‘Messy’: Hasler return opens can of worms
DES Hasler's Manly return is set to be complete after the Sea Eagles called a press conference for Monday afternoon at their Narrabeen headquarters.
'Seven years after a bitter split with the club following their 2011 premiership, club legend Hasler is expected to be announced as the Sea Eagles' coach on a three-year deal at the noon (AEST) media call.
The two-time premiership winning coach will begin work immediately on trying to turn around Manly, who return to training next month after finishing second last in 2018.
The club is expected to face questions about Trent Barrett, whose departure is yet to be confirmed despite the coach handing in his 12-months notice in July citing a lack of resources.
There had been some suggestion Barrett could be asked to stay on at the club in an assistant or under-20s role to avoid a payout, although it's unknown whether Hasler would support the move.
A star player in Manly's 1987 and 1996 premierships, Hasler rebuilt the Sea Eagles out of the Northern Eagles debacle and turned them into a premiership force.
Manly made seven consecutive finals series under Hasler and reached three deciders, winning in 2008 and 2011.
However, his decision to sign with Canterbury after issues with the club's board at the end of 2011 led to him being sacked, prompting the mentor to threaten legal action.
He took Canterbury to two grand finals in 2012 and 2014 but was axed late last year just months after a contract extension was announced, prompting an out-of-court settlement with the Bulldogs in May.
His salary cap management was heavily questioned at the time of his departure from the Bulldogs but the Sea Eagles are desperate to turn their club around both on the field and in the eyes of their fans.
Matty Johns shed light on the situation on Monday morning.
"The situation continues to get messy at Manly," he said.
"They're saying to him, 'If you want your money, you have to work'. Des has said he's not going to be my assistant. He's not going to be the U20s coach, apparently, he's not in favour of that. So I don't know what Trent Barrett is going to do. This is a real stand-off. This is like, 'OK if you want your money, you turn up every day'.
"It's a game of who's going to hold their nerve here.
"I think Trent would be sitting there thinking, 'where do I sit now, as far as future coaching is concerned'. Once Trent fulfils his obligations at Manly, whenever that is, he'll have to go and rebuild his coaching career elsewhere, start as an assistant somewhere and build that up."
Hasler has already been endorsed by captain Daly Cherry-Evans last week, while star fullback Tom Trbojevic said he was excited by the prospect of his arrival.
"If he was to come he's obviously a two-time premiership winner and taken a club to a grand final," Trbojevic said after Saturday night's win for the Kangaroos over Tonga.
"With the stuff with Baz (Trent Barrett), I hope it all gets sorted out and we can move on.
"We start training in a couple of weeks, you wanted it all sorted by then so we can move forward and have a more successful year because we weren't good enough this year."
HASLER'S COACHING RECORD
MANLY (2004-2011) Matches: 206 Win rate: 59.2 per cent Finals series: 7 Grand finals 3 (2007, 2008, 2011) Premierships: 2 (2008, 2011)
CANTERBURY (2012-2017) Matches: 155 Win rate: 56.8 per cent Finals series: 5 Grand finals: 2 (2012, 2014) Premierships: 0 OVERALL: Matches: 361 Win rate: 58.2 percent