DateMay 8, 2013 Michael Carayannis With his flaming red hair, Tom Symonds might struggle to keep a desired low profile around the eastern suburbs as he prepares to face his junior club for the first time on Monday night. Still based in Bondi, deep in the heart of tri-colours territory, Symonds is about to embark on a week that he never thought would happen. A Bondi United junior who worked his way into the top grade in 2009, Symonds made a late switch to Manly in March, just weeks before the start of this season, stuck behind a star-studded back row that included the addition of Sonny Bill Williams. ''I think I might have to bunker inside for the week,'' Symonds said. ''I don't think I'll be going to the local this week. I'll leave it until after the game.'' By switching so deep into the pre-season, Symonds feared he may have missed the start of the year but the move has been an instant success. He has featured in all but the first game for Manly this year, starting in four. Advertisement ''Coming over, it was just before the start of the season so it was a bit of a whirlwind for me,'' Symonds said. ''It's been awesome and I couldn't ask for a better start. I did come for an opportunity. I wasn't given any guarantees from Tooves [coach Geoff Toovey] but I was hoping that whether it be early in the season or after a few weeks I was hoping to get an opportunity. ''I'm really grateful for that. It might not have happened straight away but I was willing to take that risk - that was part of the transition, taking that risk. It could have taken a little bit of time to find your feet so it was a bit of a surprise getting in so early.'' Still close to many of his ex-teammates, Symonds, who played 27 first-grade games for the Roosters, tried to play down his on-field reunion. ''Who are we playing?'' he joked. ''I watch a lot of footy and I've watched all their games and have kept an eye on them. I've still got a lot of really close mates there so obviously I watch them and see how they are going. I didn't just leave the club and cut off all ties. I didn't leave on bad terms so I'm not out to prove a point or anything.'' The versatile back-rower filled in at centre for the suspended Steve Matai in Manly's 24-18 win against St George Illawarra on Monday night. With Matai returning to face the Roosters, Symonds is likely to revert back to the forward pack. ''I've filled in there every now and then,'' Symonds said. ''I am not that out of position there. I feel fine there.'' Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/symonds-making-the-most-of-his-chances-at-sea-eagles-20130507-2j5sv.html#ixzz2Sefo3RTs [hr] Tom Symonds is one of many great signings by the club after losing t-dog. Great job by our recruitment staff. I'm a great admirer of Glenn Stewart as well but he needs to take the ball up more often. I know it's only his 2nd game this year but Glenn runs sideways too much (even prior to his injury) He should taking it up straight on the edge of the ruck especially inside our 20-30m zone. When we're out of our 30 metres that's the time too run across a bit and link up with Lyon and Wolfie to do their stuff. Lawrence, Symonds and Horo have straightened up our attack which gives us room for our backs. Brett looked like he's been playing injured and hasn't had the impact he did before the last 2 games.