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Manly Sea Eagles soar thanks to strong club culture

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by swoop, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. swoop

    swoop Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,543 /26
    , writes Fox Sports expert Ben Ikin

    Ben Ikin
    July 19, 2013 7:00AM

    THE year 2013 was meant to be the year when an aging Manly Sea Eagles roster would go off the boil.

    Most of their players had been going hard at it for the best part of a decade, achieving much success along the way, and I like many, thought a large portion of their roster would struggle for motivation in the current season.

    How wrong I was. Almost every time I've watched the Sea Eagles play this year, I've left with great admiration for their fighting and winning qualities. It seems to me that what’s been, may very well continue for a while yet.

    Now Manly’s football isn't always pretty. In fact every now and then they can look a bit disorganized with and without the ball.

    However, opposition teams know if you’re not going to turn up and play disciplined, mentally tough rugby league for the best part of eighty minutes against the Sea Eagles, they’ll get you over the last furlong.

    A State of Origin depleted North Queensland side found out on Monday night that to beat the Sea Eagles you need to do more than just start well. The young Cowboys team opened up with some fast paced energetic footy but eventually got worn down by an experienced, relentless Manly side that ran away with the game in the last twenty minutes.

    To consistently produce this kind of football, takes a certain type of work environment. So what’s been going on across the Spit Bridge that has helped create one of the NRL's most consistent and battle-hardened footy teams?

    I believe it started with a coach’s commitment to hard work. When Des Hasler originally took over as the Sea Eagles coach back in 2004 you knew one thing for certain; the Sea Eagles would never be under-prepared.

    Those that know of Des Hasler's playing career would be well aware of his mantra - 'performance loves preparation'. None too many trained harder than the Manly, NSW and Australian utility, and it made sense that his philosophy as a player would follow him into his coaching endeavors.

    Hasler quickly introduced his own standards at Manly, then went about recruiting players that embodied them, or second to that, would strive hard to embrace them. Once he assembled a critical mass of players prepared to 'buy in' to what he wanted, the Sea Eagles were on their way.

    After defaulting to what he knew best in the early years, Des Hasler continued to evolve as a coach, growing into a sharp tactical thinker and accomplished teacher. These traits, coupled with an eye for the ever-growing role of sports science in professional sport, meant Hasler became a very well rounded mentor.

    Now you’re probably asking yourself, don’t most clubs have standards, train hard and embrace sports science? And the answer is yes, they do. So where do Manly win out where others might fail? The answer lies in the coach’s character.

    Over my time as a player and a commentator I have come to one very simple conclusion about good coaches; there’s a part of what they do, of who they are, that they don’t even know is contributing to their success.

    It’s one part good bloke and another part genuine concern for their players. I've heard it called man management, but it’s really just the intrinsic ability to connect with the young men on their roster, make them feel like they’re understood and appreciated.

    What I've learnt watching and listening to Des Hasler over the years is that he would do almost anything for his players. This was most evident when Brett Stewart had to suffer through a long and very public court case.

    Every time Des spoke publicly about his fullback you could see the pain he was feeling knowing one of his own was hurting so badly.

    And if I could see that, you can bet his players did too.

    It’s this quality in coaches that makes them more than tactics and science, makes the teams they coach more than the sum of their individual parts

    Des Hasler originally, and Geoff Toovey now, have fostered, and continue to foster a culture of togetherness at Manly. They are almost united against the outside world for each other. Put simply, the Sea Eagles players don’t want to let each other down and definitely don’t want to let their coach down.

    This 'side by side' mentality permeates through training and games and is the reason that whenever you watch Manly play you very rarely walk away thinking they've given anything less than their best effort.

    I’m not sure if the Sea Eagles can go all the way in 2013, but one thing is for sure, any team that meets Manly along the way will have to be pretty darn good for a very long time to get the measure of the boys from the Northern Beaches.


    KOMORI Born and bred an Eagle

    +3,716 /62
    First time Ikin has sounded intelligent :)
  3. globaleagle

    globaleagle Je saisis mon chapeau. Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +13,353 /117
    Nah, he's just trying to stir the hasler pot.

    'expert' lol
  4. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

    +5,134 /51
    Ben Lvs Des 4 EVA!!
  5. MWSE

    MWSE Well-Known Member

    +335 /2
    Who wrote this for Ikin?

    Qlders don't know big words like permeate! :O
    • Like Like x 1
    • manlyfan76

      manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +8,061 /174
      Fox Sports "expert Ben Ikin" - happy April Fools everybody.
      • Like Like x 1
      • BOZO

        BOZO Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +7,397 /390
        Great coaches create great club culture . 2V is a Champion
      • The Who

        The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

        +7,257 /173
        I've met Ben when he worked in Sydney and found him to be a really nice guy. What he has written here is true. We are lucky to support a team that doesn't give in. Even when we are beaten we remain in the contest.
        There is no other team in the comp that does this. Even Melbourne gets flogged by cricket scores occasionally.
        • Like Like x 2
        • SeaEagleRock8

          SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +10,565 /215
          "Now you’re probably asking yourself, don’t most clubs have standards, train hard and embrace sports science? And the answer is yes, they do. So where do Manly win out where others might fail? The answer lies in the coach’s character."

          This is part of the answer but then you need to ask, why do Hasler and Toovey have the sort of character Ikin refers to?

          They probably would have been champs wherever they played, but the fact remains they developed their footy knowledge, and they grew up as young men, in the Manly club, in the Manly system, absorbing the Manly culture of hard work and success.

          It's a good article, but the secret to our success goes back way further than Hasler and Toovey.
          • Like Like x 2
          • HappilyManly

            HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

            +19,033 /368
            Manly forged Hasler, not the other way around :exclamation:

            The 78 side's Premiersìp epitomises the Manly Culture -no one likes us, but we are taking the Trophy :p
          • Brissie Kid

            Brissie Kid Well-Known Member

            +1,177 /19
            Sure give Hasler the credit as he deserves it, but this is only half the story Mr Ikin. The restoring of Manly's heart came via three men.

            STEVE MENZIES.

            BEN KENNEDY.

            JAMIE LYON.
            • Like Like x 1
            • mozgrame

              mozgrame Well-Known Member

              +5,134 /51
              LUKE DORN had a fair bit of input too!
              • Like Like x 1
              • Brissie Kid

                Brissie Kid Well-Known Member

                +1,177 /19
                Mitch Creary added more than him.
              • TokyoEagle

                TokyoEagle Well-Known Member

                +571 /8
                Luke Williamson was the vital ingredient, no goat photos, no Manly.
              • mozgrame

                mozgrame Well-Known Member

                +5,134 /51
                Two words....THE SQUASHER!!
              • Jatz Crackers

                Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

                +1,476 /8
                Its also got to do with Bennet. Ikin is also referring to him.
              • Killer03

                Killer03 Well-Known Member

                +3,437 /32
                Could not agree more Brissie Kid. When Manly/Northern Eagles was just a ramshackle, and quite frankly....we sucked (and rival fans were actually feeling sorry for us)....there was still a ray of sunlight and hope with Beaver.

                BK....well he actually became my favourite all-time Sea Eagle. I remember when we signed him and he said 'The Sea Eagles are title bound'....I just thought 'this bloke is nuts, but I just loved that attitude'. He took us from being the ramshackle Manly, to semi finalists that were earning respect, and suddenly becoming everybody's hated team again (and didn't we love it!)

                Killer...he relegated BK to my no.2 all time Sea Eagle. His signing signaled that Manly were now no longer happy with a semi final birth...it was titles we wanted and titles are what the great man has delivered!
                • Like Like x 1
                • Hamster Huey

                  Hamster Huey Space Invader Premium Member

                  +1,178 /9
                  Isn't that the latest hairstyle on the 'Coast? Seen plenty of blokes with 'em.
                • Shoe1

                  Shoe1 Well-Known Member

                  +7,213 /106
                  And zorba
                • mickqld

                  mickqld Sack Greenslime 2017 Tipping Competitor

                  +5,250 /109
                  Manly never lost their heart,soul & culture. It was just in hiatus for a couple of years while that other monstrosity of a club was finally aborted and the stench of the Bears was flushed in the toilet.

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