Kieran Foran achieved many great milestones at the Sea Eagles but one gets the feeling the Players’ Player award for 2022 will always have a special place in his heart.
Just three days after taking off his beloved number six jersey for the final time after playing his 196th game for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, Foran walked to the stage at The Star Sydney last Monday night with mixed emotions.
Foran experienced a premiership victory in 2011, a grand final defeat in 2013, enjoyed 116 wins, laid on 105 try assists, and recorded 168 club points through 40 tries and four goals, all during during two stints at the Sea Eagles from 2009-15 and 2021-22.
And then, in his final season before continuing his 262 game career at the Gold Coast Titans next year, Foran again put his often battered, and bruised, body on the line by playing all 24 matches to back up his incredible 25 matches for Manly last season.
It’s why 32-year-old Foran was warmly embraced by his team-mates at Manly's presentation night following a first grade career that started at the Sea Eagles in 2009.
To win Players’ Player at this club means everythingKieran Foran
“Every player wants to earn the respect of their peers and the blokes they play with.
“I’m surprised to have won this. I thought there were a number of blokes who probably outperformed me through the year and certainly played consistent footy throughout the whole season.
“I’m pretty surprised…it’s a surreal feeling.
“It has been a phenomenal ride at Manly. This club has shaped me as the man I am today. It’s the people within the four walls of the joint that make it so special.
“It’s a wonderful club, a club that I’ve truly cherished my time at and one that I will certainly miss for sure.”
Foran’s wife, Karina, said she couldn’t be any more ‘prouder’ of her husband.
“As soon as they announced his name, I just went to water,’’ Karina said.
“What you see is who he is. He is a beautiful man on and off the field. There is no one more deserving than Kieran.
“It’s been mixed emotions knowing (his time at Manly) was coming to an end. He has been emotional.
“This club means everything to him. It’s what actually made him who he is. It’s bittersweet.
“I’m so proud of him.”