A decade after a young Jake Arthur was trailing dad Brad around Manly training and kicking the footy to Daly Cherry-Evans, he finds himself back at 4 Pines Park and preparing to line up in Sea Eagles colours.
In a career twist few saw coming, Jake joined the Sea Eagles this week after three seasons and 22 games at Parramatta, the club granting him an immediate release to pursue an opportunity on Sydney's northern beaches.
It was during Manly’s run to the 2013 grand final that Jake and brother Matt would watch on in wonder as Jamie Lyon took charge of captain’s runs and the likes of Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran and Brett Stewart strutted their stuff.
To celebrate his 11th birthday, Arthur donned the Manly gear and headed to ANZ Stadium to cheer on the Sea Eagles in a 30-20 win over the Rabbitohs in the preliminary final.
“It’s cool to think I used to come to training here and kick the footy back to DCE when Dad was here in 2013,” said Jake, who has been named in Manly’s 22-man squad for Sunday’s clash with the Knights.
New Eagle Arthur can't wait to learn off DCE
“DCE is a big reason why I came here - he plays a very different style to me and I think it’s something I can learn a lot from.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn off new people and learn new philosophies about footy.
“It felt a bit strange seeing myself in the Manly jersey because all I’ve worn is Parramatta for most of my life, but everyone here has been really welcoming.”
After scoring a try and helping the Eels to a win over the Warriors in his NRL debut in Round 10, 2021, Jake has struggled for opportunities behind classy halves Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown.
He came off the bench in all four of Parramatta’s finals matches in 2022, scoring a try in five minutes of game time in the decider against the Panthers, but in 2023 he had played just one NRL game before deciding to make the move to Manly.
The 22-year-old knows there are no guarantees with Cherry-Evans, Josh Schuster and Cooper Johns ahead of him, but he is keen to challenge himself in a new environment under Anthony Seibold.
Arthur scores first NRL try to wrap up victory
“I think Dad was happy I ended up here. He has been making the joke that now I will finally speak to him because he reckons I didn’t speak to him at Parra training,” Arthur said.
“It’ll be good for him just to be a father and not be telling me what to do footy-wise.
“Early in my career I was reading the comments about getting picked because I was the coach’s son and it affected me a bit but I learned to stay away from that and focus on what I can do.
“You know when you get a message from a friend asking if you’re OK then you know something has obviously been said about you and it’s hard not to want to look.
“I made the commitment to myself that I won’t read any comments on social media or search up to see what’s been said.”
Should Arthur force his way into Seibold’s squad in the next couple of weeks he will no doubt circle June 17 on the calendar, when the Eels host the Sea Eagles at CommBank Stadium in Round 16.
With Cherry-Evans in Origin camp with the Maroons camp ahead of Game Two, Arthur could well be called on to match motors with Moses, Brown and a posse of Parra stars he came through the grades with after playing his junior footy at Rouse Hill Rhinos.
“It would be cool if I get to play in the game, some of those boys are my best mates, like Will Penisini and Sean Russell,” Arthur said.
“I’ve never played against those boys who have looked after me and taught me so much but it’s a good opportunity to get uncomfortable.
“Whenever you’re uncomfortable it’s a chance to grow and get better.”
Definitely has matured in such a short time by heading to sea eagle 🦅 territory. Hopefully it will bring positive results in his Rugby League career
I really hope he goes on to be a regular 1st grader. He has the determination at training. Best of luck to him
Has a body full of slow twitch muscle fibres . Any success he has is going to have to be through maturity and between the ears. All the best to him but like Mahoney I'm not sad to see him go.
Slow-twitch muscles give you the stamina to nail endurance tasks like distance running, or playing an endurance based sport.
I only said a few days ago, just wait for the bullshit hug in, love fest articles coming from the media about jakes move, and its only taken a few days.
Im always a few steps ahead of these dopes..
There will be tonnes of these nonsense articles for the dopes to eat up..
oh how tables have turned so quickly since he left. With all the rants and complaints whenever he is in the team list, now changed to pity turned sob stories. Good luck to the kid though!
I am very pleased with this outcome . What a sensible young man he is , going by his answers to the questions. He treats the move to Manly as a learning experience under Manly great half back and captain Daley Cherry -Evans . He does not mention anywhere he expects to be picked regularly in first grade . MODEST THEN !! So it seems NSW Cup and or 1st grade bench will be his reckoning until maybe circumstances change. I sincerely wish him continuous success without the tag of nepotism.
And as I live very close to McDonald Jones Stadium I hope to be at the game Sunday afternoon cheering Jake , should he get a run on.
Hope he makes it a winner at Manly. Although what happened to Cooper Johns ?