing the chance to learn more about halves play and game management from Barrett and Cherry-Evans.
“To be able to be coached under Trent Barrett and to learn from Daly Cherry-Evans was the main attraction for me to come here,’’ Metcalf said.
“Trent was a really good half in his day and to be coached by a former NSW/Australian half, it was an opportunity that was pretty hard to turn down.
“It was the same with Daly. He has played for Qld and Australia. To learn off people off like that is just great for me.
“Daly is very professional. He leads by example in everything he does.
“He came in on the first day of pre-season training when the senior players had an extra week off. He did the 2km time trials and it set a good example for the rest of the squad.
“Daly has given me some good insights and tips on passing or running with the ball. He is very happy to work on my game.
“To have Trent there as well as Daly is huge for me. Trent helps me at every training session. He tells what I’m doing well and what I can do better. He can analyse my game and it can only help me improve.”
With just a fortnight of pre-season training left before the Christmas break, Metcalf knows every session is important in the run in to the trials in February.
“The toughness of first grade training is nothing I have ever experienced before. I am getting used to the heavy training load and although it is hard, it is very enjoyable as well,’’ Metcalf said.
“I have done a lot of hard work to be the position I am, but the reality is, it is only just the beginning.
“There a lot of players who wish they could be in this same position and I’m conscious of that. I plan on never wasting the opportunities I have in front of me no matter what grade I play.”