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Phil Daley

A tall solid prop, Manly junior and the son of Doug Daley. Phil made the Manly first grade side in 1985 and in the following year toured with the 1986 Kangaroos, playing in 7 tour games but no Tests. 1987 was his most memorable year playing in 3 State of Origin matches, including the match in Los Angeles, and in Manly's 18-8 grand final win over Canberra. In 1988, Phil was sensationally sacked from the NSW team when he secretly left camp to visit his pregnant wife. He went on to play in Tests against Great Britain and Papua New Guinea that year. He left Manly after the disasterous 1989 season feeling the pressure of being the Club Secretary's son in a year remembered more for factional infighting than on field results. He played 19 games for the Gold Coast in 1990 and 1991. He returned to Manly in 1992 but retired soon after.

The following article is extracted from the Big League Grand Final Souvenir Programme 27 September 1987:

Phil's 19 years of hard labour!

IF experience counts for anything as a front rower Manly's strapping 23 year old giant Phil Daley had to be a success. For Daley is in his 19th consecutive year in the position!

From under-fives at Harbord through his teenage days at St Augustines in the Manly district, Daley has been, as he laughingly calls it, "up with the Blockheads". But this likeable policeman from Dee Why is anything but a blockhead.

He is a likeable young man who knew where he was going in life from his early days as a toddler peeking over the fence at Brookvale Oval. Daley had no real choice but to become a Sea Eagle - his dad Doug is a former long time player, treasurer and now secretary of the club.

Having a father as a high ranking official could be seen by many as having a guaranteed short cut to the top. "A lot of people suggest you have the inside mail on a lot of things but really dad and I rarely discuss anything political in football. "If anything happens at Manly I usually read about it in the newspapers," Daley said.

The Manly club didn't have to be convinced by a proud father of the ability of their now grand final and Australian prop. For Phil Daley is a schoolboy star who has come right through the junior representative ranks.

He played for the State Schoolboys, Sydney, NSW and Australia in Under-18s before going straight into grade. Coach Bob Fulton had watched Daley's progress and immediately sent his young charge to his close friend and physical expert George Daldry.

Daldry personally supervised a special training program for Daley and the result is the "Milton the Monster" of today - a fitness fanatic who relishes the tough going. In the major semi final against Easts the lessons learnt under Daldry hit home to Daley when he made a comeback after suffering a fractured jaw in the State-of-Origin match in Los Angeles.

"I hadn't played for five weeks and I didn't relish the criticism that I would be the weak link in the side," Daley said. "I had trained hard every day during my layoff as a preparation and I've got those days with George Daldry to thank for my belief in hard work at training," he said.

For someone so calm and polite off the field Daley admits to liking explosive players as his favourites. His early days at Brookvale were spent watching his idols - not the dazzlers in maroon and white - but the tough men like Terry Randall and Les Boyd.

For Phil Daley the grand final is perhaps the ultimate for one so steeped in club tradition - he has lived all his life and played football only on the peninsula. And he says he has no real bargaining power when it comes to talking dollars.

"I go straight to the committee - it isn't fair on Doug if I sat down and haggled with him. "Besides I'm a Manly man and no amount of money could get me to change. "It's in my blood," he says fiercely.