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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Well-travelled Elliot ready to be Manly's Mr Fix-it

While fullback Tom Trbojevic was sweating it out in rehab drills behind the goal posts, Manly's replacement No.1 Brendan Elliot was praising his teammate's input into his new role.
As Trbojevic made intervals running in different directions around poles and cones to strengthen his left hamstring, Elliot was on the main training field at North Narrabeen yelling instructions to defenders.
He will be Manly's No.1 against the Wests Tigers in round one of the 2019 Telstra Premiership.
The new Sea Eagles recruit is still rubbing his eyes that he can learn off Trbojevic as well as another Manly NSW Origin and Test fullback in Brett Stewart, who is a coaching consultant at the club.   
"He pops in every once in a while and really helps out a lot. I've got some great wisdom from him – just to be vocal and loud," Elliot said of Stewart's advice.
"You can't buy that sort of thing."
Trbojevic has also been imparting knowledge on positional placement for a No.1 in both attack and defence.
"He's been great with confidence as well," Elliot said.
"He's sort of said 'just back yourself and things will fall into place'."
Trbojevic is obviously the starting No.1 but Elliot realises he was recruited to Manly as a cover for the back five.
"Tom is first-choice fullback and a champion player. I just want to do my best for the team this week – put my best foot forward," he said.
"One of the strengths of my game is that I can play wing, centre and fullback.
"That's actually one of the things [coach] Des [Hasler] said to me early in the pre-season that he wants me to learn the position of fullback because Tom will be out with rep duties and things like that.
"He [Hasler] wanted me to nail the fullback role. It's unfortunate that Tom is injured so I can slot in there but there's no hesitations with me about playing centre or wing."
Manly is Elliot's fourth club in just his seventh season of NRL. It follows stop-start showings at the Roosters (three years), the Knights (two) and a brief one-year stop at the Titans in 2018 where he played just three matches.
The 25-year-old has only amassed 40 NRL games in that time – just seven at fullback and all at the Knights.
But he played the role in junior grades and is hoping the Hasler expertise makes him a better player and a more visible one at NRL level."He's a great coach. He's definitely the most experienced coach I've had with a very serious outlook on training and I think that's what we need," Elliot said.
"We've trained really hard in the pre-season and that's going to put us in a good position for the year ahead."
Working closely with Daly Cherry-Evans to smooth out that halfback/fullback connection in attack has also been a feature.
"All the halves sat down this morning and went through video. Me and Chez have built a close relationship over the past few weeks," Elliot said.
"So just working on the inside of him will be exciting for me."


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