The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are thrilled to announce the re-signing of Matt Ballin until the end of the 2017 NRL season, on the eve of his 200th first-grade game for the Club.
Ballin will become only the third Manly hooker to reach the 200 game-milestone when he leads the team out this Easter Saturday at Lavington Sports Ground, Albury.
The Manly stalwart is pleased to have agreed to terms with the Club that he has won two premierships with since making his debut against the Wests Tigers in Round 2, 2007.
“For the past nine and a half years I have proudly represented the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, and my family and I couldn't be happier with the opportunity to remain a one club player,” Ballin said.
“My family and I would like to thank the Penn family, Geoff Toovey and staff for their loyalty, as well as past and present players that I have played with. I play the game because of the friendships and bonds that are formed within a rugby league team.”
“I’d like to thank the sponsors, members and fans who tirelessly support us week in and out, through good and bad. Without your passionate support, the club would not exist.”
“Finally, I would like to thank my wife Shannan and children, Fletcher, Murphy and Mackenzie for their unwavering love. I know my career would not have been possible without your motivation, advice and sacrifice.”
Sea Eagles CEO, Joe Kelly, was delighted to re-sign a person of Ballin’s quality and stature to the Club.
“Matt encapsulates everything we look for in players at our Club – hard working, committed and professional,” Kelly said.
“He is a truly valued clubman and ambassador. We are thrilled to see him extend, knowing that he will finish his NRL career at the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.”
“Matt shows incredible leadership and commitment on and off the field and I’m pleased to see that continue into the future.”
Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey was full of praise for the one club player who he has worked with for nearly a decade.
“Matt is one of the toughest players to ever wear the jersey,” Toovey said.
“He puts in every single week, leaving nothing on the field and I couldn’t be happier that he has re-committed to the Club.”
Ballin holds the record for the most number of consecutive games for the Sea Eagles (182), represented Queensland on one occasion in 2010, and was voted Manly’s Best and Fairest Player in 2012. He was also a member of the 2008 and 2011 NRL Telstra Premiership winning sides.