Dyldam Parramatta Eels Tim Mannah has returned to the 2016 pre-season after one of the best seasons of his career in 2015 and the forward is excited for the next few months ahead.
Mannah has made it clear that he is focused on working hard to better himself as an individual, rather than focusing on whether he will lead the Blue and Gold as the 2016 captain.
With plenty of experience and other leadership options in Kieran Foran, Beau Scott and Michael Gordon joining the Eels along with current squad members Corey Norman and Nathan Peats, Brad Arthur was still undecided on who will have the ‘c’ beside his name. However, Mannah said the decision was not up to him, and he would not be placing any more pressure on the coaches.
“It’s a huge honour but I don’t think that’s a decision for me. Brad’s the head of this team and that’s his call,” Mannah said.
“He’s made it really clear that he wants our role as players to be to focus on working hard and bettering ourselves as individuals. I’m going to take that advice on board and I’m going to be doing that every day.”
“I’m not going to add any more pressure on the coaches or anything cause
they’ve got enough on their plate and they don’t need any more voices chiming in and saying what they should and shouldn’t do”
However Mannah made it clear he cherished the honour of captaining the club.
“It’s a role I’ve grown to enjoy and it’s a huge honour but like I said brad’s the coach of this team and I’ll never let my preference come in front of the team,” Mannah said.
“The captaincy was definitely something I started to learn more about and started to understand a bit more about.”
Mannah said that the new faces and new leadership options at the club was a positive for the Blue and Gold.
“The more leaders you have in the team the better and I think this team’s starting to grow more and more with the leaders we have here,” Mannah said.
“The culture here is really healthy and the moment and it’s definitely moving in the right direction.”
Mannah had praise for his halves Kieran Foran and five-eighth Corey Norman.
“Normy’s growth was really evident last year. He’s the kind of guy the boys like having around the squad.” Mannah said.
“I think Kieran is going to take a lot of pressure that was on Corey last year so it’s going to be great for Normy just to refine his skills and focus on a few things that can make his game better."
“I think they’re going to compliment each other really well.”
“We all know what he’s capable of doing but there not point us talking abut how much we need him to deliver because at the end f the day we need everyone on the park to deliver,” Mannah added of Foran.
“I just think that in terms of adding pressure, there’s no need for us to be doing it.”
“We’ve got 38 boys here that need to improve every day this summer.”
Along with Foran, Mannah welcomed new recruit Beau Scott to the Blue and Gold, who will bring a long of experience and aggression to a relatively young forward pack.
“He’s brought a lot of experience but he’s also got that aggression to him that will really be nice in our pack,” Mannah said.
“Over the year Brad and the coaches have done a great job of putting together a really healthy pack but I think the addition of Beau adds another dimension to that aggressiveness to us and as well as that he brings a bit of a level head and a bit of experience that is really valuable to a team like ours.