Hey, Dad: Galuvao acting his age in second row WHEN Jarryd Hayne was laughing in disbelief a few weeks ago at how fellow Eel Joe Galuvao was once also a star NRL fullback, the 31-year-old second-rower had a great comeback: "Ask your father." Galuvao, who will be the only surviving player from the now defunct Auckland Warriors after Stacey Jones hangs up his boots at the end of the season, was a clubmate of Hayne's father Manoa Thompson when the franchise entered the premiership in 1995. "He was at the club when it started in 1995, and I was in the juniors, so if Jarryd ever says anything I can say I know Manoa from back then," Galuvao said. "A lot of the boys can't believe how long I've been around and some of the players I can say I have played with, like Stephen Kearney and Denis Betts. Andy Platt was around back then too, and Sean Hoppe and Matthew Ridge." Galuvao could have also told Hayne and the other young Parramatta players who doubted he began his career in the Warriors No.1 jersey to ask Eels coach Daniel Anderson. Having helped to revive Galuvao's career since taking charge of the Eels this season, Anderson must rate him as a better second-rower than he did a fullback when he was coach of the new Warriors outfit that took over the licence in 2001 after the previous administration went broke. With the new owners not obligated to honour existing contracts, Galuvao was among the players who weren't offered a new deal, and he spent a year playing in the local Auckland competition before being offered a second chance by tonight's opponents, Penrith, with whom he won a premiership in 2003. "Me and Daniel have had a fews laughs about it," Galuvao said. "I still had a year to run but my contract was made void. I don't think it was so much Daniel, but the new owners couldn't find a spot for me, and they basically said go and play club footy and do your best. I don't hold that against anyone, he pretty much had to deal with what he had to deal with, and I wasn't in the plans at the time. "Daniel would have seen me as a fullback or a centre at the time but I think I was probably heading towards the forwards by then anyway. All the boys were teasing me about it the other day. When I told them I debuted as a fullback, they all started laughing. It was after our last home game [against the Warriors]. I told the boys I began as a fullback, and they thought I was kidding. "As a junior, I had always been a centre or back-rower for my club team but when I made rep teams they never had anyone at fullback so I got put there, which was pretty much a blessing in disguise for me because there were a lot of good centres and second-rowers running around." After initially signing with Penrith for less money than his talented wife Maybelle earned singing at Panthers Leagues Club, Galuvao developed into one of the most dynamic second-rowers in the game, and his back-row partnership with fellow "hairbear" Tony Puletua was a key factor in their stunning grand final win over Sydney Roosters in 2003. Since then, his career has gone backwards and a stint at South Sydney proved unsuccessful, but this season Anderson has used Galuvao in all 22 matches, and while the Eels have no room under the salary cap to re-sign him, he has managed to secure a two-year deal with Manly. "I guess it's the story of my life," he said. "Parramatta wanted to keep me except for the salary cap, and I would have stayed here, but I'm fortunate enough that Manly picked me up. Parramatta gave me a special opportunity to play here this year, and that's given me the opportunity to play at Manly." Asked what it was like to play with Hayne this season, Galuvao admitted the 21-year-old was a far better fullback than he had been. "To be honest, I wish I had half these guys' talent when I was their age," he said. "They are awesome to watch, and I kind of find myself watching them when they are running, especially Jarryd, and I kind of forget that I am playing because I'm marvelling at their skills so much. "I think with full-time training nowadays the young players are able to hone their skills, and he is probably a product of that. When I was coming through I wasn't really exposed to that but now, especially with the Toyota Cup, I think we're probably going to see a lot more players coming through like that."