When one first meets Sam Pinomi, it is hard not to be impressed by his maturity and leadership qualities.
At just 15 years of age, this young Sea Eagles second-rower is a real talent, on and off the field.
A hard-working second-rower, people listen when Pinomi speaks.
His maiden speech after being appointed captain of the Harold Matthews team had people of all ages shaking their heads in disbelief, including Manly CEO Lyall Gorman, NRL Captain Daly Cherry-Evans, and proud Sea Eagles junior and vice-captain Jake Trbojevic.
Pinomi credits his public speaking skills to his late father.
"I was raised in the church. My Dad was a Reverend. He passed away when I was 14,'' Pinomi said.
"If anything, I got my 'gift' off him from what I've been told.
"My Dad was always around the church. It really helped me to become an individual, and to grow as a person.
"I didn't get to see him as much as I would have liked because of his commitments but I have held onto the moments he did spend time with me. I really want to follow in my Dad's footsteps, to do something with the church. It runs in the family."
Pinomi says the privilege of being captain of a very talented U16s team was not lost on him.
"It is a great honour to be captain of this Manly team. It is going to be an exciting season. We have got a really big pack and we have to use it our advantage,'' Pinomi said.
There is a really strong bond between the players. We have a really good culture here at Manly.Sam Pinomi
New Harold Matthews Coach Trevor Ott said Pinomi impressed him from the first time he met the Year 10 student.
"We had 46 players involved in our pre-season group and he had every player on their knees praying after one of our training sessions. And that hasn't changed,'' Ott said.
"Sam is very respectful and thanks the coaching staff and the volunteers for giving their time for the team. He really has the boys in line and if someone puts a foot out of place, he is not happy with that.
"The leadership group that he leads with (five-eighth) Kaeo Weekes and (hooker) Gordon Chan Kum Tong has been fantastic for us. They are a very respectful group and are conscious of what they say and how they portray themselves.
"The good thing about Sam is he just doesn't 'talk the talk'. He leads by example.
"Sam is very strong running his lines off our halves and is a very solid defender. He will have a big season on that right edge."
As for earning and gaining respect, Pinomi has a simple theory.
"I say to my players to always have the mentality of an arrogant person....to think like an arrogant person but react like a humble person,'' he said.
"That way your standards are always high but don't be disappointed when someone lets you down."
Manly SG Ball Coach Brett Fulton said Pinomi, who he had in his squad last year, was one of the most impressive youngsters he had met.
"Sam always has a positive attitude. He is very polite and a humble kid too,'' Fulton said.
"I can only see him having success with that attitude."