Manly Sea Eagles second-rower Curtis Sironen received a nice surprise at training today on the eve of his 100th game in the NRL against the Gold Coast Titans tomorrow.
As Curtis enjoyed a few laughs with his team-mates prior to the training beginning, standing quietly in the background was his father, Paul – the former Balmain, NSW and Australian forward.
Following a few words from Coach Des Hasler, Paul addressed the Sea Eagles squad on what it meant to the Sironen family for Curtis to reach 100 games after overcoming a series of injuries since making his NRL debut in 2012.
The strong bond between father and son was evident as Paul presented 25-year-old Curtis his milestone game jersey.
Curtis played 65 first grade games for Wests Tigers before joining Manly in 2017 where he has gone on to establish himself as a valuable hard-working back-rower.
“What Curtis has been through to make it here….he had nine major surgeries before he was 23-years- old,’’ Paul said, proudly.
“I’ve see him go through shoulder reconstructions, neck surgery, foot surgeries. He has battled but he has come out the other side as a better person.
“He is a professional when it comes to his rehab. Curtis works hard on his body. We are really proud of where he is at the moment.”
Paul said he had noticed how much more confident his son was a person at Manly.
“Curtis has really grown up in the last six months and I think Des has had a lot to do with that too,’’ Paul stated.
“I know how much he loves the playing group here at the Sea Eagles. They are playing some really good football under Des and he is playing well too. He has really found a home here at Manly.
“In rugby league, there are hurdles along the way and sometimes you need a change in clubs. He has come through it well and hopefully he can now string together a few good seasons.”
And with Curtis now having 34 games in Sea Eagles colours, Paul has become somewhat of a regular visitor to Lottoland and the Manly dressing room.
Dare we say it, Paul has even been spotted wearing a Manly cap!
“It was a sunny afternoon at Lottoland. I had to keep the sun out of my eyes,’’ Paul joked.
“Seriously, I love to see Curtis play finals footy again. Who knows, if Manly played the Tigers in the finals, it certainly would be interesting.”