SEA Eagles backrower Joe Galuvao travels about 16 hours a week by public transport from his home in St Marys to train with his teammates at Narrabeen.
Galuvao told The Manly Daily spiralling petrol prices and highway tolls make the regular commute by car from Sydney’s west to the northern beaches too costly.
Instead, the 32-year-old drives a short-distance to St Marys train station, catches a train to Central, then jumps on the L90 bus and heads to Dee Why.
From there, any one of his Manly teammates picks him up for the 10-minute drive to training at the Sydney Sports Academy in Narrabeen.
Galuvao said he would ideally rent in the area. But with two young children established in their schooling around family and friends in St Marys, and rental accommodation too costly in Manly, public transport is the only option.
“It’s OK, it’s obviously not ideal,” he said as he flew to Townsville for the Sea Eagles NRL match against the Cowboys on Saturday night.
“It’s not cheap driving in with the tolls and petrol.
“I’d like to move out to Manly, but then I would have to pay rent and I would rather pay-off my mortgage.
“My kids are also at school there, my family and friends are there, so there’s no point in up-rooting everything.
“It’s the sacrifice I’ve made. If anything, it shows my commitment to the club.”
There is no doubting Galuvao’s commitment to the Sea Eagles.
In his second season at the club, his fifth NRL team following stints at the Warriors, Penrith, Souths and Parramatta, Galuvao has been one of Manly’s stand-outs.
The former New Zealand international said he is off-contract, and unsure if he will continue beyond 2011.
“I’m weighing it all up, I’ll just see how the body pulls up and factor in what’s best for my family,” he said.
“I’m not getting any younger.”
Clearly he’s not, but he can still do the business on the field.
Manly coach Des Hasler said the veteran forward has been a tremendous asset, particularly for the young players in his squad.
“Joe has been playing really well,” Hasler said.
“He is energetic, the boys love playing with him and he just knows his way around the field. He’s just got great experience.”
Galuvao said he was going to retire at the end of 2009 after the Eels released him due to salary cap constraints.
“There was not much interest around, then Des called me up,” he said.
“If I didn’t take the opportunity at Manly, I’d regret it later.”
Hasler said Brett Stewart (hamstring) will miss the Cowboys match, with Michael Oldfield (wing) in and Will Hopoate moving to fullback.
“There is no need to take any risks with Brett. He needs to be right and his hamstring problem will benefit greatly in the next 10 days before the Raiders game,’’ Hasler said.
“There is nothing sinister in what we are doing and it has been a team decision of the medical and coaching staff to hold him back.
“Brett is frustrated but he knows he has a whole season ahead of him. The rumours about his knee being a problem are way off target as he will soon prove.
“I am happy with his progress and there is no need to rush,” Hasler said.