Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players will head into the upcoming season full of confidence and even stronger self-belief following a successful four day camp in Wollongong.
Based at the Novotel Hotel, the players enjoyed the seaside change Wollongong had to offer in between some gruelling training sessions at the home ground of the Collegians Rugby League Club in Figtree.
The team also enjoyed a superb seafood dinner at the Lagoon Restaurant.
Manly Captain Daly Cherry-Evans said there were many positives to be taken from the camp ahead of the first trial against Cronulla Sharks on Saturday, February 17.
“This camp came at a really good time for us. The pre-season itself has been exhausting. It’s been great. Physically, we are ready to play some footy,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
We are strong, we are fit, and we are fast.Daly Cherry-Evans
"And we are getting sick of hurting each other at training. We are looking forward to the trials very much now.”
Vice-captain Jake Trbojevic said the players enjoyed the change of scenery.
“It has been really good to get away. We have been training at Narrabeen for the best part of three months now, so it is good to break it up and be at a different place,’’ Trbojevic said.
“All of the boys have enjoyed each other’s company and it has been good to get to know some of the new players more too.”
Experienced forward Lewis Brown said the camp was more than just about hard training sessions.
“It has been one of the better camps I have been on. You can go away on camps like these and they can be so footy orientated which is the main focus naturally’’ Brown said.
“Sometimes when you are living in each other’s pockets all the time, it can be overwhelming but Trent and the staff have made this week really enjoyable.”
Kiwi Test prop Martin Taupau said the camp was a great opportunity for some of the new players to spend quality time with their team-mates.
“It has been about team bonding, understanding each other’s likes and dislikes, and their trigger points,’’ Taupau said.
“We are all professionals and we know each other’s attributes on the field, so it is more just about understanding the person. It has been really good to get away from our everyday environment.”
Exciting young half-back Luke Metcalf said he took plenty of positives from his first NRL team camp.
“To be able to spend a good few days away with the players and staff has been very good for me,’’ Metcalf said.
“The training is always demanding but off the field, we have taken so much from it as well.
“I enjoyed sharing and learning more things from the senior players, including my room-mate Lewis Brown. It has been a very good camp for not only myself, but for everyone. We are ready to play.”