Manly's steely warning for Jake Arthur critics: 'Line you don't cross'

The Sea Eagles are confident the addition of Jake Arthur will be mutually beneficial, after his time at Parramatta was ruined by trolls.

Jake Arthur speaks with Parramatta Eels assistant coach Trent Barrett.
Jake Arthur is hoping for a fresh start after switching from the Eels to Manly. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Manly has thrown a collective arm around new recruit Jake Arthur, warning trolls and abusive fans won’t be tolerated as the young half begins a new life at Brookvale. The Sea Eagles are fully aware Arthur arrives as a player looking to regain confidence and love for the game after copping horrendous criticism from a small section of Eels fans.

Some of the critics were relentless in their abuse – both online and in person – with many accusing coach Brad Arthur of nepotism for selecting his son in first grade. Manly CEO Tony Mestrov is confident a new environment will create a new beginning.

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"I'm not going to comment on what happened with the fans and Jake at Parramatta because I don’t know all the circumstances, but suffice to say we find any sort of player abuse unacceptable," he told Yahoo Sport Australia. "Fans are certainly entitled to voice their opinions strongly and we love that passion, but there's a line you don’t cross.

"It's no secret Jake has had some tough times to deal with, but I'm sure our fans will get right behind him and give him their full support, as they would any player who pulls on our jersey."

Arthur is looking to make a clean start at Manly, admitting the criticism at Parramatta was hard to ignore at times.

"It was fine. I dealt with it. I wasn't really worried about it and didn’t read into it," he said. "It's hard to not listen to it but if I just focus on that all the time, then I'll start believing it. I've just got to believe in myself."

Jake Arthur says Eels coach Brad backed Manly move

Asked how his father responded to news of his mid-season switch to the Eels' arch-rivals, Jake said: "The opportunity presented itself and he was happy to back me and happy for me to make this decision.

"I think it'll be good just to have him as my dad and not my coach.

"I've obviously been at Parra for a long time and learned that same system and same structure, so it's good to branch out.

"It's an opportunity to learn off new people. Daly (Cherry-Evans) is very experienced, I've heard lots of good things about Seibs (coach Anthony Seibold) and there's new things to learn.

Jake Arthur.
Jake Arthur has been unfairly maligned by Eels fans, subsequently making the move to Manly for the rest of the season. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

"It's a really good feeling around here. Everyone's been welcoming to me. I've felt lots of support from everyone here and everyone in the community."

Arthur only arrived at Manly on Monday but may be set for an immediate NRL start against Newcastle on Sunday, with skipper and halfback Cherry-Evans away on Origin duty. Cooper Johns has been selected at No.7 but the Sea Eagles aren't ruling out a late change.

"Jake's been criticised or scrutinised at Parramatta quite a bit so we just want him to come here and compete hard for a position," Seibold said. "He adds some depth to our halves and has some versatility value as well."

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