Burning Questions for 2016: Sea Eagles Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 11:06am Source: SportsFan Are Manly in premiership contention? In 2015, the Sea Eagles missed the finals for the first time since 2004. But a stunning recruitment drive would suggest last season will merely go down as an aberration. Along with the Warriors, Manly can lay claim to the best recruitment of any team for the 2016 season. Dylan Walker comes across from the Rabbitohs, a premiership winner and also an Australian representative in 2014. Walker will partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves. He is joined by current Queensland and Australian representative Nate Myles on the club's list of purchases, along with New Zealand international and hard-hitting and devastating ball-running machine Martin Taupau. Those high-profile buys join a list of already established stars at the club. The likes of Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, and DCE have formed the nucleus of Manly's success over the last decade and remain at the club as they look to correct a forgettable 2015 campaign. There is a smell of the Roosters of 2013 about the Manly side of 2016. The Bondi club finished 13th in 2012, but then added Sonny Bill Williams, James Maloney and Michael Jennings to their squad for 2013, and won a premiership. With a star-studded roster, Manly are definitely a chance of replicating the Roosters' efforts after finishing ninth last season. How long will Trent Barrett last as coach? The decision to replace Geoff Toovey as Manly coach with Barrett was a curious one, to say the least. Firstly, Toovey's record as coach of the club was largely impressive. In his four seasons, he finished fourth in 2012 (reaching the preliminary final). In 2013, they made the grand final, while in 2014 they placed second at the end of the regular season, and were eliminated from the semi-finals only because they suffered a long list of injuries. He only had one season of missing the finals last year and it wasn't a woeful effort from the club by any means - they missed out on the eight by a whisker. Further to that, he was a club legend as a player, and those who go on to coach clubs they enjoyed illustrious playing careers with are usually granted more leeway than coaches who come from other clubs. And his replacement Trent Barrett is an outsider with no previous history at Manly. It is also his NRL coaching debut, so he is obviously an unknown and unproven proposition. Sections of the Sea Eagles fan and membership base will no doubt still be livid with the club's treatment of Toovey, so you can bet they'll be on Barrett's back if the side isn't performing this season. Barrett has signed a three-year contract, but he'll have little chance of seeing that out if the Sea Eagles miss the finals again this year, especially considering the quality of the roster at his disposal. He needs success instantly to stay in his new job. How does their draw look? Great, if you are a Manly fan. Of the six clubs they only play once, three of them reached the top four in 2015 (Broncos, Roosters, Storm) and another reached the top eight (Dragons). They also avoid playing in two of the three Origin-affected rounds, with byes in rounds 12 and 18. It is a dream draw, which gives observers even more reason to believe Manly are genuine title contenders in 2016. How will the Sea Eagles fare in 2016? Have your say in the comments section below. Follow SportsFan on Twitter: @sportsfan_live The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of SportsFan.