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The Rock-itt : May 2011
father Ed got together with the top brass at Manly United to chose the recipient of the highly prized and highly influential Lucas Neill Scholarship Award. Currently with Galatasaray in the Turkish Super League former Manly Warringah player Lucas is a good friend to our club and continues to be took away the thoughts of the Manly man- agement and coupled with his own exten- sive knowledge of the abilities of the young players currently playing at the Club spoke at length with Lucas about who deserved the award for 2010/11. Their decision was a very popular one and for the first time a player Tonu Liibard. Tonu tells us about his experience of just what the award means to him and where it took him. How did it feel to win the Lucas Neill Schol- arship? Why do you think that it was awarded to you? I felt great when l won the scholarship... unbelievably great! I am not entirely sure why it was awarded to me although I un- derstand that one of the key criteria is a professional football. I interpret the award as acknowledgement of the hard work l did throughout the year and the role I played in first keeper to win the scholarship and I have a lot of people to thank for their sup- port, especially my keeper coach, John Crawley and my Manly team coaches, Har- ry, Pablo, Chris and Nick. What did you receive in terms of the award? I received tons of Nike gear... boots, track- suits, skins, gloves, casual clothes and shoes. I also received a phone from Optus, a Sony camcorder, an account with Manly Warringah Building Society, the overseas trip along with £1000 in spending money agency. Perhaps the greatest reward has been a greater belief in myself and what I bit by far! What was your itinerary? The plan was for me to spend one week in and then go to the UK to spend a week each at the W est Ham and Glasgow Rang- What was life like at the Galatasaray Acad- emy? How did you communicate? Life at Gala academy was great because all I did was play football, watch football and eat. I had a room to myself and there were common areas to meet with the oth- er guys. Some of them spoke a bit of Eng- lish.... they generally talked about football. Food was cooked for us, laundry done, rooms cleaned... I liked it! How did the training differ from here in Australia? What were the facilities like? You train every day and sometimes twice a day. The training is a lot more attacking, fast football. The facilities are top grade. The pitches are superb... the change rooms, the physio areas, the stadia, the academy quarters... all are fantastic. There is also a different mentality about football... it is far more respected than it is in Australia. It is much better patronised and there are more intense programs for kids of all ages. Soccer is the main foot ball code and everything takes its lead from that! What was your daily schedule? Daily schedule was to get up and eat... maybe train before lunch or watch the first team train (which was pretty cool) then train after lunch, chill out until dinner, have dinner and then chill out again before go- ing to bed Good life! Did anything particularly interesting hap- pen to you in Istanbul? When I arrived I was picked up at the air- port and whisked away to the Galatasaray stadium to watch Lucas play. The match Current Lucas Neill Scholarship Award winner Tonu Liibard A thoughtful Tonu, he is on the bench for First grade already.