SEA Eagles recruitment officer Noel “Crusher” Cleal has developed a reputation in recent years for snaring the best junior talent to turn out for the maroon and white.
Youngster Craig McMurrich will play Harold Matthews for Manly next year. Craig is the latest Manly Daily Junior Sports Star nominee.
So when he urged the club to sign Craig McMurrich from arch-rivals Norths last year, it is safe to suggest the kid has a big future.
The latest Manly Daily Junior Sports Star nominee will lace the boots for Manly’s Harold Matthews squad in 2011, and is hopeful of a big year out of dummy half.
“I was fortunate to be given an opportunity with the Bears and was happy with how things worked out,” he said.
“As a lower age player I started seven out of our nine games. Even though we missed the semis, personally I got some good feedback on my performances.
“But when Manly asked me to come play for them I couldn’t say yes quick enough.”
The 15-year-old, who moulds his game on Kangaroos hooker Cameron Smith, eventually would like to play alongside Matt Ballin at Brookvale Oval.
“It is a while off yet, but it is something I think is achievable through hard work,” he said. “Ever since I first started playing the game when I was four it has been a goal of mine to play first grade.”
Sea Eagles coaching and development manager Dave Warwick is also a fan of the nuggety rake.
“Craig is a handy pick-up for us, he is a robust player who breaks the line and hits hard in defence,” he said. “He will be joining some very talented young players who hopefully will be our future.”