Josh Perry never wanted to leave Newcastle.
He loved being Novocastrian. It’s what he knew.
He always had plans to play out his football career as a Knight. Be a one club man.
But plans changed. Circumstances changed. Perry had to do what was right for him.
He was selected for the Blues in the State of Origin in 2003, but when he was forced to miss an Origin due to a one game suspension, that’s where things started on a downward spiral.
It really affected him for the next three to four years and his football suffered.
“I wasn’t doing the things I needed to do after 2003 after I missed the third state of Origin, because they had won that,” Perry added.
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“Really shattered me and took me a long time to get back to that form and back into the Origin team.”
It took its toll, and life in Newcastle just wasn’t helping.
“The environment I was it, I was probably stuck in a rut where I was hanging out with not the best people in Newcastle for my career,” Perry said.
“Just probably got a bit comfortable at Newcastle, I’d been there since I was 14, knew everyone, knew all the ways to take the easy option.”
It took an offer to Manly and help from a life coach to change everything.
“Everything changed when I met my life coach,” said Perry.
“We really dissected everything that was going on with footy and in my life.
“We rectified a few things and had a few things moving in the right direction.”
Never would Perry have ever considered a move to a rival club like the Sea Eagles.
But it seemed fate.
“Went down to Manly, it was really timely, and we turned it into something super positive,” Perry added.
“I desperately wanted to stay at Newcastle, but they were sort of forcing my hand to look elsewhere, so I had a really amazing opportunity to go and play for Manly.
“Early 2000s late 90s for anyone to think I would have gone and played for Manly I would have punched in the face because everyone hated Manly.
“That was the team, with Chief and Spud and the rivalry in the grand final… they’re the team we really loved to hate.”
He started with Manly in 2008. Perry admits it was the best decision he had ever made.
It refreshed his career; he was back in best form.
“Everything fit really well and couldn’t have picked a better team to go to and win the grand final the first year,” he said.
“I ended up back playing State of Origin and playing for Australia.
“I ended up being there which I never would have guessed in a million years.”