There has been speculation about Daly Cherry-Evans‘ retirement plans following the signing of Luke Brooks by Manly, but the Sea Eagles captain has made it clear that he has no intention of hanging up his boots anytime soon. Phil Gould‘s suggestion that Cherry-Evans might retire as early as this year was met with surprise on Sydney’s northern beaches. While Gould praised Cherry-Evans’ current form, he emphasised the importance of not waiting until you’re completely burned out to retire. However, Cherry-Evans has no desire to retire this year, next year, or even when his current deal expires in 2025.
Cherry-Evans’ commitment to the Sea Eagles is good news for their fans, but bad news for New South Wales. The Queensland captain has no plans to quit representative football either. Having led Queensland to three State of Origin series wins, his focus now is on achieving a clean sweep, a feat not achieved since 2010. At 34 years old, Cherry-Evans seems to be playing better than ever, with Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold praising him for his maturity, leadership, and outstanding performances this season.
Manly owner Scott Penn also expressed his admiration for Cherry-Evans, describing him as a phenomenal athlete who is at the top of his game. Penn believes that Cherry-Evans, who is currently 34 years old, could continue playing for several more years. As an example, Penn mentioned former Melbourne Storm player Cameron Smith, who retired at the age of 37. Penn believes that it would be unwise to bet against Cherry-Evans playing on for longer.
Cherry-Evans’ standing in the game was highlighted by a photo of him standing on top of an esky in the Maroons‘ Suncorp Stadium dressing room after Queensland’s Origin II victory. He is highly respected in Queensland and is determined to make an impact for his state and the Sea Eagles. While questions arise about who would replace Cherry-Evans in the Maroons No.7 jersey, he remains focused on achieving success with the Sea Eagles. He won an NRL premiership in his rookie year in 2011 and is determined to secure another title. Cherry-Evans believes that there is still more to be done in his career and wants to avoid retiring prematurely like some of his former teammates.
Cherry-Evans emphasised the importance of balance between Origin and club football and expressed his desire to continue representing Queensland. He is not content with just a series win and believes that the current Origin series presents an opportunity for his team to do something special. Cherry-Evans views the current situation as a chance to create a team that will be remembered in years to come. However, his ultimate goal is to win another premiership with Manly, considering it a fairytale scenario that would signify a new challenge and achievement in his career.
Cherry-Evans made a significant contribution to the Maroons in Origin II when he mowed down Stephen Crichton and prevented a try for the Blues. His determination and skill were widely praised, and the play will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the outstanding moments of the series. While Origin games themselves are not any more challenging than in previous years, Cherry-Evans has noticed that recovery time is taking longer as he gets older. He has had to adjust his training routine to ensure adequate rest and preparation for club games following Origin matches.
Looking ahead to next year, the addition of Luke Brooks to the Manly squad will bring the halves pairing to more than 500 games of NRL experience. However, Cherry-Evans remains focused on the present and is thoroughly enjoying his role as the Sea Eagles‘ captain. With his commitment and determination, Cherry-Evans is determined to achieve success both with the Queensland Maroons and the Manly Sea Eagles.