Here’s our look at the 2015 Key Signings for the Manly Sea Eagles.
Feleti Mateo is coming from the Warriors after playing 95 games for the New Zealand club. Mateo was granted a release from his contract to join Manly in late October. Mateo is notorious for his deadly step that will help the number 1 halves in the competition, Cherry-Evans and Foran. Mateo’s speed and ball handling skills will become a key focus with Toovey, who is mainly trying to incorporate that into set plays.
Already it looks like Toovey has his sights set on adding to the muscle of the Manly forward pack with Props to help challenge the wolf-of-the-pack; Brenton Lawrence. Lawrence recently had a breakthrough season as Prop at Manly, accumulating 2403 metres in runs throughout his 23 games, which was a huge improvement from his previous average of 958 metres. With Willie Mason most likely guaranteed the other Prop position, it will be very interesting to see how the Tongan who previously struggled for game time at the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla, will compete. Vave saw an improvement last year where he returned to Cronulla and made the most amount of club appearances in his entire career, which allowed him to fully utilize his 188cm tall and 115kg figure, despite the horror season Cronulla sustained. Vave was frequently on the interchange for Melbourne during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, sitting out on many of the club’s achievements, which will certainly create a hunger for more gametime and a solid starting position in Manly’s 2015 squad.
By far the most talked about signing to Manly is the Newcastle Forward, Willie Mason.
Mason was with the Knights for 3 years before accepting Manly’s 1-year offer. Mason said, “I’m excited to be joining the Sea Eagles. It’s a highly-respected club with a history of success.”. Mason is believed to have taken the position of Anthony Watmough, who is now at the Parramatta Eels following a large dispute regarding Glenn Stewart and club management changes.
Mason will bring a great mentality and pace to the club. Mason is quick onto the ball and will definitely lift Manly after the club’s issues during last season.