BIG Tony Williams, with a grand total of three NRL games this season, is hours off deciding his future.
The T Rex is faced with the following:
* Staying with his close teammates at Manly on about $1.2 million for the next three seasons;
* Taking $1.6 million and joining Rugby League’s player graveyard at Parramatta, his junior club.
* Accepting $1.6 million over the next three years at the Bulldogs, now a slight favourite to sign him.
Manly are aware of the heavy negotiations in the last few days and are keen to press on with talks with other current players if they lose out on Williams.
Of the three choices, I feel he should stay where he is - Manly have been good for the former utility back.
CERTAINLY Parramatta would be my last option if I was his manager.
Parramatta are throwing everything they have at T Rex as the 2012 wooden spoon favourites try desperately to deflect pressure from this season by giving fuming fans something to look forward to from next year and beyond.
But the Eels are anything but electric any more. They are running on pedal power and the club is littered with big name players who accepted inflated contracts to go there and put an immediate full stop on their careers.
Chris Sandow is the latest player to join the Parramatta player cemetery. He took the big bucks and left Souths and is now buried amidst bad performances and talk he simply isn’t fit enough to play NRL football. A season ago the little halfback was wowing them at South Sydney and was one of the glamour players in the competition.
A few seasons back Justin Poore (St.George Illawarra) and Shane Shackleton (Roosters) were considered players with big futures.
They have died a slow death at Parramatta and are only shadows of the players they were with former clubs.
Williams wants to remain at Manly but like most Pacific Island players has his big family to think about in whatever decision he makes.
THE BINGO FACTOR
WHEN Williams joined Manly as an unknown giant from Parramatta under-20s he was considered a work in progress.
He had chronic hamstring problems and the Sea Eagles coaching and medical staff worked hard on stripping the big man back, changing his body shape and actually introducing the correct running gait for his size and weight. The then sprint coach Clayton Kearney worked many hours getting Williams to move his massive frame to a more upright running style to maximise the power in his tree trunk legs.
Williams has amazing agility for a big man, nullified by his running style. Once Williams got the fitness and speed levels required, he started the slow transition to the forwards from his initial NRL days as a winger or centre.
Bingo. In just over half a season Williams became the “X factor” in Manly’s charge to the premiership.
DEAN NO DUNCE
A few seasons after a stunning NRL debut for the Sea Eagles, Dean Whare is reminding everyone what a wonderful talent he is.
At fullback, centre or on the right wing this season Whare has been a valuable member of what for many matches has been a spare parts Manly side.
In every position Whare has been outstanding.
A player has to be special to score three tries on debut in the NRL but Whare achieved that a few seasons back against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
A terrible time with injuries has followed Whare ever since, however a good summer of off-season training and some opportunities have polished Whare’s star until it is shining again.
Unfortunately for Manly, his contract is up this season and his displays haven’t gone unnoticed by other clubs.