Brett's race against clock for opener http://manlydaily.com.au/article/2008/03/01/8999_sports.html Zorba 1 March 2008 BRETT Stewart turned 23 on Wednesday and celebrated with a gruelling series of sprints in a personal race against the clock to be fit for Manly's season opener against the Cronulla Sharks at Brookvale in a fortnight. Stewart didn't play in last night's trial at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast but that didn't stop coach Des Hasler taking his star fullback into camp for the week where he was worked on twice a day. "The rehabilitation work has been harder than the normal training but after a frustrating summer I can finally feel the improvement," Stewart said. Stewart went into hospital for a routine knee clean up last October which proved much more serious than first thought. However, a gruelling program has the try scoring merchant approaching top level fitness again. Stewart says going into the premiership without a trial shouldn't be a problem. "I'm not concerned because I know I have put the necessary work in with the rehab and the training staff," he said "I still have two weeks before the Sharks game and I'm sure I will be right to play." Stewart is shaping up for his fifth full season in the NRL and has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting players in the premiership with 70 tries from his 88 matches which includes a lethal strike rate at Brookvale Oval where he is the darling of the fans. Manly's research shows the youngster is one of the club's most popular players with fans of all ages. With Stewart's manager George Mimis back in Sydney after an overseas business trip, Manly will move quickly to sign the new Test fullback to a long-term extension. Stewart says she wants to emulate teammate Steve Menzies and be a one-club player. He also would like to captain the Sea Eagles later in his career. MANLY legend Rex Mossop turned 80 recently and celebrated the milestone with family and friends at the Manly Pacific. The former dual international says he can't wait for the football season to start so he can follow the Manly Sea Eagles and the Manly Marlins. The one-time car salesman turned television commentator remains one of the most recognisable ex-sporting stars on the peninsula. Always a fitness fanatic the "Moose" continues his healthy lifestyle. SEA Eagles supporters are invited to an open fan day at Brookvale Oval next Tuesday, March 4 starting at 3.30pm. The full Sea Eagles NRL squad will be in attendance for a photo and signing session with the fans. The afternoon is free but parents are asked to register the names of any youngsters attending. Registration will take place on Tuesday under the scoreboard while anyone can pre-register online at www.mwse.com.au/fanday. Jumping castles, a petting zoo, pass-the-ball competition and an on-field tenpin bowling alley will be part of the fun while the fairy floss will keep the energy levels up. All schools in the district are invited to attend but are asked to register online. Children from the Arranounbai School at Frenchs Forest and Stewart House at Curl Curl will attend. The fan day starts a busy week for the Sea Eagles with a special team dinner at Miramare Gardens on Wednesday night, the official NRL season launch on Thursday and the Sea Eagles official 2008 launch at the Sydney Opera House on Friday.