Breaking the Cheyne
ASK Tweed Heads Seagulls boss Matthew Jobson what he thinks of the club's new captain, and what you'll get is the affirmation of a man supremely confident in another's leadership qualities.
That man is Cheyne Whitelaw, the freshly anointed captain of the Tweed Seagulls, who with being handed the captaincy has received a resounding endorsement from his teammates, coaches and the club.
Jobson, the Seagulls' CEO, said Whitelaw's attitude had simply blown everyone at the club away since he was recruited from North Sydney Bears in the off-season.
"In off-season training Cheyne has simply been the benchmark for everything we've done,” said Jobson, who has admired Whitelaw's commitment to training standards over an intense summer.
"Coaches, off-field staff and everyone at the club have been so impressed with him, his attitude to training and impact on the group. Cheyne has been a standout in every aspect of training and preparation and it was an easy choice in the end.
" He's also incredibly experienced at this level having made the NSW Cup team last year.”
In promoting Whitelaw to the captaincy, 2017 incumbent Sam Meskell joins the club's reigning player of the year Lamar Liolevave as vice-captains.
"That's an excellent leadership group: Sam's been at the club for a long time and Lamar was the best player at our club last year,” Jobson said.
"Certainly from a leadership perspective we've got things really well taken care of.”
Whitelaw's backing from the club has left him "awe” inspired.
"Being new to the team I didn't expect the captaincy at all,” Whitelaw said.
"It's a massive honour and a big responsibility that I'm very excited and privileged to take on.
"I was a little bit in awe to be honest.
"I just want to play well for the team, represent the team well and do the club really proud.”
Whitelaw's quest to reciprocate the respect of the Seagulls organisation will be made easier as he leads the club with two more than able deputies who he said would offer tremendous support.
"Our leadership won't be just me it'll go across the team and our vice-captains Sam and Lamar,” he said.
"Between us we are going to do right by the club and right by the team.”
While the captaincy has awoken a deep sense of honour in Whitelaw, he said anyone sleeping on what the Seagulls might do on the field in 2018 could be in for a rude shock.
"I want to do what a lot of people think is impossible at this point in time,” he said.
"Last year we were fighting in a wooden spoon battle.
"This year I'd like to think that we are contenders in this comp.
"With the quality of players we have in this side, I think if we gel together we can do special things.
"My goal is to be the best player I can be out on the field, really rip in and lead by example, and help others be the best they can be.”
"Then I think we can do something pretty special.”