Dyldam Parramatta Eels second-rower Manu Ma'u has been named the 2016 Ken Thornett Medallist, as the NRL Players’ Player, at the club’s presentation evening at Curzon Hall on Thursday 15 September 2016.
Named after the iconic Parramatta fullback, the annual Ken Thornett Medal recognises the NRL Players’ Player, awarded to the player who tallies the most points across the season based on 3-2-1 voting after each Premiership game.
"It means a lot, I just want to thank the boys for this award," Ma'u said.
"It has been a long, tough year, we have been through a lot and to receive this means a lot to me."
"I love playing with the boys. When I put on the jersey, I represent for the boys and they know that when I put on that jersey it means a lot to me."
Whilst Ma'u had plenty of thanks for his fellow teammates, the forward also had plenty of praise for Head Coach Brad Arthur.
"I want to thank the boys for this award but also BA for giving me the opportunity to play for Parramatta. I'm truly humbled to be here tonight," Ma'u said.
"I have been here since BA started his coaching career. BA he asks a lot from us but that's what I want to bring to the table for the boys."
"I could of never imagined this night. It means a lot to receive the Players' Player award but a full credit to the rest of the boys. We stuck in through a tough year." Ma'u added.
Yet despite claiming the top award, Ma'u said there was plenty more to come.
"100%, we can be bigger and better next year," Ma'u said.
"This is just the beginning. I am three years in now and I am a looking forward to next year."