As far as an annus horribilis goes, 2015 is right up there for Daly Cherry-Evans.
Pilloried as a traitor after turning his back on a multi-million dollar deal with the Gold Coast to stick with Manly, Cherry-Evans also lost his Queensland State of Origin jumper this year.
The superstar No.7 also battled shoulder and leg injuries through much of the season before the Sea Eagles missed the NRL finals for the first time in 11 years.
The 26-year-old said he was looking forward to turning over a new leaf in 2016 taking the lessons he had learned from last season with him.
“The media spotlight I had on me wasn’t something I enjoyed, but I definitely am very comfortable with what has happened and the decisions I have made, I stand by them moving forward,” Cherry-Evans said.
“All that (what happened last season) is going to dissipate very soon and feel I will be more comfortable within myself.
“I found out how many friends I had, the amount of support I had during that process was overwhelming and it what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.”
Cherry-Evans was dumped from the Queensland side for their record-breaking 52-6 thumping of NSW in this year’s decided and he conceded his form needs to improve if he is to force his way back into the Maroons line-up.
“I feel as though I have to play a lot better football for Manly to them put myself into that conversation to play rep footy,” he said.
“The back end of last year I definitely didn’t do that, I have expectations that I hold close and I feel if I can achieve those and play better football then I can get myself back into contention.
Cherry-Evans has become a more critical part of Manly under new coach Trent Barrett following Kieran Foran’s departure to Parramatta.
Manly began pre-season training on Monday. But the 2011 premiership winning pivot is still recovering from a shoulder injury and won’t be involved in full contact training with the Sea Eagles until the New Year.
“It will be different without Kieran but it is a challenge I am looking forward to,” Cherry-Evans said.
“First impressions are I will be able to get across the park a bit more, I can’t wait to get stuck into training.”