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Loss of Club Culture?

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by lismore_fan, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. lismore_fan

    lismore_fan Well-Known Member

    +223 /2
    Loss of club culture looming as Manly’s downfall

    [​IMG] Roar Rookie
    By Sleemo, 20 Apr 2015
    Sleemo is a Roar Rookie

    Plenty has been said and written about Manly’s tough 2015 to date and the break-up of the champion team that has performed so admirably since the mid-2000s.

    Having been written off a number of times since the 2008 premiership, it appears that finally, the doomsayers are getting their wish and Manly are looking at a tough couple of years.

    It cannot be understated how critical a role injuries are playing in the team’s horror start to 2015. Six or seven would-be first graders were out of action against Canterbury on Friday, and a similar number missing from most of the team’s games so far this year, it would be foolish to write them off completely.

    A fully-fit Manly side would push for a top-four spot this year. However, injuries are part and parcel of an NRL season, and the reality is that no matter how heavy its impact, it is just something that needs to be dealt with and no record book is going to qualify a team’s performance by reference to the injuries it has suffered.

    The bigger issue for the club is how to manage the transition period the team is about to go through. Phil Gould today wrote a great piece about Manly’s arrival at the end of their great era and how it is unfolding.

    He posits a classic hypothetical for league fans: if you had to choose between your team making the top eight every year but never winning a premiership on one hand, or on the other hand winning one premiership every 15 years but finishing in the bottom four for 12 of those years, what would you choose?

    Manly have managed to avoid either of these scenarios. Since their 13th-placed finish in 2004, the club has made the finals every year, has finished in the top four six of those years, made four grand finals and won two premierships. It has outperformed every other team in the competition over this time.

    The team has challenged for the premiership every one of those years, except perhaps for 2005 and 2010 where they just crept into the finals. Those years were anomalies.

    This is lauded as a great success in what is a salary-cap-controlled competition. A great run such as Manly’s shouldn’t really happen. The key for every club is to figure out what can give them an edge and extract as much as they can out of it.

    For Manly, that edge came in the form of a core group of players who stuck together, took pay cuts to stay and just happened to be bloody good at playing footy. Nathan Lyon, Matt Ballin, the Stewarts, Brent Kite, Jason King, Tony Watmough, Steve Matai. All were at Manly for the great majority of that run and some have been there from day one.

    All of these players played rep footy at one stage or another, many of them were tight off the field as well and they created something that seldom exists in professional sport these days – a great culture.

    What sets them apart is their persistence and their dedication. Other than Kite and Lyon, most of them spent a couple of years in reserve grade before making the NRL team. Glenn Stewart, for example, spent three years in the seconds before becoming a regular at NRL level.

    That doesn’t seem to happen as much these days – players are impatient and want to play NRL at 19 and aren’t willing to stay at a club to fight for a spot over the forthcoming years. They just go somewhere else where they’ll be paid more and/or get more game time. The notion of sticking it out doesn’t seem to exist.

    This great culture played a part in the team’s sustained success. They were written off after a bad start to 2009 following their ’08 premiership, in 2011 with many experts tipping them to miss the finals, and in 2013 and 2014 when their age was cited as an inevitable slowing factor.

    Every year they proved the detractors wrong and kept performing. Naturally though these things have to come to an end and we’re experiencing the start of it now, albeit several years after many predicted. I fear that we will never again see an era or team like it again, not from Manly, not from any team.

    The issue is how the club will deal with it. With good list management the pain will be minimised and who knows, they might get another group of great players who go on to do the same thing

    But as I mentioned, getting a group of players to stay together for such a long time and keeping them there doesn’t seem to happen so much anymore. For that reason it’s not worthwhile placing much stock in a club’s Under 20 results because most of them probably won’t end up playing first grade for the same club.

    But even if Manly were to get lucky with another key group of players like the class of 2005-14, it will take time; they had a few rough years leading up to the start of that great run and I shudder to think of experiencing that again.

    Gus Gould’s hypothetical is interesting but I disagree with it because there are far too many intangibles that affect where a team finishes and no way will it be so black-and-white between two potential outcomes so disparate.

    But what does this all mean for Manly? The management last year made a calculated decision to let Glenn Stewart go.

    This was done to keep Daly Cherry-Evans and Keiran Foran. All three were off-contract for 2016. At the time I supported the decision as a club fanatic because I saw it as the right move heading into the future.

    However, the management didn’t do two key things: they didn’t lock in Foran and/or DCE first, as they were merely stockpiling money in the hope that it would guarantee they stayed; and they didn’t accurately value the importance of the role Glenn Stewart had.

    In the fallout, Watmough left, Foran will be gone next year and DCE has signed for the Titans.

    The lesson to learn is that in a salary-cap-controlled competition where all of the tangibles are tightly regulated to keep the playing field as level as possible, the culture of a club gives it an edge.

    Unfortunately for Sea Eagles fans, the demise of that culture will lead to the demise of their club.
    • Like Like x 1
    • tookey

      tookey Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +5,796 /186
      The Manly culture has and always will be with the club

      Every player who comes here is merely a temporary custodian of the culture
      • Like Like x 2
      • Bradza

        Bradza Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +790 /9
        huh - Nathan Lyon has left to join the Aussie cricket team!
        • Like Like x 4
        • Mark from Brisbane

          Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

          +19,658 /383
          The culture is still there, it's just on hold for a bit!!
        • Moondog

          Moondog What's up Darth? Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +5,253 /51
          Yes, who can forget Nathan Lyon. One of the Manly greats!
          • Like Like x 1
          • Kevinward777

            Kevinward777 Well-Known Member

            +3,738 /81
            So was Tony Watmough.
            • Like Like x 2
            • Moondog

              Moondog What's up Darth? Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

              +5,253 /51
              • Like Like x 1
              • Killer03

                Killer03 Well-Known Member

                +3,437 /32
                No wonder Lyon is getting injured lately.
              • sheridanstand78

                sheridanstand78 Well-Known Member

                +4,863 /73
                Form is temporary, class is permanent! Tough times right now but look who is coming through our Holden cup team and all it needs is wise recruitment and the club culture takes over. We will be ok as long as we are a together club.
              • HappilyManly

                HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                +19,027 /367
                Manly winning culture has been around since the seventies.@:cool:
                Deferring payments is not a paycut either.:cool:

                Manly Culture is strong and thriving , otherwise why would Bozo bother to help out? :)
              • Terry Zarsoff

                Terry Zarsoff Well-Known Member

                +6,220 /100
                Like the comment that no team will achieve a 10-year finals run again. Stupid prediction.
              • lovefooty

                lovefooty Well-Known Member

                +471 /16
                We will have a tuff season or two as we have lost cherry and foz but just look at how the under 20"s are going. There is light at the end of this tunnel . We just have to hope Penn gets rid of Zorba before he can get his poison into those young guys and make them haters to .
                • Like Like x 1
                • jbb/james

                  jbb/james Well-Known Member Premium Member

                  +1,493 /35
                  Manlys club culture was built on leadership. Sadly it has been lacking for some time off the field. Strong men like des, the core playing group and tooves held it together. But so few are being asked to provide too much

                  I find it strange that the players that held it together for so long despite an unprofessional approach off field are being painted as the problem purely because they were fed up

                  Im not saying that people didnt put in , work hard, have good intentions but if they were not unified they were part of the problem

                  Not in my memory has manly folk ever not supported all things manly regardless of the personal cost
                • Fluffy

                  Fluffy Well-Known Member

                  +5,619 /204
                  Nathan Lyon? This guy can spin a good yarn
                • Jerry1

                  Jerry1 Well-Known Member

                  +2,654 /93
                  I think the Manly culture was growing in the bottom of Des's coffee mug.
                  He took it with him.
                • Snake

                  Snake Doing The Eagle Rock!

                  +5,081 /244
                  The credibility of the article is exposed when he says that all three (meaning Stewart, DCE & Foran) were off contract for 2016, and we should have locked DCE and Foran before showing Glenn the door, when in fact Glenn was off contract for 2015, and needed his future sorted out early last year. Yet another hack that doesn't bother looking over the whole story before opening his mouth, and he calls himself a Manly fanatic haha, he doesn't even know our Captain's name.

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