League great Paul Gallen has suggested the embarrassment from the video of Tom Trbojevic racing a punter at The Corso in Manly in February spurred him to his Dally M Medal-winning season.
The Manly star capped off a remarkable 2021 season by taking out his first Dally M Medal for a season which saw him notch 25 tries and 27 try assists during the home-and-away season.
It was a phenomenal turnaround after Trbojevic missed the start of Manly’s season following a hamstring injury which the club suggested he sustained by slipping in the shower.
But when vision surfaced hours later of Trbojevic racing a punter in the Manly Corso, both the club and the gun fullback were forced to deny the injury occurred during the late-night sprint-off.
After claiming the Dally M Medal, Trbojevic admitted that he had become more “professional” in his preparation this season.
“The way I train definitely changed and my lifestyle, too,” he told Nine’s 100% Footy.
“Obviously getting injured over the past couple of years and even at the start of this year, I had to become more professional and do more to get my body right each week.
“We’ve got a really good crew at Manly and one that I’m very thankful to have, and I appreciate everything to get on the field each week.”
Gallen, who asked Trbojevic the question of what sparked his amazing season, agreed with the 24-year-old assessment.
“That’s why I asked him what changed. Did his lifestyle change? Did his training change?” Gallen said. “I think [the embarrassment] did help him.
“I didn’t agree with what Harry and his mate did, posting that picture on social media, I think that’s a pretty ordinary thing to do, but I think it probably straightened Tommy out a little bit.”