In a nice piece of sporting synergy, ANTHONY BERGELIN plays his 200th grade game on the same day Manly celebrates its 2000th first grade match. ADAM LUCIUS talked to Bergo on the eve of the twin milestones.
AL: What do you remember of your debut?
Bergo: I honestly can't remember my first grade game but I remember my first game in first grade. It was against Parramatta and we lost at home and I got dropped by Billy Melrose the next week. I was shitty because Billy wasn't there and the game wasn't recorded and I thought I went alright (laughs). I probably never had a good enough kicking game to carve out a career at 10 in the top grade and thus spent most of my grade career in reserve grade.
AL: You've copped it from other coaches, too?
Bergo: (Laughs) Best spray was John Kelly after a reserve grade loss to Gordon. It was all time.
AL: Your late dad Bernie played 330 games for Manly and is a club great. It must be special to move to within 130 games of him?
Bergo: Dad and I are the first father and son duo to have played 200 games for the club. It's something I am proud of and something I'm sure he would also have been proud of. Manly has played such a large part in our family's life.
AL: What are your greatest memories?
Bergo: I have played in some great teams and experienced grand finals on three occasions - second grade off the bench in 2006, third grade in 2012 and last year skippering 4s to their first premiership since 1978.
AL: Most painful memories?
Bergo: Anytime you get hooked and first grade not winning the grand final last year.
AL: Funniest teammate?
Bergo: David Boylan easily. His ambition on the rugby field was to tie an opponent's shoelaces together.
AL: Most enjoyable to play with?
Bergo: Steven Scoles, Chris Yarrington and Andrew Davis
AL: Best Manly players of your era?
Bergo: Peter Hewat, closely followed by Matt Lucas
AL: Best Marlin yarn?
Bergo: The Lee Griffiths Anniversary story when he took too much Viagra, supplied by another player who worked in pharmaceuticals. It's a long story...if you get my drift. Anyway he got married to the woman in that story so it’s not all bad news.
AL: You've tried to retire a few times, so is this year it?
Bergo: It's likely to be my last season. I will let you know in a few months...