With the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles celebrating its 75th year in 2021, we take a look at some of the greatest players to wear the maroon and white jersey.
Today's feature in the '75 series' is on hooker Max Krilich, a two-time premiership winning player who played 215 games for Manly after making his debut in 1970.
Max Krilich (#198)
A champion hooker, Krilich served a long apprenticeship with Manly before creating history as captain of the unbeaten 1982 Kangaroos.
Krilich was reserve grade hooker under club captain Fred Jones for many seasons but his potential did not go unnoticed.
Incredibly, after captaining the club to a reserve grade premiership in 1972, Krilich made the City Seconds team in 1973 while playing reserve grade.
Nick-named 'Thrower', Krilich assumed the mantle of top rake at the club the following year and was in the Manly side that won the 1976 grand final.
Krilich's call-up to the Test side came against NZ in the Third Test in 1978. His leadership of Manly that year, as the club overcame replays and refereeing controversies to win the grand final, saw him join seven team-mates on the Kangaroo tour.
Krilich played in the first two Tests against Great Britain but was replaced by George Peponis for the remainder of the tour and it was to be another four years before he would return to the Australian side.
In that time, he continued his ultra-consistent displays while captaining his club, edging past the 300 grade game barrier in the early 1980s.
Krilich just kept bouncing back, and following Peponis' retirement in 1982, the Manly rake was chosen to captain Australia against NZ and lead the 1982 Kangaroos.
This tour, the first to return undefeated from England and France, will long be remembered as ‘The Invincibles'.
Krilich's leadership and discipline were central to the team's success but his body was starting to show signs of wear and tear. Krilich had been a fresh reserve in Manly’s 1982 grand final loss to P’matta, and proved his fitness for the Kangaroo tour by coming on in the second half but, ten months later, he was forced to retire because of a chronic neck injury.
Krilich played a record 334 grade games for Manly and following his retirement, took on a career in administration with the club. His coaching career ended with a severe jolt when his reserve grade side failed to win a match in 1991.
In between playing in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time in rugby league where top grade players still had regular day jobs, Krilich served an apprenticeship and eventually became a qualified plumber, running his own business known as Max Krilich Plumbing Pty Ltd.
Today, Krilich is a life member of the Manly-Warringah Rugby League Football Club and is a former chairman. An avid golfer, Krilich is still involved with the Sea Eagles administration team as a Club Ambassador.
- Package image
- Package promotion
- 2021 Membership
- Package name:
- Sea Eagles 75 Membership
- Package price:
- $ 75 for one off payment
- Package includes
- 2021 75th Year anniversary pack (Members cap, lanyard, Member card)
- Exclusive access to purchase tickets to Sea Eagles home games
- 10% discount on all Sea Eagles merchandise