Lachlan Croker can’t wait to pull on the Sea Eagles jersey for the first time in Gosford this Saturday night.
A former Australian Schoolboys player, Croker is enjoying his new life at Manly after leaving the Canberra Raiders to further his career under Coach Trent Barrett.
The 21-year-old will partner captain and half-back Daly Cherry-Evans for the first time in the final trial against the Roosters at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
“I can’t wait to get out there and see where I am really at,’’ Croker said today.
“To see how much we have to improve, and much I need to improve. It is really exciting.
Croker said working with a player of Cherry-Evans’ stature can be a ‘little overwhelming at times’.
“It also makes my job a lot easier because my job is to get the ball to Daly and Tom (Trbojevic),’’ he said.
“He has been through a lot of scrutiny and he has come out the other side of it unbelievably well and he is playing incredibly good football.
“Having Daly around makes me feel more comfortable. He is not going to look after me but he is going to be there for me.
“He is a pretty switched on bloke and he makes it easy for me. He knows what he wants and he knows what he wants from me.”
As for filling the role of former five-eighth Blake Green, Croker remains unfazed.
“I can’t fill his boots but I can do my job for the team,’’ he said.
“It is pretty black and white and ‘Baz’ has made it easy for me, so I feel I can do that role.”
Croker said he had concerns about his future in the game following injuries and his time playing for Mounties last season.
“It is a long year and it is tough playing reserve grade week in, week out,’’ he added.
“From where I thought I was going to be, I wasn’t happy with myself where I was.
“I had a tough couple of months there and I have been lucky enough to have pulled through the other side.
“I had thoughts about (giving it away) but I love playing the game. I love the boys you meet through the game and everything about it, so it would have been very hard for me to walk away from it.
“I feel like you always need a little bit of luck to get started. All I needed was to get a crack and hopefully I get it here and I can kick on. I am pretty grateful where I’ve ended up.”