Jamie Humphreys doesn’t need to walk far to ask for advice from one of Manly’s greatest halves pairing in Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran.
For Humphreys’ locker at the team’s training base in Narrabeen is right opposite the premiership winning pair.
“They are so professional and are very good role models for any young player coming through,’’ the 19-year-old half-back said.
“The longevity in their careers and their journeys are unmatched really. The way they prepare and go about things is something that I look up to.”
Being around dressing rooms and rugby league has been second nature to Humphreys from a young age.
His father, Stephen, is a former Balmain Tigers first grade player and the current Sea Eagles CEO. His Pop, Kevin, was an ex-Tigers player and long-serving NSWRL Chairman who played a major role in establishing the State of Origin series.
“I’ve always loved being around the game. My older brother, Aaron, and I were once Wests Tigers ball boys when Dad was the CEO,’’ Humphreys said.
“We were only young but I remember the NRL team was warming up in the sheds and Benji Marshall was passing the ball to me. His passes were so hard, I just kept thinking don’t drop the ball. I loved every minute of my days as a ball boy.”
Humphreys has quickly established himself as a quality young goal-kicking half some fine performances over the past two seasons for Manly in the SG Ball competition.
He impressed in his first SG Ball trial match for Manly after playing for the London Broncos U19s team. He was promoted to the U19s Broncos team after just his first season as a 16-year-old.
“There was an opportunity for me at the London Broncos, but my parents had decided it was time for our family to head home to Australia,'' Humphreys said.
“I had one training session with the SG Ball team and the next day, Coach Brett Fulton played me in a trial match against Newcastle. I had only been home for a day. I didn’t know anyone’s names and I was trying to calls plays.
“Fortunately, I played well, and I’ve been at Manly ever since.”
With the impact of COVID-19 shutting down the junior representative season early, Humphreys used his time to fine tune his skills and goal-kicking.
He hit the ground running in 2021, scoring two superb individual tries and kicking five goals to get the Sea Eagles home against Parramatta in wet conditions at Cabramatta in the opening round.
Humphreys maintained his form and played a major role in a great attacking side that made it through to the preliminary final.
He finished this season with four tries and 45 goals to his name to be the top points scorer in the SG Ball competition.
“I set a goal to play every game and to not miss a training session through injury. I was able to do that. I was proud of the goal-kicking as it was something I worked really hard on in what was a long off-season.”
Humphreys is now keen to take in as much experiences as he can in his first pre-season as a Manly development player under Coach Des Hasler.
“I just want to keep building and trying to find those little improvements in my game,’’ he added.
“To be able to train and learn from Daly and Kieran is great. I’m more than happy to be a ‘sponge’ and take it all from them.
“It is the same with Des and the coaching staff here. I have only been with the NRL squad for a few weeks, but they have taught me so much already.”
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