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Tah Talk with Jay Lenton – Sam’s pod a Hole lot of fun


Last week I touched on our sensational social media reach across X, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Helping build that profile is a new addition to our media offerings – the fast-growing Weekly Wicket podcast featuring host Sam Hole and a special guest from the Tahs fraternity.

Sammy has interviewed the likes of Mike Pawley, Andrew Fraser, Saskia Horley and David Gainsford over the opening couple of months of the season.

I’ve been fortunate to appear in one episode and enjoyed the chance to talk about my cricketing career and time at Manly.   

Recorded at the RATT and expertly produced by former player and supreme techy Rowan Hamman, the talks have been entertaining, informative, humourous and quite emotional in parts.

I will now hand the mic over to Sam to tell you a little bit more.

“It’s been a fantastic experience. I’ve had to learn the true art of conversation, saying a little less and letting our guests do the talking,” he told Tah Talk. 

“I feel the podcasts have turned into an invaluable piece of oral history for the club, giving some of our most loyal servants the chance to reflect and share stories that otherwise may have been lost.

“That’s probably what I’m most proud of and the biggest motivator to keep it rolling.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with lots of folks from the Manly community reaching out having loved hearing stories from the past. 

“I’ve slowly got better as host and would welcome any feedback on how to make my own voice sound smoother in everyone’s ears!”

The good thing is, Sammy’s going to have plenty of practice fine-tuning his vocals.

Up-coming guests include Tim Cruickshank and ex-player/president Gary “Stalky” Flowers, while there are plans to get the Davies and Edwards brothers in front of a microphone for some gentle probing.

Other club favourites are also on the wish list.

Asked who’s been the stand-out guest so far, a diplomatic Sam said we’ve all been great.

But pushed for an answer, it was hard to go past M. Pawley.

“There is probably no other living person with a richer history of our club, so to hear him talk about battles with Jeff Thomson and Len Pascoe, his own personal battles and all the way through to his amazing work with Happy Days – it’s a truly great listen from an incredible human,” Sam said. 

“Manly is blessed to have so many colourful characters from our past and present that make fantastic guests.”


There is nothing more satisfying for a coach or captain than to see a player who puts in that little extra reap the rewards.

One such player is second grade women’s off-spinner Lara Hughes.

Lara is always among the first at training and last to leave and leaves no stone unturned in looking at ways to improve in all aspects of the game.

She is quickly developing into a quality all-rounder, equally at home with ball or bat, and has been identified at state level for her age group.

Head coach of our women’s program, Duncan Kerr, is an enthusiastic fella at the best of times but goes next level when talking about this young player.   

“Lara epitomises what we are trying to achieve at Manly – fun, effort and reward. She ticks all those boxes,” big Dunc told us.

“Her bowling and her batting have come a long way in 12 months and she can change a game in one over.

“She trains hard and gets value out of every session she attends, not to mention the extras she does away from Manly. 

“I can only say I’m glad she is playing for us and not against us!!”

Seconds coach Mechelle Hare is just as happy to have Lara aboard.

“Lara is hard working and always keen to learn, has a great attitude and is very good within our team environment,” she said. 

“She is extremely level-headed and has embraced the challenge of playing second grade. She is a thinker who is not afraid to learn and try new things.”

High praise indeed,

Keep up the great work, Lara.


Last week a bunch of us Manly players – along with the odd sporting celebrity – had the privilege of playing in the Archie Gray fundraiser match at Pratten Park.

For those unaware of the background, Archie was just 16 when he returned home from playing against Manly for Western Suburbs in 2021 and suddenly fell ill.

Tragically, he passed away less than a year later after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Before a crowd of around 2000, Wests hosted Manly in a T20 clash which doubled as a fundraiser for the Mark Hughes Foundation’s brain cancer research.

At last check, $75,000 had been raised for this wonderful cause.

Brett Lee, Steve Menzies and Michael Hooper all pulled on the Manly colours against a Wests team featuring two of Archie’s brothers.

It truly was a remarkable evening and I thank all those who attended and helped raise awareness and money for brain cancer research.    

And in Beaver and Hoops, we may have found ourselves a couple of handy players should our lower grades teams ever be short a player or two!