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How Dylan Walker signing completed Bob Fulton’s incredible overhaul of Manly Sea Eagles

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by tookey, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. tookey

    tookey Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    In April this year Manly legend Bob Fulton returned to the club as a consultant.
    What has transpired since from a recruitment point-of-view will go down as one of the most incredible turnarounds in rugby league history, with the Dylan Walker signing, confirmed overnight, likely to be the last piece of business the Sea Eagles do on their roster for 2016.

    Manly are now fifth favourite with bookmakers to win the 2016 premiership.

    It started in 2014, when things got so bad from a salary cap perspective that Manly weren’t even able to offer fan favourite and Clive Churchill Medallist Glenn Stewart any kind of new deal.

    If they did they were certain to lose champion halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran

    As it turned out, they did anyway. Along with another Clive Churchill Medallist Brent Kite, Origin star Anthony Watmough and retiring co-captain Jason King.

    It’s fair to say when Bozo first took a look at the books the club was staring down the barrel of a long rebuild.

    The best they could hope for was a Phil Gould-style five year (which has since been revised to eight year) plan.

    But Fulton decided there and then that Manly wouldn’t be going down that path. The club was too used to success to have a sustained period of failure, no matter how it was branded

    That’s when things started to move.

    THE SIGNINGS

    May:
    Just a few weeks after Bozo arrived, Kangaroos star Nate Myles announced he would be moving to the northern beaches.

    • Firebrand forward Darcy Lussick was next, sealing his return to the Sea Eagles after a three-year stint with Parramatta.

      June: With the future of the forward pack starting to look more promising, Manly landed the blow that would turn the narrative around for the club.

      Having lost gun halfback Cherry-Evans to the Titans, the superstar announced he would renege on the deal taking him to the glitter strip, instead inking a “lifetime deal” with the Sea Eagles that would make him the highest paid player in the competition.

      Kiwi international Lewis Brown was next as the trickle of stars heading to Manly turned into a torrent.

      Brown joined the Sea Eagles amidst a flurry of speculation that Trent Barrett had been lined up to replace the under pressure Geoff Toovey.

      While Barrett’s arrival wasn’t confirmed until months later, the Penrith connections started piling up.

      July: The pack was starting to come together but with Matt Ballin ageing, the hooker position was still a concern for Fulton.

      Three months after rejoining the Sea Eagles, Bozo landed a double blow with the signings of Panthers hooker Apisai Koroisau and Brisbane young gun Matt Parcell.

      August: Manly’s 2016 side was starting to come together but with Foran heading to Parramatta, the five-eighth position was the biggest area of concern.

      That problem area was targeted with a number of signings, starting with the astute recruitment of schoolboy rugby star Tom Wright who was given star treatment at Brookvale during the courtship.

      Still so young, Wright was never going to be the solution for 2016, and at about the same time, Manly took their biggest recruitment gamble by throwing a career lifeline to injury prone Tigers utility Tim Moltzen, with a one-year deal and the opportunity to stake a claim on the No.6 jersey.

      September: With Moltzen and Jamie Lyon the only obvious options to play five-eighth, Fulton struck again bringing in Manly’s third Penrith recruit Isaac John, another player with Test pedigree.

      October: At the end of the 2015 season, Manly started to have success offloading some of the players Fulton had earmarked for the scrapheap.

      As the departures started to pile up to match the arrivals, the Sea Eagles went again, landing their crowning jewell of the off-season spending spree when the Tigers agreed to release powerhouse Kiwi Marty Taupau.

      Taupau’s signing added brute power to what was already shaping as a competitive forward pack. It was at this point that the Sea Eagles’ rebuild went from a project to a success that could bear immediate fruit in 2016.

      December: In reality this happened in November but Manly had to wait for the Rabbitohs to confirm a release and for a bit more salary cap space to open up before they could announce the signing of Dylan Walker.

      Walker is yet another player capped at Test level. He has x-factor and is still just 21. If the Sea Eagles backline was losing its fear factor there can be no one questioning that it’s back now.

      Walker is set to move into the troublesome five-eighth role, providing a frightening running threat next to the scheming of Cherry-Evans.

      THE DEPARTURES

      Back in July as Fulton’s recruitment blueprint started to unfold, it emerged that a whopping 14 players had been told they were unwanted for 2016. Some of them had multi-year contracts to run.

      The players named at that time were: Justin Horo, Dunamis Lui, Jack Littlejohn, Willie Mason, David Williams, Cheyse Blair, Siosaia Vave, Tyson Andrews, Matt Ballin, Jayden Hodges, Josh Starling, Luke Burgess and Feleti Mateo.

      Just four of those (Hodges, Starling, Burgess and Mateo) 14 remain Sea Eagles, with Peta Hiku eventually added to the list and shipped to the Panthers.

      The four who remain will be playing for their careers in 2016 and are more likely than not to be elsewhere the following season as the transition continues.

      It’s a remarkable turnover of any list but of all of those players told to leave the only ones who would be in the conversation for Manly’s best 17 next year are Ballin, Hiku and perhaps Mateo.

      That in itself is remarkable and points to the fact that Fulton has got it right and made incredibly savvy decisions on the future of the roster.

      THE COACHING STAFF

      Not only has half Manly’s roster been turned over since Fulton arrived, just about all of the coaching staff now on deck are new faces as well.

      Fulton was one of the senior members of staff to decide Toovey’s fate and when that difficult decision was made most of the backroom staff went with the club legend.

      While the roster turnover has been widely applauded, the fans and the broader public will be more reserved in their judgement of the coaching staff.

      Immediate results are required to convince but while Barrett is new to the coaching game, the results of his senior staff members speak for themselves.

      John Cartwright was this year an assistant coach to Paul Green at the premiership winning Cowboys and has eight years experience as head coach for the Titans.

      Former Storm assistant coach Anthony Siebold has forged a career under Craig Bellamy and will be in charge of Manly’s defence in 2016.

      And head of physical performance Dan Ferris has a growing reputation in the game after starting his career under Cartwright at the Titans and also linking up with the Country Origin side.

      Cartwright and Siebold take over from the highly respected David Penna and Steve Georgallis, while halves coach and rugby league legend Andrew Johns has also been let go.

      Ferris takes over from a veteran of the Manly backroom staff, Donny Singe, completing one of the most stunning spring cleans an NRL club has taken on in years.

      SEA EAGLES LIKELY 2016 17: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Steve Matai, Jamie Lyon, Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker, Daly Cherry-Evans, Nate Myles, Apisai Koroisau, Jake Trbojevic, Lewis Brown, Jamie Buhrer, Marty Taupau. Interchange: Matt Parcell, Darcy Lussick, Brenton Lawrence, Tom Symonds.
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...manly-sea-eagles/story-fnp0lyn3-1227657080229
     
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  2. Loobs

    Loobs I am not really Scott Penn Premium Member

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    Saw this - great read. You get excited reading it. Can't wait for 2016!
     
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  3. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Thx Bozo, similar to his masterful efforts in 73 Grand Final
     
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  4. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Et tu, Bobby.
     
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  5. Clay

    Clay Well-Known Member

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    Who will succeed Bob as the next caretaker of Manly?
     
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  6. NickRobbo1998

    NickRobbo1998 Generic_Tragic101

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    toovey
     
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  7. Bulli Eagle

    Bulli Eagle Active Member

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    Good read mate
     
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  8. Wombat64

    Wombat64 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Zorba
     
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  9. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I thought Vave was in the latest round of training pics ??
     
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  10. bones

    bones Bones Knows Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    That article says Manly couldn't offer Glenn Stewart a contract because of the salary cap.
    They need to do better research, because Scott Penn said part of the reason Toovey was sacked was that he let Glenn Stewart leave. He wouldn't lie.
     
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  11. The Screaming Eagles

    The Screaming Eagles Active Member

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    " Former Storm assistant coach Anthony Siebold has forged a career under Craig Bellamy and will be in charge of Manly’s defence in 2016."

    Does that mean we are going to be playing really boring graple tackle/wrestling style of play
     
  12. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Style is a fleeting thing, the end justifies the means.
     
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  13. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Now you sound like BOZO
     
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  14. Nordburg

    Nordburg Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a distinct lack of depth in the outside backs.Im pretty confident in saying that only DCE and Taufua will go close to playing every game of the 1-7.The riggers of first grade will hit TomT as the season goes on,Matai,Lyon and Stewart will miss games due to injury.Hope I'm wrong
     
  15. Moondog

    Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    We're related by osmosis.
     
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  16. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Ah yes, the good old semipermeable membrane.
     
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  17. Hgbcds

    Hgbcds Well-Known Member

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    I hope your wrong ,but you do have a good point
     
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  18. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing more exciting than being bored when the opposition has the ball
     
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  19. PONTIAN SEA EAGLE

    PONTIAN SEA EAGLE Well-Known Member

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    For the 10th time & i'll say it again we'll be premiers.
     
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  20. tookey

    tookey Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    He said caretaker not undertaker
     
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