COREY Manicaros is about to finish school and head to the Gold Coast, although not for schoolies, as the Farrer and North Tamworth boy wonder takes a leap towards the big time.
The hooker picked up two premierships last Sunday for North Tamworth, scoring three tries in the juniors 56-10 victory over Gunnedah before coming off the bench to help first grade to back-to-back titles with a 46-25 win over West Lions in his final game in the region before he has a crack at the NRL.
A fortnight ago Manicaros signed a deal that will see him join the Gold Coast Titan U20s squad, and he couldn’t be more excited.
An attacking hooker that hits hard in defence, organises well, and can kick a 40/20, Manicaros has been destined to head to an NRL club since he was playing junior league.
His brother Dylan, took the leap last season, heading into the Newcastle Knights U20s program, as well as half brother Jake Hawkins who played NSW Cup for the Knights last season as well.
“I can’t wait to get up to the Gold Coast and get into it,” Manicaros said.
Team mate Ty Barry is also on his way to the Titans next year, another reason that Manicaros wanted to go north instead of Sydney, although it wasn’t for lack of teams chasing the young talent’s signature.
The Roosters, Parramatta, Cronulla, St George and a few other clubs all had offers on the table.
“I really didn’t want to live in western Sydney and Ty is a good mate that will be at the Gold Coast as well.”
“It was just a better deal all around.”
“It was good to be wanted though.”
Sunday was the fourth year in a row that the Farrer student has won a premiership at North Tamworth.
Along with several of his team mates in Sundays 56-10 win the group won two in the U16s and then back to back with the U18s, adding a first grade trophy to that record was just icing on the cake.
“I played first grade whenever I wasn’t playing rep,” Manicaros said.
“They took me on like a brother, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch of blokes.”
when Manicaros scored three early tries in the U18 fixture and the Bears were leading by seven tries early, a call out from first grade was made to get him off and keep some points in the tank.
“Getting three tries was great but you always want to be playing first grade if you can,” Manicaros said.
In the first grade semifinal and then final Manicaros brought plenty of energy off the bench, driving the pack forward and getting Norths on the front foot.
He said that captain coach Zac Russ makes it easy for him.
“It’s either early pass or take off myself,” Manicaros said.
The dummy half only has one HSC exam coming up, although is heading to the sunshine state at the start of October, hoping to line up some work tickets and a job to fit in around the hectic training schedule, that will begin after the induction in
“First grade was the best grand final I have ever won,” Manicaros said.
“Now my goal is to get into the U20s and eventually get an NRL jersey.”
“It is going to be really hard but I will have a crack.”