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The two men called Des in Corey Waddell's life

There are two men called Des, who hold great sway in Corey Waddell's life.

There is Des Hasler, his coach at Manly, and there is Des Martin, his "pop" living on a farm at Hartley Vale, a small village 12km outside of Lithgow.

"Whenever we get a weekend off, or two days, I go out there and help my pop out. It’s a cattle farm and I love getting out there. Every time I come back I feel heaps fresh and ready to go," Waddell said.

The rejuvenation will be needed as the Sea Eagles take on the brute force of the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.

But the work ethic Waddell applies to his football is mirrored in his admiration for Hasler – who has turned him into a first grader – and for Martin, who stepped in and became the father-like presence when his dad, former Penrith and Dragons forward Steve Waddell, died of a heart attack. Corey was just 15.

"He and my uncle were really good [after father's death]. They were always there for me.

"He is a Manly fan now. He’s not a massive footy head but he watches my games. He wants me to do what I want.

Warriors v Sea Eagles - Round 21

"It is a release out there. I don’t notice it until I get back down here to the city because it’s different out there. It’s so good. I love it."

Hasler might have second thoughts on letting his young forward head bush if he realised some of the personal injury risks on offer.

"I fix fences, mend tractors, there’s always something to do. Whatever my pop has broken I’m usually trying to fix it," Waddell said.

"Seriously there’s always stuff to do because he’s always working.

"Pop just got out of hospital actually. He put a big tractor fork through his leg. It can be dangerous but I can look after myself.

"We try to get him to slow down but he doesn’t," he said of his 66-year-old grandfather.

"He’ll get injured one day and the next he’s still out there working. He’s a real hard worker and Mum is too. I think that’s where that work ethic comes in on my side."

And looking closer to his work environment he sees that ethic in Hasler and in his forward comrade Jake Trbojevic.

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Some of my Fam :) #Pop #cousin #sister ❤

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"Every week I watch him play and yeah, he’s a freak. He doesn’t stop," Waddell said.

"I don’t know how he keeps going and going – just making tackles, runs. He’s a good player to watch.

"Being young and in my first year of first grade it’s just good to see someone like that, you can learn so much off him. I develop my game off him whenever I can."

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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