A change of scenery has Manly United forward Marco Sama on the cusp of one of the best seasons of his career when it very easily could’ve been his worst.
The 25-year-old started this season with Parramatta FC but the club’s on and off field issues had a significant impact on Sama and the rest of the Eagles squad.
Out of form and struggling with life at the beleaguered club, Sama was given a life-line from his junior club Manly United mid-way through the season.
“I got a phone call from Warren Grieve (Manly coach) asking if I wanted to make the move and It was an offer I couldn’t turn down,” Sama said.
“I was happy to come back to my junior club. Once I knew they wanted to sign me, it was a formality.
“It has always been a good club but they’ve really gone to another level in terms of professionalism and ambition over the past few season.”
Sama’s arrival at Manly coincided in a turn of form for the Northern Beaches side who has gone on to win nine of the past 10 games after a run of poor results during May and June.
“It was always going to be difficult going from a club battling relegation to a side fighting to make the finals but Warren and the rest of the squad have made it easy for me to return to my best,” he said.
“We started to treat every match like it was our last and our results began to make a positive turn.
“I think one of the big secrets to our success has been the fact there is no egos in the squad. Everyone is giving their all in every match.”
With two wins in two finals matches this season for Manly, Sama said confidence is sky high ahead of their clash with Rockdale City Suns.
“We discussed Manly’s struggles at this stage of the competition before our first finals match. The club has had a horror run in finals matches dating back nearly 20 years,” he said.
“With two finals wins so far this season we feel like the monkey is off our back and we have what it takes to win Manly’s first grand final since 1995.
“The way we played against Blacktown City last week was second to none and it was proof we have what it takes to win the title.”
It was a Sama strike which gave Manly the win last match and the striker is confident he can make an impact against Rockdale City Suns.
“Even though Rockdale suffered a big loss last week we won’t be taking them lightly,” he said.
“They have a talented squad and with a grand final spot on the line you can’t underestimate anyone.
“I think the match will definitely go down to the wire. I was feeling pretty good last round and to score in a finals matches a great feeling.
“No matter if Warren has me in the starting line-up or off the bench, I’ll be giving everything to get us another step closer to a Championship title.”