It was only fitting that Zac Fulton and Gordon Chan Kum Tong shared the Sea Eagles Jersey Flegg Cup awards for season 2022.
Having come through the Sea Eagles Academy and then the junior representative ranks together, Fulton took out the Russ Bull Best and Fairest award with Chan Kum Tong collecting the Players’ Player award.
And when it comes to toughness, determination, leadership and sheer competitiveness, both players displays those qualities and so much more.
The Best and Fairest award was a just reward for Fulton who made a superb NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park.
An old-fashioned style of player who could have easily slotted into any era, Fulton is a hard-working, driven and aggressive lock with a willingness to succeed, yet off the field is a very laid-back character who has quickly endeared himself to his teammates and fans alike.
Fulton was one of the top performers for tackles, runs and run metres made in the Jersey Flegg this season.
“Zac is one of those players you love playing with. He always has your back,’’ Chan Kum Tong said.
“When times are rough, he is the bloke you can count on in attack and defence.
“He is the first player to put his hand up and take a tough carry.
“Zac is willing to do anything for his team and you can’t help but be inspired by his actions. He deserved his success this year.”
As for Chan Kum Tong, this terrific young hooker oozes a level of professionalism, competitiveness and natural leadership well beyond his years.
After joining the club as a 14-year-old junior, Chan Kum Tong quickly embraced the Manly way of life, setting the benchmark for his team-mates and leading by example on and off the field.
He has been instrumental to the success of all the Sea Eagles junior representative teams he has played in and fully deserved his promotion to the NRL squad as a development player this season.
A crafty and intelligent hooker, Chan Kum Tong has either been a vice-captain or captain of every Manly team he has played in, including this year’s Jersey Flegg Cup side.
Fulton said when it comes to being an inspirational leader, Chan Kum Tong is the player that others admire and choose to follow.
“Gordie is just so tough. Stature wise, he is a duck on the field,’’ Fulton said with a cheeky laugh.
“I love playing with Gordie. We started off our journeys together in the Manly system trying to make our way and to now be training with him in the NRL side is a real pleasure. I couldn’t wish to do it with anyone else,’’ Fulton said.
“There is no fear there with Gordie. He is the first one I want next to me saying ‘let’s get up off the line here’
“He has great leadership qualities. Whether it be on the field or off it, Gordie is the first one speaking up. I would follow him into any battle.
“I have no doubt Gordie will make it in the NRL. He just needs to listen to the coaches and do what he needs to do because the talent is there, the attack is there, and so is the defence.
“Gordie just needs to bide his time because he will get there.”