I remember in the days before and after Hasler announced his move to the Bulldogs the general opinion of the Silvertails forums was that the squad he would have to work with over there was dreadful. "Lucky to win the wooden spoon", "no chance of the finals" etc summed up the sentiment of most, if not all (myself included).
This squad of supposed hopeless misfits now top the table and played all over Manly last night, despite losing their half and main go-forward man within the first ten minutes. And they've played most of the season without their first choice halfback, regardless of what we think of Hodkinson. Are we to suppose the coach has nothing to do with this turn of events?
It also saddens me that amidst all the hysterical anti-Hasler rhetoric we have to put up with this week, his contribution of taking the club from a basket case far worse than the Bulldogs 2011 version, to two Premierships is forgotten or glossed over - credited to others, though who knows who?
I for one continue to shake my head that there seemed to be an ongoing desire to impose KPIs on Hasler and a mistrust of letting him run his own show. Surely his record with our club, and what we're seeing him do with the Bulldogs should be enough to cause some reflection? Last night we were out-coached, out-played and out-enthused - despite our season being on the line and having everything to play for.
I hope in 5-10 years' time Hasler will have the opportunity to put forward his version of events from 2011, and that he also is accepted back into the fold of Manly legend and shown the respect his achievements with us deserve. It's interesting that despite all the threat and bluster, no legal action has been taken against Hasler or the Bulldogs.