HE made his NRL debut so long ago Cathy Freeman hadn’t yet won gold in Sydney.
At age 34, Manly skipper Jamie Lyon wants an 18th year in top-flight rugby league.
Lyon revealed he would seek another season at Brookvale after debuting for Parramatta way back in 2000.
A former NSW and Test centre, Lyon made his NRL debut for the Eels against Wests Tigers on June 25, 2000. Freeman didn’t create her golden moment until September 25 in the same year.
Lyon, who would kick-off next season aged 35, has already enjoyed 10 seasons at Manly, arriving in 2007 after a two-year stint with English club St Helens.
“If the form is good and they still want me and we’ve got money in the salary cap, I’ll definitely go again,” Lyon said.
“I’ll see how the body is and if my form’s up to it. I was a little bit quiet on the weekend (against Canterbury) but it is only the first game. I’ll play as long as I can and I’m playing good footy and the coaching staff want me.”
Lyon will sit down with his manager, George Mimis, in the next two months to map out his future.
Jamie Lyon during his debut season for the Eels in 2000. Pic Gregg Porteous.
“Hopefully we will have a few wins by then,” Lyon said.
Asked would he sign with another NRL club, Lyon said: “Definitely Manly would be the first choice. It’s hard with the salary cap and everything. We’ll just have to wait and see.
“I’ll be doing everything I can to stay here, that’s for sure. I’m feeling good, the body’s good. I’ve got to get a bit more involvement and play some good footy.
“We are settled here and I love the (northern) beaches. All the changes (at Manly) have freshened me up a little bit and hopefully get a couple more seasons.
“I’ve had 10 years here and obviously had a lot of good mates that have moved on which was sad to see them go. But it’s a tough game, it’s a business. I suppose clubs have got to keep moving.
“I’d definitely stand aside if someone was knocking on the door and the coaches wanted to move in a different direction. I’m not that greedy — just to stay for the sake of it. Manly is home and has been a great club for me for a lot of years.”
Jamie Lyon rates Trent Barrett
Manly coach Trent Barrett remained composed at the post-game press conference, despite the result.
“He was pretty calm, he was obviously disappointed like us players,” Lyon said. “He knows we can do better, he still has a calm head and he still has a good aura about him so we need to play better for him.”
Asked whether Barrett blew up, Lyon said: “We were probably expecting it but he didn’t. And all coaches are different and he’s got that calm sort of demeanour about him.”