Brookie bash artist Steve Matai at long odds to play for Manly again. Tony Adams - RLW 23/6/16 Cult-hero centre Steve Matai has almost certainly played his last game for Manly. The big hitter has been a favourite with the Brookvale faithful for over a decade and was ruled out for the season last week with a persistent neck injury. Matai, 31, has a year to run on his contract but RLW has learned that Manly officials want to cut him loose for 2017. Sources close to the veteran centre have revealed that Matai is prepared to retire- if Manly pay him for his final season next year. Manly believe that Matai's problems with injury- he has struggled with neck problems for several seasons and bravely played on- have finally caught up with him. Matai played only eight games this season before club officials decided his neck needs surgery. The hard-hitting centre also has a long judiciary record and is known to be a player targeted by referees because of his extremely aggressive, take-no-prisoners defensive style. With star centre Jamie Lyon also retiring at the end of this season, it'll be very much the end of an era at Manly. Sea Eagles recruit Dylan Walker, who's been uncomfortable at five-eighth, will fill one centre spot, while Tom Trbejovic, a superstar in the making who has played mainly wing and fullback this season, is likely to take the other. Matai has been a loyal one-club man with 230 games for Manly since making his debut in 2005, scoring 91 tries. The Kiwi-born hard man is one of the most respected - and feared - centres in the NRL with his hard running and brutal defence, but his body has taken a pounding and he has struggled to recover. Several English clubs are keen on his services but he's established with his family on Sydney's northern beaches and doesn't want to make the big move to the northern hemisphere.