When Andrew Berridge sat down for a meeting over coffee in late 2016 with the Sea Eagles, little did he know where it would lead him to today.
The 38-year-old has worked his way up through the Sea Eagles Pathways Academy to be the new Strength and Conditioning Coach for Manly’s NRL team in 2022.
Whilst owning and running a local gym in late 2016, Berridge met with respected Manly Junior Representative Coach Brett Fulton in 2017 to discuss running a weight lifting session for the Harold Matthews team.
Impressed with what he heard, Fulton quickly offered Berridge the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach for the 2018 SG Ball team. Fulton has been the SG Ball Coach since then.
“I went from never doing that actual session to then doing the entire Strength and Conditioning program for SG Ball. It just rolled on from there,’’ Andrew said.
Nicknamed 'Bez', Berridge’s appointment also means he has a unique understanding of exciting youngsters such as Josh Schuster, Ben Trbojevic, Alec Tuitavake, Tolu Koula, Kaeo Weekes and others after working closely with them through the Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg teams.
Andrew Berridge talks about his role with the Sea Eagles
“I’ve had the privilege of working with these boys for a few years now and to see them come through is very exciting in itself,’’ Berridge said.
“To now to be able to be here with them day to day is even more exciting.”
Berridge said the reason why the Sea Eagles Pathways Academy is so successful is due to the people involved from the coaching staff, officials and volunteers.
“The people make the difference. You have got people who are genuine and caring,’’ he added.
“They are there to get the best out of these players, not only just on the field but as a person and a young man coming through.”
“The Club is recruiting plenty of good talent and we work hard to develop as many of them as possible all the way through to NRL.
“And there is plenty of talent coming through…the list is endless.”