Matai's the man: Arko ZORBA 22jul06 MANLY Godfather Ken Arthurson is tipping the Sea Eagles' tough tackling ponytailed centre Steve Matai to do a Terry Randall and make a successful switch to the lock forward position as early as next season. Arthurson is a fan of Matai and feels the 22-year-old Kiwi is a natural to head for the back of the forward pack. "He is a devastating defender, relishes the hard work, is smart out of dummy half and has speed to burn - he would kill them in the thick of the action for 80 minutes," Arthurson said. "On top of all that he is a fearless player and would relish the forward exchanges. "He reminds me a lot of Terry Randall - who like Matai started out as a centre - but switched to the forwards with devastating results to be one of the most feared forwards of the 70s." Now in retirement on the Gold Coast, Arthurson is a constant visitor to Brookvale Oval for matches and never misses a match featuring his beloved maroon and whites on Channel 9 or Fox Sports. Arthurson said he was very impressed with Matai as a player of enormous potential. "I congratulate the club on finding him and developing him so fast. He has come from nowhere but is certainly heading towards a very bright future. "He will prove a valuable player for the future. With Ben Kennedy retiring it is going to be impossible to replace him but perhaps the next best option is already in the side - particularly with Jamie Lyon coming next season and set to partner Steve Bell as the most potent centre pairing in the game. "I wouldn't be moving Travis Burns from five-eighth - like Matai he has been a brilliant find for the club - and like Matai he has loads of courage." Steve Matai has played in 16 of Manly's 18 games this season and has been one of the team's most consistent performers. His elevation to the fringe of international football this season has been meteoric. Matai was 18th man for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test against Australia at Suncorp Stadium on May 5 and is sure to be chosen in the New Zealand squad for the upcoming Tri-Nations series. Kiwi coach Brian McClennan is another Matai fan. McClennan coached Matai in junior Kiwi teams and has close ties with the Matai family. "He is a goer - no one looks forward to playing against him," McClennan said. McClennan said Matai was in his plans for the Tri Nations competition for sure.