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Canteen Worker

First Grader
Manly Daily - Sat
ZORBA
23jul05

MICHAEL Monaghan is set to take an approach adopted by Manly icon Geoff Toovey and get on with his football life.

Toovey never wavered from the time honoured theory that players play where they are chosen throughout his magnificent 14-year career.

The former Belrose junior started his career at halfback and continued in the spot until moved to hooker when Craig Field, Jason Taylor, Matt Orford and Brett Kimmorley came to Brookvale.

Toovey simply got on with the job and left team selection to his coach of the day.

And despite rumblings from uninformed sources, I reckon Monaghan will do the same. For a start he really has no option.

No player has a specialised position inserted in a contract.

Until he joined Manly, Monaghan played more at hooker and five-eighth in NRL than he did at halfback for Canberra.

The signing of Matt Orford to a four-year contract this week gives coach Des Hasler some mouth-watering options for season 2006 and beyond.

Add the signing of classy Storm centre Steven Bell and Manly have done particularly well in the player market at the elite level.

I don't believe Orford should ever have been allowed to leave Brookvale after he replaced Jason Taylor at halfback at the Northern Eagles.

He was on peanuts and won several man-of-the-match awards when elevated to the top grade.

Astute management should have sealed the youngster on a long term contract.

The most he had received at the time of his elevation to the top grade was less than $20,000 a season. The man they call "The Ox" has come a long way since.

Quietly spoken and fiercely determined, Orford is now one of the best players in the game.

The former Terrigal postman will play out his career at his former football address. And a comment from Monaghan: "I will play front-row if they want me to as long as it is in the top grade."
 

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