Luke Brooks’ determination to depart the Wests Tigers after greater than a decade on the membership was “robust” however the star playmaker has conceded it was a name he “needed to make.”
In one among his first one-on-one interviews since changing into a Sea Eagle, Brooks informed foxsports.com.au that slicing ties along with his former membership “felt like a weight off my shoulders.”
Brooks was an area Tigers junior and have become an in a single day sensation after a stunning debut as a fresh-faced 18-year-old in 2013.
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Brooks reveals why Manly is a clever transfer | 01:27
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The next season he was named Dally M Rookie of the Yr and in 2018 Brooks not solely gained Halfback of the Yr however he additionally completed third within the total Dally M rely.
However from a workforce perspective, the 29-year-old skilled minimal success on the Tigers — actually he has the undesirable document of most video games with no finals look.
It nonetheless wasn’t straightforward for Brooks to stroll away from the Tigers although.
However he can now safely say it was the proper transfer.
“It was a tough determination that I needed to make however in the long run I believe as soon as all of it settled down, coming right here, it made me assume it was the proper determination,” Brooks informed foxsports.com.au.
“On the finish of the day you’ve obtained to do what’s finest for you.
“As soon as I did make the choice it form of felt like a weight off my shoulders and I used to be proud of my determination.”
Brooks has had alternatives to depart the Tigers prior to now — he got here near becoming a member of the Knights forward of the 2023 season — however has all the time ended up reaffirming his dedication to the Tigers.
Why now? What satisfied him to make the bounce?
“I believe it was simply the proper alternative and the proper membership,” Brooks mentioned.
“I assume I’ve been on the Tigers for therefore lengthy that stepping out of my consolation zone shall be a superb factor for me. While you’re consistently doing the identical factor, a change is required.”
The possibility to play alongside the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic was a significant draw card too.
“That’s positively the primary factor that attracted me to Manly,” Brooks mentioned of the star-power on Manly’s roster.
“There’s plenty of guys on this aspect which have performed Origin and there’s some very skilled guys that I believe will assist me.
“I’m trying ahead to a brand new begin and hopefully enjoying some good footy.”
Brooks has spent majority of his first grade profession at halfback however will don the No.6 when he companions Cherry-Evans.
“Quite a bit” excites Brooks about enjoying with an skilled — and conventional — No.7 in Cherry-Evans as a result of he believes it may convey the very best out of him.
“(Cherry-Evans) has clearly accomplished every thing within the recreation so I really feel like I’m going to study so much from him,” Brooks mentioned.
“I’m excited to play with somebody of that calibre. He’s performed a few of his finest footy in the previous couple of years — even on the age of 34.
“With the kicking, having a left-footer and a right-footer positively helps and having two kickers within the workforce will assist.
“And my operating recreation, I really feel like I play my finest footy after I’m operating the ball. I believe I’ve obtained the gamers round me that’ll assist me do this.”
Brooks endured some fairly darkish days on the Tigers, together with back-to-back wood spoons. He admitted the losses do take a toll on a participant’s mentality and that did come into play when making the choice to depart.
“You get right into a behavior of shedding if you frequently lose and also you form of overlook what successful looks like. It was robust,” he mentioned.
“There have been years the place we have been within the hunt to make the eight however the previous couple of years we weren’t within the hunt and that’s onerous.
“It did (issue within the determination to depart). I gave it my all there and it clearly wasn’t working.”
Carrying the No.7 put Brooks entrance and centre of the criticism thrown on the Tigers. He was one of many largest names on the membership for a interval if time and was simply essentially the most criticised.
However at Manly, Brooks is overshadowed by Cherry-Evans, the Trbojevic brothers and at occasions even Josh Schuster.
When requested if it’s a breath of recent air to go from being the ‘huge canine’ to considerably mixing in, Brooks mentioned: “Yeah positively.
“I believe it fits my persona as nicely — I prefer to fly below the radar,” he added.
“There’s plenty of ‘huge canine’ right here so I can simply sit again and allow them to take (the eye)… That’s one other factor that attracted me to the membership.”
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Brooks was “nervous” earlier than his first day of coaching at his new membership however he has shortly settled in — it helps when fellow ex-Tigers’ Tommy Talau, Josh Aloiai and Aaron Woods are round.
He’s gelling nicely with head coach Anthony Seibold too.
“He’s a really sensible coach, he’s very organised and what he desires from you. To date he’s been good,” Brooks mentioned.
A premiership is in fact on the prime of each participant’s record of objectives for 2024, however Brooks can be hoping to seek out the enjoyment in footy once more.
“Enjoying good footy and simply having fun with it,” he mentioned when requested what he desires to get out of his first season at Manly.
“I believe over the previous couple of years it turns into robust — particularly if you’re not successful. Hopefully we win a number of video games and simply benefit from the footy… the remaining will come.”