Fans were waiting for the confirmation and now it has arrived, with the Parramatta Eels confirming that Tim Mannah, Reni Maitua and Jarryd Hayne will be co-captains of the club for the 2013 NRL season.
The players themselves were already made aware that they would be selected as co-captains, with both Hayne and Maitua to share the on-field captaincy, with Tim Mannah named as as the club captain.
For Mannah, who is often perceived as a very humble and genuine player and person both on and off the field, he is excited about the opportunity to be captain.
“Yeah, it’s really exciting,” said Mannah.
“I think I’m more humbled and honoured than excited at the moment, but it’s a really big thing that I take very seriously and I’m really excited to be given the opportunity.”
For Hayne, who is one of the Eels star players, whilst he is looking forward to the role, he admits that the element of responsibility and added pressure, is something that excites him.
“I guess it becomes a little bit more responsiblity and a little bit more pressure as well, no doubt,” said Hayne.
“I think that’s exciting and I think pressure gets the best out of people, and it’s shown in the past that pressure definitely gets the best out of me.”
“I’m excited for it and looking forward to it.”
Regarded as a shock to some Eels fans, Reni Maitua also got the nod to be a co-captain, an honour that looked highly unlikely at one stage, given his ban from the NRL for using an banned substance.
Despite all that, Reni made his triumphant return to rugby league and is excited at the opportunity to captain the Eels, an honour that he was not expecting and one he looks forward to.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet and it’s a huge honour to represent such a proud club,” said Maitua.
“When I got the tap on the shoulder the other day and asked if I’d like to be a captain, first and foremost, I was definitely up for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
With the Eels captains of the past boasting names such as Nathan Hindmarsh, Dean Pay, Nathan Cayless, Mick Cronin and others, Mannah is humbled and grateful to be joining such an elite category of players.
“Obviously I was grateful to be given the opportunity – it’s such a great club with a great history,” said Mannah.
“You just look at the last few captains we’ve had like Nathan Hindmarsh, Nathan Cayless, guys like Dean Pay, Mick Cronin – some of the greats of the club.”
“It’s really a huge honour to be given the chance to be the captain of a club like this.”
With the club receiving a bit of criticism for selecting more than one captain and some confusion over what their roles will be, for Hayne, he believes it is the best option the club could have chosen.
“That’s the uniqueness of having co-captains and Timmy [Tim Mannah] as a club captain – because we’re definitely going to help each other out and definitely have a say on how things go and how things are run,” said Hayne.
“I think that’s exciting and it’s not just one person at the head, it’s three of us now and I think we all have strong personalities, and I think what we bring to the table is good for the club.”
With Tim Mannah a very spiritual person off the field, Maitua highlighted that notion, saying that Mannah is the perfect role model for the club because of that.
“Timmy, he’s just an inspirational leader, he always goes forward, he’s always in a good mood and he’s always happy,” said Maitua.
“He’s just a really good role model for this club.”
With the captains set in tone, Mannah also highlighted the need for other senior players to play a crucial role in the overall leadership of the club as a whole.
“I think any senior player whether you’re a captain or not has gotta lead,” said Mannah.
“Guys like Matt Keating who lead with our talk, Fui who leads with their actions on the field, so I think we’ve got a really good bunch of senior players and they’re going to do a great job in helping us three as well, but it’s important that us three definitely step up.”
“We have to take a bit more responsibility on the field, than off the field.”