Club Structure / no NSW Cup is the issue

Member
You’re always gonna have politics in footy clubs. People outside the club, that would like to work in the club, are always gonna think that they can do better. And once employed by the club, those people think things should only be done their way. Which leads to inevitable conflict. The reality is, our club structure is this;

1) NRL Players and Coaches
2) Pathways Players and Coaches

We don’t really have a reserve grade side as such, with the entire group aspiring to play first grade. They are fulltime Blacktown players, with a few Manly top 30’s dropping back. For example, Fullback Jake Toby won NSW Cup player of the year at the Manly presentation night. He will never play first grade, doesn’t train with Manly and was a Ron Massey player at St Marys two years ago. Local football people feel as though the club has neglected the Manly junior league and based their priorities in Western Sydney by aligning with Workers as well as filling the junior rep teams full of Western Sydney kids.

We want the best kids playing for us, with the Manly Junior League, Western Sydney and the country all feeding into our sustainable program of long term success.

The Pathways people in the club are frustrated with the lack of progression of kids being selected in the NRL side, which is understandable as they have been putting in years of work. But the reality is, these kids are coming from a mid table Jersey Flegg team and training with the fulltime squad. There is a lack of competition within our club to earn your spot. Penrith are dropping kids up and down the Flegg/NSW Cup team all season. Their depth is sensational, but it is born out of competition within the four walls. When Cup players are elevated to first grade, they don’t miss a beat.

If our blokes don’t make the top 17 on the wknd, Des tends to not play them at all to avoid injury in a meaningless Blacktown clash. This doesn’t help the development of anyone. Particularly the kids who would benefit from playing with better players who miss the NRL team and have to drop back. The pathways people shouldn’t be upset if a Flegg kid isn’t playing first grade. But if a young bloke proves himself as a cut above the rest in a fulltime Manly NSW Cup team, he will get his shot and he will go well.

Blacktown was Bozo’s idea and I’m sure that dropping them will cause friction, but if he knew of the disconnect between the NRL side and the development pathway, I’m sure he’d change it. If Weekes, Ben Turbo, Vaega, Fulton, Tuitavake, Fifita, Humphreys & Kum Tong are knocking the door down in a Manly NSW Cup that is winning, we are in a much better spot. You’d also be excited to get to Brookie early and watch it.
 
First Grader
Premium Member
100% this, we need to bring reserve grade back in house and we need to treat it as a proper reserve grade.

Your Weekes, Humphries, Burbo, Fulton, Tuitavake, Fifita, Sykes, Gordie, Fletcher Myers etc....if they are seen as on their way to first grade get them playing against men week in and week out.

Make reserve grade the 17 best players at the club who arent playing NRL on any given week
 
Feast yer eyes ..
You’re always gonna have politics in footy clubs. People outside the club, that would like to work in the club, are always gonna think that they can do better. And once employed by the club, those people think things should only be done their way. Which leads to inevitable conflict. The reality is, our club structure is this;

1) NRL Players and Coaches
2) Pathways Players and Coaches

We don’t really have a reserve grade side as such, with the entire group aspiring to play first grade. They are fulltime Blacktown players, with a few Manly top 30’s dropping back. For example, Fullback Jake Toby won NSW Cup player of the year at the Manly presentation night. He will never play first grade, doesn’t train with Manly and was a Ron Massey player at St Marys two years ago. Local football people feel as though the club has neglected the Manly junior league and based their priorities in Western Sydney by aligning with Workers as well as filling the junior rep teams full of Western Sydney kids.

We want the best kids playing for us, with the Manly Junior League, Western Sydney and the country all feeding into our sustainable program of long term success.

The Pathways people in the club are frustrated with the lack of progression of kids being selected in the NRL side, which is understandable as they have been putting in years of work. But the reality is, these kids are coming from a mid table Jersey Flegg team and training with the fulltime squad. There is a lack of competition within our club to earn your spot. Penrith are dropping kids up and down the Flegg/NSW Cup team all season. Their depth is sensational, but it is born out of competition within the four walls. When Cup players are elevated to first grade, they don’t miss a beat.

If our blokes don’t make the top 17 on the wknd, Des tends to not play them at all to avoid injury in a meaningless Blacktown clash. This doesn’t help the development of anyone. Particularly the kids who would benefit from playing with better players who miss the NRL team and have to drop back. The pathways people shouldn’t be upset if a Flegg kid isn’t playing first grade. But if a young bloke proves himself as a cut above the rest in a fulltime Manly NSW Cup team, he will get his shot and he will go well.

Blacktown was Bozo’s idea and I’m sure that dropping them will cause friction, but if he knew of the disconnect between the NRL side and the development pathway, I’m sure he’d change it. If Weekes, Ben Turbo, Vaega, Fulton, Tuitavake, Fifita, Humphreys & Kum Tong are knocking the door down in a Manly NSW Cup that is winning, we are in a much better spot. You’d also be excited to get to Brookie early and watch it.

Okay ... I like everything you say ... BUT ... if not West young man .. Where ?

How many u/16 teams do we have in the MW comp ? .. u/17 teams ?

As you say about Penrith, competition for spots drives their talent ... we just don't produce the numbers to achieve this on our own ...
 
Feast yer eyes ..
The seeking of donations to set up a women’s team doesn’t fill me with any hope. It needs to happen though.

The rate of effort involved I trying to get the CoE named after Baron Penn of St Ives and son doesn’t extend to any effort placed on properly resourcing a football club.

What team are the donations to set up ??
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
Okay ... I like everything you say ... BUT ... if not West young man .. Where ?

How many u/16 teams do we have in the MW comp ? .. u/17 teams ?

As you say about Penrith, competition for spots drives their talent ... we just don't produce the numbers to achieve this on our own ...
The crux of the matter is right there and not in our back yard !
 
Member
Okay ... I like everything you say ... BUT ... if not West young man .. Where ?

How many u/16 teams do we have in the MW comp ? .. u/17 teams ?

As you say about Penrith, competition for spots drives their talent ... we just don't produce the numbers to achieve this on our own ...
I’m saying continue to scout from Western Sydney, it’s clearly an area that is working. And yes our junior pool is small. The challenge we have moving forward is that all the good kids that are aligned to the Penrith junior league are desperate to play for the Panthers. It’s seen as the pinnacle. The leftover Penrith kids tend to go and trial with Norths & Balmain. Have done so for years. We need a variety of kids from the west, from the beaches and some good country kids. We need a competitive club culture where hard work will lead to NRL selection. And it all needs to be based at Brookvale.

We also need to make our club attractive for recruits. A strong undercurrent of exciting rookies and a competitive culture is massive when selling the vision. If I was an established player I’d be wary of coming to Manly atm. I can’t sugarcoat it. I love the joint but it would be hard to send your son there and feel like he was gonna play in a winning side or enhance his chances of playing rep footy.
 
The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
I’m saying continue to scout from Western Sydney, it’s clearly an area that is working. And yes our junior pool is small. The challenge we have moving forward is that all the good kids that are aligned to the Penrith junior league are desperate to play for the Panthers. It’s seen as the pinnacle. The leftover Penrith kids tend to go and trial with Norths & Balmain. Have done so for years. We need a variety of kids from the west, from the beaches and some good country kids. We need a competitive club culture where hard work will lead to NRL selection. And it all needs to be based at Brookvale.

We also need to make our club attractive for recruits. A strong undercurrent of exciting rookies and a competitive culture is massive when selling the vision. If I was an established player I’d be wary of coming to Manly atm. I can’t sugarcoat it. I love the joint but it would be hard to send your son there and feel like he was gonna play in a winning side or enhance his chances of playing rep footy.
I disagree feathered friend in your philosophy
The Strom in Melbourne have no Great junior or cup teams but they are still an attractive Successful great club .
 
Feast yer eyes ..
I’m saying continue to scout from Western Sydney, it’s clearly an area that is working. And yes our junior pool is small. The challenge we have moving forward is that all the good kids that are aligned to the Penrith junior league are desperate to play for the Panthers. It’s seen as the pinnacle. The leftover Penrith kids tend to go and trial with Norths & Balmain. Have done so for years. We need a variety of kids from the west, from the beaches and some good country kids. We need a competitive club culture where hard work will lead to NRL selection. And it all needs to be based at Brookvale.

We also need to make our club attractive for recruits. A strong undercurrent of exciting rookies and a competitive culture is massive when selling the vision. If I was an established player I’d be wary of coming to Manly atm. I can’t sugarcoat it. I love the joint but it would be hard to send your son there and feel like he was gonna play in a winning side or enhance his chances of playing rep footy.

You make a lot of sense, and Like you, I also love the club, and since playing both age reps and lower grades in the 70's have always seen Manly as a Premier Club.. and a Premier destination for players .

And, like you, lament that this can no longer be said to be true..

What is the root cause, lack of vision by the owner and a host of CEO's ?

Lack of planning by current Coach and football office ?

I have become increasingly critical of the club over the past 12 months ... and it has nothing to do with results ..

It is the complete loss of professionalism, The bitch fighting .. and your point about no longer being an attractive player destination that are the reasons for me wanting massive change .
 
Journey Man
I disagree feathered friend in your philosophy
The Strom in Melbourne have no Great junior or cup teams but they are still an attractive Successful great club .
And so too does Easts. Virtually no juniors yet always challenging for a premiership.
I thought we had a hope of a successful pathways when we formed a relationship with the South Island of New Zealand a few years back. The Canterbury Crusaders are the premier rugby team in NZ so they are full of young talent.
Whatever happened to that link we were developing?
It's just a matter of time before the smart NRL clubs like Easts and Melbourne connect with the South Island and push us further along the path to extinction.
 
I have a well known member
Premium Member
It would appear the issue is the cost of fully operating a reserve grade under the club banner. The reason there isn't a reserve grade comp now in form there was in 90's and prior is the cost it takes to run a club with say 60 senior players. Most clubs weren't able to afford it so it was scrapped.

I do like the idea of having a NSW Cup team based on the Northern Beaches though. The Blacktown experiment has too much of a disconnect for both parties. Whatever financial incentives the club are providing Blacktown could go to a locally based team, maybe someone like Belrose Eagles to help elevate them from the Sydney Shield to NSW Cup. The point being the NSW Cup club would have to stand on it's own feet to the point where it's not a drain on the NRL club, but rather funds from the NRL club, either directly or via sourcing of sponsorship, are enhancing the club rather than just propping it up. That way the 10 or 12 grade players not required in NRL that week can be playing for Belrose with another dozen or so of the best local players in the area. As @RedEagle said still scout western sydney, country areas, NZ etc for junior talent, but have a locally based NSW Cup club for them to play with while they are on the fringe to aid their development.

I'm sure it's all not a simple as I've proposed but that's essentially how some of the other Sydney based clubs operate from what I can see.
 
Member
You make a lot of sense, and Like you, I also love the club, and since playing both age reps and lower grades in the 70's have always seen Manly as a Premier Club.. and a Premier destination for players .

And, like you, lament that this can no longer be said to be true..

What is the root cause, lack of vision by the owner and a host of CEO's ?

Lack of planning by current Coach and football office ?

I have become increasingly critical of the club over the past 12 months ... and it has nothing to do with results ..

It is the complete loss of professionalism, The bitch fighting .. and your point about no longer being an attractive player destination that are the reasons for me wanting massive change .
I think the root cause is underfunding by the ownership group. I believe that the Penn’s see Manly-Warringah as a first grade operation only. Which worked great when we had a team full of stars and made 4 GF’s and won 2 comps. But that was 10 years ago.

1) The NRL grant covers the salary cap
2) sponsorship & membership $$$ cover the running costs of the performance & admin staff
3) Blacktown covers cost of reserve grade operation
4) Pathways costs are largely volunteer and donations based

Imagine if Penn said “I’m gonna buy a big share house on the Northern Beaches to house country kids and I’m gonna pump $2mil a year into the junior programs for the next 5 years, as well as bring back Manly NSW Cup”. If I was the passionate owner and I had the cash that’s the first thing I’d do.

The revolving CEO position has always been someone to run the business arm and report back to Penn. Neither party has set and executed a ‘vision’.

Penn enlisted Bozo after Toovey got the bullet to run the football department because there was no one to oversee it when Barrett was appointed. It’s all bandaid stuff.

I feel like Des would work in collaboration with the owners and more senior football staff / CEO if the people put in those positions actually had some knowledge and quality input. But you can see why there is angst and our ‘premier club’ status has been eroded. We are viewed at the same level as Wests Tigers and St-George Illawarra as far as destination clubs are concerned. Penrith, Parra, Souths, Roosters are all far, far bigger clubs than us. Canterbury will be massive once they get going on the field again which looks like it will be next season with some great recruits. Cronulla is ahead of us with a smart football operation and thriving junior league. We need to make our location our greatest strength.

I’m sick of the “she’ll be right, we’re manly” attitude. I’ve always bought into it, but we can’t just go and buy players anymore. We have to restructure from within.

The Manly arrogance will return and the premierships will flow again, but not until we set ourselves up as a professional outfit.
 
Member
I disagree feathered friend in your philosophy
The Strom in Melbourne have no Great junior or cup teams but they are still an attractive Successful great club .
Melbourne have been blessed by uncovering a succession of absolutely once in a generation players. True modern greats. When Munster jumps ship and Bellamy retires, they will find themselves in a position of vulnerability. They are already on the way there in my opinion. They have had the pick of the QLD talent and been the alternative to the Broncos for a very long time. Great recruitment and talent scouting club.

And Easts are unique, as their owner is one of the richest men in the country and the Roosters are his no.1, nothing else matters priority in life. He will call players, wine and dine them, look after their families. If Robbo asked for something, it’d be in the gym the next day.

You can’t compare those operations with ours.
 
First Grader
You’re preaching to the converted RE.

Ian Thomson Jr (Mestrov - see the resemblance?) is shaping up as another ‘yes man’ like Joe Kelly.
 
Feast yer eyes ..
I’m sick of the “she’ll be right, we’re manly” attitude. I’ve always bought into it, but we can’t just go and buy players anymore. We have to restructure from within.

The Manly arrogance will return and the premierships will flow again, but not until we set ourselves up as a professional outfit.

^ This .....
 
First Grader
You’re always gonna have politics in footy clubs. People outside the club, that would like to work in the club, are always gonna think that they can do better. And once employed by the club, those people think things should only be done their way. Which leads to inevitable conflict. The reality is, our club structure is this;

1) NRL Players and Coaches
2) Pathways Players and Coaches

We don’t really have a reserve grade side as such, with the entire group aspiring to play first grade. They are fulltime Blacktown players, with a few Manly top 30’s dropping back. For example, Fullback Jake Toby won NSW Cup player of the year at the Manly presentation night. He will never play first grade, doesn’t train with Manly and was a Ron Massey player at St Marys two years ago. Local football people feel as though the club has neglected the Manly junior league and based their priorities in Western Sydney by aligning with Workers as well as filling the junior rep teams full of Western Sydney kids.

We want the best kids playing for us, with the Manly Junior League, Western Sydney and the country all feeding into our sustainable program of long term success.

The Pathways people in the club are frustrated with the lack of progression of kids being selected in the NRL side, which is understandable as they have been putting in years of work. But the reality is, these kids are coming from a mid table Jersey Flegg team and training with the fulltime squad. There is a lack of competition within our club to earn your spot. Penrith are dropping kids up and down the Flegg/NSW Cup team all season. Their depth is sensational, but it is born out of competition within the four walls. When Cup players are elevated to first grade, they don’t miss a beat.

If our blokes don’t make the top 17 on the wknd, Des tends to not play them at all to avoid injury in a meaningless Blacktown clash. This doesn’t help the development of anyone. Particularly the kids who would benefit from playing with better players who miss the NRL team and have to drop back. The pathways people shouldn’t be upset if a Flegg kid isn’t playing first grade. But if a young bloke proves himself as a cut above the rest in a fulltime Manly NSW Cup team, he will get his shot and he will go well.

Blacktown was Bozo’s idea and I’m sure that dropping them will cause friction, but if he knew of the disconnect between the NRL side and the development pathway, I’m sure he’d change it. If Weekes, Ben Turbo, Vaega, Fulton, Tuitavake, Fifita, Humphreys & Kum Tong are knocking the door down in a Manly NSW Cup that is winning, we are in a much better spot. You’d also be excited to get to Brookie early and watch it.
The time for Manly to bring our reserve grade back in house is now.

The Blacktown venture has not produced outcomes for our first grade and they are regular smashed on the field and this year finished a distant last.

I disagree about young Jake Toby. He was a standout in a crap team and he deserves an opportunity to play first grade.

Like you I am concerned that a lot of our younger players are being exposed to a bad culture at Blacktown and not progressing. We need all out teams on the same song sheet in my opinion.

I understand that we do need to recruit beyond the northern beaches as we have a small junior league and I think it would be more beneficial to get our recruits from outside of the northern beaches living there to understand the culture of the club.

We had some success between 2015 - 2020 in relation to junior footy and the unfortunate fact is we squandered some of the kids coming through.

Penrith are a benchmark right now on how to run it. We do not have their numbers when it comes to juniors but we could sure learn from their pathways plan!
 
Member
The time for Manly to bring our reserve grade back in house is now.

The Blacktown venture has not produced outcomes for our first grade and they are regular smashed on the field and this year finished a distant last.

I disagree about young Jake Toby. He was a standout in a crap team and he deserves an opportunity to play first grade.

Like you I am concerned that a lot of our younger players are being exposed to a bad culture at Blacktown and not progressing. We need all out teams on the same song sheet in my opinion.

I understand that we do need to recruit beyond the northern beaches as we have a small junior league and I think it would be more beneficial to get our recruits from outside of the northern beaches living there to understand the culture of the club.

We had some success between 2015 - 2020 in relation to junior footy and the unfortunate fact is we squandered some of the kids coming through.

Penrith are a benchmark right now on how to run it. We do not have their numbers when it comes to juniors but we could sure learn from their pathways plan!
We have had some great results in the juniors since 2015 you’re right. But the lack of focus on reserve grade has let some players slip through the cracks at the development stage and others have been let go through poor roster management.

If you’re gonna run a skinny operation, you can’t make recruitment and retention mistakes. We are short a back-up fullback, a centre, a dummy half, depth in the halves and in the front row. Yet we’re seeing Gutherson, Hynes, Ramien, Shaun Lane, Koroisau, AFB, etc all excelling at other clubs.

We could’ve won the comp last year when Tommy was flying if we had have managed our roster better in the years proceeding. All the players we needed have been at our disposal over the past 5 years and none of them have retired.

You can’t keep everyone, so you need to make tough decisions on talent. But we keep getting it wrong.
 
The spirit of Mooney 🦅
Premium Member
We have had some great results in the juniors since 2015 you’re right. But the lack of focus on reserve grade has let some players slip through the cracks at the development stage and others have been let go through poor roster management.

If you’re gonna run a skinny operation, you can’t make recruitment and retention mistakes. We are short a back-up fullback, a centre, a dummy half, depth in the halves and in the front row. Yet we’re seeing Gutherson, Hynes, Ramien, Shaun Lane, Koroisau, AFB, etc all excelling at other clubs.

We could’ve won the comp last year when Tommy was flying if we had have managed our roster better in the years proceeding. All the players we needed have been at our disposal over the past 5 years and none of them have retired.

You can’t keep everyone, so you need to make tough decisions on talent. But we keep getting it wrong.
@RedEagle this has been a refreshing post for the first time in a while on Silvertails. Nice work.

Hopefully Mr Fluffy and Mestrov are taking notes.
 
I think the root cause is underfunding by the ownership group. I believe that the Penn’s see Manly-Warringah as a first grade operation only. Which worked great when we had a team full of stars and made 4 GF’s and won 2 comps. But that was 10 years ago.

1) The NRL grant covers the salary cap
2) sponsorship & membership $$$ cover the running costs of the performance & admin staff
3) Blacktown covers cost of reserve grade operation
4) Pathways costs are largely volunteer and donations based

Imagine if Penn said “I’m gonna buy a big share house on the Northern Beaches to house country kids and I’m gonna pump $2mil a year into the junior programs for the next 5 years, as well as bring back Manly NSW Cup”. If I was the passionate owner and I had the cash that’s the first thing I’d do.

The revolving CEO position has always been someone to run the business arm and report back to Penn. Neither party has set and executed a ‘vision’.

Penn enlisted Bozo after Toovey got the bullet to run the football department because there was no one to oversee it when Barrett was appointed. It’s all bandaid stuff.

I feel like Des would work in collaboration with the owners and more senior football staff / CEO if the people put in those positions actually had some knowledge and quality input. But you can see why there is angst and our ‘premier club’ status has been eroded. We are viewed at the same level as Wests Tigers and St-George Illawarra as far as destination clubs are concerned. Penrith, Parra, Souths, Roosters are all far, far bigger clubs than us. Canterbury will be massive once they get going on the field again which looks like it will be next season with some great recruits. Cronulla is ahead of us with a smart football operation and thriving junior league. We need to make our location our greatest strength.

I’m sick of the “she’ll be right, we’re manly” attitude. I’ve always bought into it, but we can’t just go and buy players anymore. We have to restructure from within.

The Manly arrogance will return and the premierships will flow again, but not until we set ourselves up as a professional outfit.
But but but.. we've got a centre of excellence.
 

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