There have been times in Clint Gutherson’s career when 150 NRL games felt a distant possibility.
His climb to this latest milestone felt slow at times, after the fullback suffered two ACL injuries early in his career.
First at Manly in 2015, then two years later at Parramatta.
“The first one (ACL) I was pretty young so I was pretty naïve and you just think you’re just going to get back to it pretty quickly,” Gutherson said.
“You soon realise it’s not that easy, it talks time, you have to get back in the squad, back in the team and earn the trust all again.
“After the second one (ACL), you always have those doubts (of playing again),” he said.
Gutherson is known in the game for his sheer hard work and effort.
He was never going down without a fight.
The 27-year-old played just five games across three seasons for the Sea Eagles and was then released.
“I supported them (Manly) as a kid. You always think where you start your career, that’s where you’re going to be forever but it just doesn’t work out that way,” he said.
Then the Eels threw him a lifeline.
Fans hated him when he arrived, by his own admission, and he struggled to find his feet.
After recovering from his second ACL, the fullback started gaining some traction.
Before long, Gutherson hit his straps and became known as ‘The King’; a fan favourite.
But you won't find a bigger fan of Gutherson than Head Coach Brad Arthur.
“I’ll always be forever grateful for Gutho," Arthur said.
Obviously we provided the opportunity for him here at the Club but he has repaid us more than tenfold.
“He’s a smart-aleck, but he has a real good balance of knowing when to be serious and fair dinkum and then he knows when to pull me in a little bit and calm me down.
“I’ll be so proud on Friday night to be a part of it,” he said.
Tomorrow, Gutherson’s friends and family will leave the ‘insular peninsular’ on the Northern Beaches to watch him clock up 150 games against his first and former Club.
“All the boys that I grew up with are pretty excited to get out there and watch it. They all support Manly and so they’re going to come out and watch,” Gutherson said.
“A lot of my mates obviously support Manly and my dad is actually a massive Tigers fan so he is neutral,” he said.
To top it all off, it’s his first NRL milestone as a dad.
“It’s made me want to be better as a person and a player and it’s exciting,” Gutherson said.
“Hopefully she can come out and not be asleep the whole game and watch a bit of it.
“It’s going to be a special day for me and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.