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Choc and Giftys pay cut pact

ManlyBacker

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ANTHONY Watmough tells you about the time he took a voluntary pay cut with boisterous pride. With steel in his eyes.

He reveals that all his teammates did the same, to stay together, to build something great - because you can’t put a price on an NRL premiership.

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ManlyBacker

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IT should come as no surprise that James Hasson has emerged as the meat in the sandwich that is Manly's Grand Final selection puzzle.

This time last year the Sharks junior was filling foot-long rolls as a full-time sandwich hand at Subway in Cronulla Mall.


Now living in Belrose with fellow Sea Eagles youngsters Peta Hiku and Jorge Taufua, Hasson gets the chance to return to the the mall only from time-to-time to assist his former workmates among piles of jalapenos, meatballs, olives and ranch sauce.

Pitched into a one-on-one battle with more experienced prop David Gower for Manly's final bench spot in Sunday’s decider, the 21-year-old on Sunday ventured back to the franchise that also launched the working careers of model Lara Bingle, singer Matt Corby and Test cricketer Steven Smith.

"Working at Subway really helped me with footy, because I made lots of different friends and met a heap of new people," Hasson said.
James Hasson

James Hasson makes a Subway sandwich. Picture: Brett Costello

"It helped my people skills, serving customers all day long.

"Before I started making sandwiches, I was doing a carpentry job, and that was torture because of the hours. But Subway fit in well around footy training and I was in there just about every day."

Cronulla’s large population of league stars soon realised one of their peers was working behind the counter - and took full advantage.

Bulldogs centre Josh Morris made a visit to Hasson as one of his pre-match rituals, while Sharks skipper Paul Gallen devoured a weekly chicken sub on the house.

There are few Grand Final moments that are so memorable, they overshadow the game itself. But the 2003 Grand Final between Penrith and the Sydney Roosters is remembered for one tackle.

Hasson, a Caringbah de La Salle junior, dreamed of playing alongside Gallen in black, white and blue.

But his hopes were dashed at the end of last season when the club offered him an underwhelming deal compared to the Sea Eagles' two-year overture.

"Manly showed a lot of interest and Cronulla not as much," Hasson recalled. "I didn’t think I was a chance of playing NRL at Cronulla - not for a while, anyhow.

"It was disappointing to leave because I loved the Sharks and saw myself playing there my whole career.

Former Kangaroos and NSW back-rower Matt Adamson expects Manly's star halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieren Foran to guide the side to victory on Sunday.

"This year I had an aim of playing a few first grade games and also coming up against Cronulla."

While he missed the semi final clash a fortnight ago in favour of Gower, Hasson exceeded his 2013 performance by making a dozen NRL appearances.

With Joe Galuavo’s brave bid for a return in the Grand Final terminated on Thursday, Hasson is sweating on a 13th start for Sunday’s big one.

But Gower has been named in the No. 14 jersey, meaning Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey would have to throw a match-eve selection curve ball to move Hasson onto his four-man interchange.
Toovey: never underestimate a quality team like Manly 1:20

But, in Grand Final folklore, stranger things have happened.

"It's come down to me and Dave a few times," Hasson said.

"At the start of the year I was getting the nod, and then he got it toward the end.

"I've just had to do my best all week and train as hard as possible. I know that I'm ready for a big game like this."

Should he be overlooked on Sunday, Hasson still has the World Cup to look forward to.

Born in London, he recalls loving Northern Ireland, where he spent the first three years of his life, before his family moved to Sydney's south.

"I’ve made the Irish squad so that's something to really look forward to," Hasson said.

"We go into camp in Manchester next week and it should be a great six weeks."

Josh Massoud http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/manly-sea-eagles-young-gun-james-hassons-meteoric-rise-from-subway-hand-to-grand-final-smoky/story-fni3gnk1-1226733252943
 

Napper

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Considering these guys only have about 10 years to make serious money (if they get a serious injury they're screwed) with the cost of living etc this is as good as it gets.

The sacrifice they're making is huge. Agree with DSM5, just another reason supporting manly is awesome.

We're a lucky bunch of fans to have such an awesome playing group to watch.
 

bones

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The current squad is my favorite group of players of all my time following Manly.
They may not all be local juniors, but you don't get much more 'Manly' than Glenn, Brett, Choc and Matai.
 

sheridanstand78

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It goes to show you that money can never buy team spirit. This team bleeds for each other and they have such a strong bond, that is our culture!!
 

Sheikheagle

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In an article in the Australian yesterday it mentioned that gifty may have to look elsewhere at the end of 2014 due to cap pressures. It would be devestating seeing him run around in other club colours
 

globaleagle

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Great article! And total champions to do this.


*Also I'd reject any articles this week about player injuries and having to move due to salary cap pressure. It's media subterfuge.
 

simon_eagle

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What a fantastic article! That really has made my day and restored my faith in a generation often guided by dollar signs.
 

Eagles2nv

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That is pretty special. In this day and age where money is quickly outweighing loyalty, it is nice to hear that this loyalty exists.

Like we have said... you cant buy culture.
 

Clint

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Great stuff. Love ya work boys. Your unselfish actions have given you something that you can proudly tell your grandkids about. Not to mention the unbridled joy you have given us supporters. From a very proud Manly supporter.
 

EagleFromMay1967

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These guys have the same aura as the '78 side.

This Manly era will live on in our memories for a long long time.
(And now we have HD bluray discs to help us).
 

Normie

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Interesting to read that the players also picked up on the NRL and Nine's bias towards a Bunnies v Roosters Grand Final!
 

simon64

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bones said:
The current squad is my favorite group of players of all my time following Manly.
They may not all be local juniors, but you don't get much more 'Manly' than Glenn, Brett, Choc and Matai.
Spot on bones.

Most of these players fall into one of two categories.

1 - Never played FG for another NRL club.
2 - Thrown on the scrap heap by another NRL club.

Killer and Kitey being the only real exceptions. And who considers Lyon an eel or Kitey a goon ? Eagles to the core.

So proud of this side.
 

Technical Coach

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EagleFromMay1967 said:
These guys have the same aura as the '78 side.

This Manly era will live on in our memories for a long long time.
(And now we have HD bluray discs to help us).
I hope it is recorded in Ultra High Definition so if we win reliving the experience in 5-10yrs with the "Ultimate GF Edition" will make it all that much sweeter and i can pick up on more technical flaws with our structures.

Hopefully they offer different angles to watch the entire game "Standard view" "Behind the post" "On the reserve bench view" and "Aerial view"

Bluray HD is boring 4320p(7680x4320) is the way to go.
 
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