Lloyd Perrett arrived at Wynnum Manly Seagulls for pre-season armed with three powerful weapons – gratefulness, perspective and ambition.
The damaging forward, who has played 55 games in the NRL during his time at the Canterbury Bulldogs and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, knows he still has a lot to give as a player, and wants to put in the work needed to return to the NRL level.
With the Brisbane Broncos showing faith in his potential, Perrett has the ambition to take the next step forward.
“Over the past few years, I have had a tough few years with injury ... I had lots of off-field things I had to look after, and it sort of skewed my priorities away from football, but I wouldn’t change a thing,” Perrett said.
“I have ended up here (at Wynnum Manly), not as fit as I would like to be, but the coaching staff and everyone here has been awesome in trying to get me back there, same as the Brisbane Broncos coaches.
"They have all told me they would love to have me as part of the team, but I have to earn my way back.
“The Broncos signed me to basically a train and trial, so it is good to know that people know that I am still capable of playing football and I think the bottom line for myself is that I need to get healthy - mentally and physically, and I know I am talented enough to just be able to do it, but that’s what I have to focus on – being healthy physically.
“I have been carrying a few injuries, but I am healthy and looking to get some form back and get back in shape and enjoy my footy again.”
At the age of 25, Perrett has already experienced enough to fill a lifetime and has overcome his fair share of adversity to get to where he is now.
Perrett said he “fell out of love” with the game after he was faced with a number of off-field hurdles, including his well-documented health scare in the pre-season of 2018 with heat injury and selection disappointments.
A former member of the Queensland Emerging Origin squad, Perrett has since rekindled his love of the game, and in the process, gained a valuable perspective on his outlook on life.
“There were a few things outside of football that I guess were taking my attention away and I think I was worrying and stressing about the things that were not going right and that ultimately culminated in me saying ‘I don’t want to play football anymore - it’s too stressful and I have other things I need to look after’," Perrett said.
"When in reality, football had probably been the mainstay in my life and has probably been the biggest blessing in my life.
“It’s been the thing that has kept my mind off other things that have happened in my life.
“I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself, ‘cause I know I have a lot of talent and I have always been one of those players that was spoken about in the media and people know your name ‘cause you have achieved good things in the junior ranks.
“I guess, I put it on myself and when I wasn’t achieving those things, I was hard on myself and got angry with myself, I blamed myself and I blamed other people even, and I lost the love of it ‘cause I wasn’t grateful for what I had and the opportunities I had been given.”
Perrett played against current team mates Mitch Cronin, Sam Scarlett, Delouise Hoeter and Broncos Richie Kennar and Keenan Palasia last year in the interstate Residents match, and since his arrival at the Seagulls, coach Adam Brideson has seen a new side of him and has been impressed by his contributions to the team.
“Lloyd’s done a fantastic job. He's a very experienced front rower, playing plenty of first grade with several different clubs in Sydney and he has come here with a very good attitude,” Brideson said.
“Unfortunately, he’s just a little bit off the mark when it comes to getting himself back into that full-time system with the Broncos and he’s come back here and been very professional and shown the way.
“At this level, at semi-professional level, obviously we want to be successful, but we also want players to reach their potential and go on.
"Hopefully we can help Lloyd reach his potential and participate in getting Lloyd back into an NRL system, because when he knuckles down and works really hard, he’s a quality football player and certainly at a first-grade level.”
For Perrett, his next steps are simple.
“I think the secret of enjoying anything in life, and this is a bit philosophical of me, is just to be grateful and I think I lost my gratitude,” Perrett said.
“I can probably say not a lot of players have been through what I have been through, so it is pretty cool, but I guess that means nothing if I don’t use it.
“If I don’t use it in a positive way, it doesn’t mean much, so I guess my goal and my mission is to make sure it means something.
“I have been very lucky and it has been a good eye opener for myself to be grateful for what I have and the experiences I have and the opportunities I have in front of me.”
Wynnum Manly Seagulls gains and losses
Lloyd Perrett (Manly Sea Eagles), Lachlan Maranta (St George Illawarra Dragons), Lewis Soosemea (NZ Warriors), Brody Tamarua (NZ Warriors), Toni Tupouniua (NZ Warriors), Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu (Wests Tigers)
Edene Gebbie (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Edwin Ipape (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Kelly Tate ( Souths Logan Magpies), Jack Goodsell (Souths Logan Magpies), Matt Groat (Souths Logan Magpies), Jayden Berrell (Easts Tigers)
*Gains and losses list provided by the club and correct at time of publication
2020 gains and losses