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Matthew Johns: Geoff Toovey has taken all kinds of punishment for Manly and deserves respect

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by winnyason, Mar 19, 2015.

By winnyason on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:06 PM
  1. winnyason

    winnyason Well-Known Member

    +1,086 /76
    IT will be one of the enduring images of season 2015. An emotion-charged Manly coach, Geoff Toovey, surrounded by his entire playing squad in the middle of Brookvale Oval after one of the club’s greatest wins.

    The week leading up to last Saturday’s victory over the Storm will go down as one of the worst in Sea Eagles history, and while nobody was giving Manly a chance, when you know what sort of stuff Geoff Toovey is made of, why were we surprised?

    When great players go into coaching, fans quickly forget their heroic deeds on the field of play. A losing coach is a punchline.

    Geoff Toovey talks to his team after the win over Melbourne Storm.Source: News Corp Australia

    Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga and Ricky Stuart are examples of greats of the modern era, who at one time found themselves being savaged by fans, who quickly forget the hero when their tactics and game plans were delivering more losses than wins.

    Geoff Toovey is far from a losing coach, but you’d never guess, given the treatment he has copped in the last six months.

    So let’s remind ourselves, for nostalgia’s sake, who’s Geoff Toovey again?

    Without exception, the toughest player of the modern era. Forget pound for pound the toughest; he was the toughest, full stop.

    We talk about toughness in rugby league by saying things like, “He’d put his head where others wouldn’t dangle their feet.”

    With Toovey, this is fact. I’ve witnessed it.

    We were playing Manly in the hostile Newcastle Stadium atmosphere, back in ‘93.

    About 20 minutes in, a loose ball is on the ground and one of our forwards rushes through and attempts to boot it ahead. As the boot was about to smash against the synthetic leather, Geoff Toovey hurled himself on the ball as if it were a grenade. Our front rower’s size 12 boot smashed into Toovs’ face instead.

    Toovey was too busy to concern himself with the blood rushing down his face, he simply bounced up and raced upfield.

    In 1992, same stadium, same hostile atmosphere and Manly are leading us by two points, deep into the second half.

    Needing a dose of inspiration, our international front rower, Paul Harragon, comes hurtling on to the ball with the kind of a run up Dennis Lillee made famous. The crowd rise in anticipation that something big is about to happen ….it sure does.

    Standing flat-footed in front of the charging Chief is the diminutive Toovey, a mismatch if I’ve ever seen one. Toovs doesn’t flinch, instead he drops suddenly and surges his right shoulder into Chief’s midsection and then proceeds to pick him up and drive him back 10 metres.

    Even the home crowd gave Toovey a rapturous applause. How can you not respect that type of tough?

    Geoff Toovey ploughs into Paul Harragon.Source: News Limited

    On the 1995 World Cup Tour of England, leading into the quarter-finals, Toovey suddenly collapsed at training and didn’t move. He was rushed to Leeds hospital where X-rays found badly damaged discs in his neck, which were severely affecting his movement and causing him great pain. He was told to get on a plane and go home, his tour was over.

    He never missed a game.

    For the rest of the World Cup our halfback Andrew Johns would pack into the scrums at hooker, while Toovey played dummy half and Joey assumed the first receiver role in general play. The reason for this, Toovey’s neck was so badly damaged he simply couldn’t pack into a scrum.

    Everyone who ever played with, or against Geoff Toovey, has a story about his toughness.

    They say an old boxer’s face tells the story of his career, it’s no different with Geoff. Toovey took and absorbed some terrible punishment, nearly always wearing the colours of Manly.

    What’s this got to do with his coaching and current predicament?

    Toovey on Brookvale huddle


    He deserves better. Better than the constant rumours of his sacking, better than the talk of players losing faith in his coaching and certainly better than copping verbal sprays from ex-players in media interviews.

    The truth is Geoff Toovey inherited a whole heap of drama at Manly. A club, which at the time had salary cap problems looming, so large that it was inevitable that key men and club greats were going to be had to let go.

    This inevitability has led to an unhappy squad and made Toovs an easy scapegoat.

    Seeing Geoff Toovey standing in the middle of that player huddle on Saturday night laying down the law, reminded us all how much this bloke has under the bonnet.

    As the cameras zoomed in on the player huddle, it showed Kieran Foran head down deep in thought — I wonder what he was thinking?

    A battered Toovey bears the scars of putting his head on the line for Manly.Source: News Limited

    On Monday, Foran revealed he’d signed a four-year deal with the Parramatta Eels, escaping the current dramas of Manly to play under former Manly assistant coach Brad Arthur.

    The irony is the dysfunctionality that constantly bubbles just below the surface at Parramatta, makes Manly’s look minuscule.

    There’s even talk of board members at Parramatta who still regard Daniel Anderson as the best man for the coaching job.

    Making things awkward for Brad Arthur is that Anderson has been brought back to Parramatta in the role of general manager of football, something Arthur isn’t exactly thrilled about.

    It won’t take much for things to start teeing off at Parra again. Only the Warriors are better at sacking coaches.

    Even a grand final appearance, as Daniel Anderson enjoyed in 2009, doesn’t buy you security, Anderson was sacked the following season.

    Manly have until round 13 to change Foran’s mind, and as they take on Canterbury on Friday night, more displays like last Saturday night won’t hurt the cause.

    • Like Like x 13
      Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015


    Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by winnyason, Mar 19, 2015.

      1. pjayz

        pjayz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +4,264 /81
        Very good article.
      2. simon64

        simon64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

        +2,543 /32
        I remember him playing against the touring GB side in about '88 I think.

        He looked about 12 but he got MOM, we won 30-0 and he scored as well.

        Guts personified is Toovey.
        • Like Like x 1
        • Wombat Legacy

          Wombat Legacy Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +2,772 /154
          Yep, that's the Tooves I remember. People on here talk of Forans toughness. Ha compared to this little legend it is a non event. They should NEVER ever again be spoken of in the same sentence. It's a non contest. Foran should hang his head in shame.
        • bob dylan

          bob dylan Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +6,440 /192
          Won't help him.
          • Like Like x 1
          • Masked Eagle

            Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

            +976 /0
            I remember that hit he put on Chief in that game. Players like Tooves and Beaver make me proud to be a Manly supporter. I've said this in other threads but I thinks its a disgrace that the game doesn't recognise these 2 legends as one club players.
          • Class of 96

            Class of 96 Well-Known Member

            +1,208 /22
            THAT...puts a lot of things in perspective...proper journalism...fact based, accurate
            • Like Like x 1
            • Snake

              Snake Doing The Eagle Rock!

              +5,078 /244
              One thing I have to say I am very proud of, is the reverence personified by each and every poster on this here forum towards Tooves. We've all stuck up for Tooves, we all love him, and we all have his back. I am proud to cheer along side all of you!!
              • Like Like x 2
              • Eagleheart

                Eagleheart Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                +2,012 /53

                Really great article mostly, the only thing I disagree with is........
                'When great players go into coaching, fans quickly forget their heroic deeds on the field of play. A losing coach is a punchline.'

                Win lose or draw, I will never make a joke out of Tooves. I love Tooves. He embodies the Mighty Manly Sea Eagles spirit and I will never forget his heroic deeds when he played. How could I, he is a legend. I remember watching countless games as a teenager where he just smashed blokes twice his size. I would go to school and talk about 'hey did you see Tooves tackle so and so on the weekend.......etc, etc'? He has heart and passion and deserves respect..........!!!!

                Tooves is Manly..........!!!! :)
                • Like Like x 1
                • SwornEagle

                  SwornEagle Well-Known Member

                  +200 /3
                  In 2V we trust!
                • globaleagle

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

                  +13,311 /117

                  "Courage and Honour are not punchlines."
                  • Like Like x 1
                    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
                  • HK_Eagle

                    HK_Eagle Well-Known Member

                    +2,073 /53
                    Didn't have to read it to the end and didn't need to read any posts here. Harden the FARK up and get a cup of Toovey in ya. Some modern players simply have no fking idea. Piss weak, spineless dribbles.
                    • Like Like x 2
                    • Andrew..

                      Andrew.. It's better to burn out, than to fade away. 2017 Tipping Competitor

                      +2,532 /31
                      The blokes a dead set Manly champion who continues to bust a gut for this club he loves. If those in power fail to recognise these virtues I fear for our future !
                    • Jethro

                      Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                      +2,307 /13
                      Matty Johns has surprised me. What a top article.
                      • Like Like x 1
                      • Loobs

                        Loobs Scott Fulton’s 5th Cousin Premium Member

                        +9,059 /306
                        The Parra fans in the comments are getting very touchy. Poor guys...
                      • Budgewoi Eagle

                        Budgewoi Eagle In for the long haul. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

                        +5,817 /82
                        Warning to the Club: Do not touch Tooves. He IS Maroon and White. Let him get on with the job we all know he can do or lose a huge percentage of your fan base. I did not walk away during the long premiership droughts, I did not walk away during the dreadful merge, I will walk away if you shaft this tremendous man.
                        • Like Like x 3
                        • sheridanstand78

                          sheridanstand78 Well-Known Member

                          +4,863 /73
                          Toovey is all about the Manly spirit of toughness, hard work and great skill.

                          If we are honest in 2011 after Doggler racked off it could well have been a total train wreck but Toovey and our senior group help it together fighting board dysfunction to deliver 3 seasons in a row a top 4 finish and 1 grand final apprearance.

                          The last 8 months or so have been difficult for everyone here as we have watched thing unravel and more than ever Toovey is the guy who is needed to pull it all together.

                          He will only be able to do this if he has the backing of the players and most importantly the management of the club. This needs to be put to bed ASAP one way or another.

                          Toovey has kept his dignity intact after endless speculation about player retention and his coaching and man management style. He is entitled to feel a bit let down especially by the management of the club and the senior players who have decided to go.

                          I would rather be a side that trys every week with a coach who really cares about the club than a guy just collecting coin. It is true that Toovey maybe needs to change some things thats being honest and you cant ignore feedback from some of the players who left no matter what your opinion of them is.

                          I admire the job hes done because its never easy to follow on from a successful coach, I really hope he gets the backing to rebuild this team!
                        • Killer03

                          Killer03 Well-Known Member

                          +3,437 /32
                          A lot of my friends who aren't Manly fans hate Tooves, but it's like a Wally Lewis type hatred, when you ask them about it, it's because he's so good, so tough and represents everything Manly Sea Eagles. And without doubt when I probe people on him they say 'I don't like him, but I have to RESPECT him'.

                          Take note board etc. Even opposition fans respect him, so maybe you and Kelly should too!
                          • Like Like x 1
                          • HappilyManly

                            HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                            +19,022 /367
                            I think a $25 Eels FC Membership, to vote in Anderson, is on the cards for some irate Manly Fans :p

                            2v's history with Manly is all a mystery to the Joker I'm afraid. Kels has to get up to speed, because everyone is after his blood in his perceived dealings with our Coach :(
                            • Like Like x 1
                            • Shells Eagles

                              Shells Eagles Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

                              +365 /14
                              Toovey is the heart and soul of Manly.

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