BY CURTIS WOODWARD
So Daly Cherry-Evans wants former coach Des Hasler back at the Manly Sea Eagles? This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Hasler and Cherry-Evans were two of the biggest reasons why so many of the club’s biggest names were forced out in the first place.
The noise in Club Land continues to grow – Manly legend Hasler is shortening to become Eagles boss again after being dumped as Canterbury coach. That, of course, followed his messy exit from Brookvale after winning the 2011 grand final.
Hasler did, with respect, take the Dogs to five successive finals series and two grand finals.
Cherry-Evans is the sole survivor of the Sea Eagles 2011 premiership team still playing for the club.
Manly made the decider again two years later but Hasler was long gone by then. New coach Geoff Toovey was faced with several superstars on back-ended deals – designed by Hasler.
Glenn Stewart left for South Sydney, Anthony Watmough for Parramatta, Brett Stewart and Steve Matai retired.
And somewhere in the middle of all this mess? Unrest within the playing group when they should have been at their strongest.
Word on the street was that Cherry-Evans wanted an upgraded contract at a time when veterans were reportedly taking hefty pay cuts to keep the group together.
DCE basically told said veterans to ‘get stuffed’.
Several Sea Eagles legends still don’t speak to Cherry-Evans or Hasler.
But Manly are desperately trying to replace current coach Trent Barrett with the owners willing to deal with Hasler again to see the back of Barrett.
“Tim Sheens gave me an Aussie jersey, Mal Meninga a Queensland (jersey) and Des Hasler at club,” Cherry-Evans said.
“So those three coaches are people that I’ll never forget.
“If I was to link up with my first-ever first-grade coach, I’d be all for it.”
Cherry-Evans believed there was no animosity between Hasler and the current playing squad.
“I can only speak on behalf of myself, but no,” he added.
“I think I’ve made it very clear throughout my career I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for making sure they’re looking after themselves.
“It’s a pretty cruel game we’re playing. Job security is a thing that’s very rare. For people to look after their own future, it’s certainly not a problem for me.”
Rugby league can be a strange game.
Seeing Cherry-Evans and Hasler running the show at the Sea Eagles again probably wouldn’t shock anyone.