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Michael Monaghan - Pathways/Specialist Coach


Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2017
Iโ€™m actually excited by this. I quite liked Michael as a player - he made the most of his ability and played intelligently for the most part. Thinking of it now he strikes me as the sort of guy who might make a good coach one day.

master blaster

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2010


Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2010
Monas was much maligned during his time here, but not with the fans. He was a fan favourite and an inspirational captain. What he lacked in natural skill he compensated with aggression and tenacity. He took the reigns half way through the 2004 season when Beaver handed in his resignation and led the team well until the arrival of Orford. Welcome home, Monas.


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2004
Another quality and inspirational man / person. Maybe I watched someone different, but I thought his playing game / quality was outstanding !


Grizzly old fart
Aug 6, 2012
Great to see Ballin back coaching U20s.and other duties. With Tovey and Lyons looking after the juniors we have a very strong Sea Eagles tradition again at the club. Welcome back Michael Monaghan.

castle eagle

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2010
here are a few articles on monas which show why this is a great appointment(to me at least):

Mysterious Monaghan is St Mick
By Nick Walshaw, DailyTelegraph
September 29, 2007 12:00am
NICHOLAS Esposito is doing it tough. Struggling. Reckons forever is too bloody long to spend in a wheelchair . . . especially when you're nine.
So today the little bloke has given up. Stopped eating. Brushed his exercises and schoolwork too.

Even Arranounbai School principal Garry Smith, a special educator for 30 years, has become concerned.

"So that's when we pick up the phone," the school boss smiles. "And we call in Mick."

In its earliest days, the Michael Monaghan story appeared to be the perfectly orchestrated piece of NRL public relations.

You know, league star visits sick kids, signs a few autographs and "sure I'll be back" . . . just as soon as his name bobs up again on the club's community service roster.

But the more you dig the more you stand corrected. Because this isn't that story. Not even close.

Over the past five days of a chaotic grand final week, all training sessions, fan days and media interviews, Monaghan has still visited Arranounbai School - twice.

The Manly hooker spent three hours on Monday teaching spelling, writing and numbers. Yesterday it was exercise work and hydrotherapy in the pool.

No publicity, press release or photo opportunity.

He keeps coming back for the 55 students. For kids like little Nic, the brave cerebral palsy sufferer who came into this world 16 weeks early and weighing 800 grams. "To be honest I've lost count of his operations," mum Maria says.

Monaghan reads to Nic and his mates. Cooks their barbecues. Even fires the starter's gun on athletics day. Over the past two years, the footballer has also led a fundraising push that collected $140,000 for a new school bus.

"Last year he convinced the players to donate all the money saved for their trip away," Manly official Peter Peters reveals. "And they still donate Man of the Match payments and appearance fees."

Yet by far Monaghan's most important work follows that phone call from Garry. When a child is depressed. Won't eat. Or is simply tired of the endless surgery and suffering.

Some days Mick rushes to the school straight from training, covered in dirt.

This, after all, is the 2006 Ken Stephen medallist who was choppered into Telstra Stadium for the grand final with Sophie Delezio.

Who, 12 months on, yesterday received a good luck note penned by the heroic schoolgirl herself.

"Because Nic has no mental disability, he thinks like any other boy his age," Maria explains. "So he wants to run around and kick a footy. He wants to be normal."

And so Monners arrives on this particular day, taking Nic to the yard where they chat . . . for two hours.

"Michael is special, no doubt," principal Smith says. "The other day we had an assembly to explain to the children that he was going overseas . . . many of them simply burst into tears."

Michael Monaghan is many things to many people.

A 27-year-old enigma who says goodbye to the NRL tomorrow night with most of us still scratching our heads.

Take the quick, irreverent poll of Canberra and Manly footballers who've played alongside him over the past seven NRL seasons.

Asked: How would you describe Monners?

Anthony Watmough. Weirdo . Ryan O'Hara. Eccentric . Jason King. Creepy . Michael Robertson. Complex . Alan Tongue. Guarded . And Steven Bell. Ahhhh . . . no comment .

Cracking his profile on the Manly website is equally impossible.

One word to describe yourself? Gynotikolobomassophile. And, yep, we've Googled. It's a bloke who enjoys nibbling on a woman's earlobes.

"Mick is actually a very funny guy," attests Sea Eagles winger Robertson, who lived with Monaghan and brother Joel for a year.

"But no one ever believes me when I tell them."

Former Raiders teammate O'Hara goes further.

"Monners is a great bloke but a nerd," he laughs. "There are countless drinking stories from Canberra days but Mick is in none of them. You know the bloke who never gets drunk and acts up, who wakes up the next day remembering who did what? That's him."

Sea Eagles players describe their No. 9 as annoying, grubby, a serial changeroom thief and an embellisher who "adds his own GST" to every tale.

Yet Monaghan is also respectful, driven, intelligent and extremely well read, often entertaining his teammates by rattling off league facts like guru David Middleton.

"But that's Monners," O'Hara shrugs. "You'll be talking about peas and carrots and he turns it into a scientific experiment."

For his own part, Monaghan is giving little away on the eve of "the biggest game of my career".

He's cautious. Guarded. A Zen Master in the ancient dialect of Footyspeak.

During our interview, for example, the departing rake describes the grand final as "a great way to go out, win or lose".

But that isn't Monaghan talking. Because he's never lost a game happily. Ever.

"Oh, Mick's the fiercest competitor," says Raiders skipper Alan Tongue.

And later, when Monaghan is asked to describe his four rollercoaster years with Manly, he drops an old chestnut about "every day has been enjoyable". Every day?

What about 2005, for example. When Monners was made captain, offered a three-year deal, had said deal withdrawn, given two matches to win a new contract, told he was cut then signed for three years.

Or 2006. Stripped of the captaincy. Shifted to hooker. And then granted an early release.

During the ugly saga, Monaghan labelled the club "dishonest, disloyal and gutless". He'd been betrayed, Monners claimed.

Yet now the damaging dummyhalf is the Sea Eagles' saviour. And we have a thousand questions .

"Nah, sorry mate," Monaghan shrugs, "but I'm not gunna talk about any of that".

So perhaps the people who really know Monaghan best are the children of Arranounbai. Nic Esposito, for one, is awash with grand final fever. His wheelchair is decorated. Maroon casts on each leg. And he wants to tell The Daily Telegraph all about his favourite No. 9.

Because of chronic lung problems, the little bloke's sentences come slowly. Laboured. Like every raspy word is a testament to the saviour who keeps reappearing when darkness sets in.

"Mick," he says softly, "is my best mate".

Then there was this:
This season, when Matt Orford was out with a knee injury, Monaghan stepped in, and the Sea Eagles never lost with him at the scrumbase. It was the same two years ago, when the club seemed to baulk at re-signing him even though he was starring โ€ฆ as a halfback. Manly's powerful part-owner Max Delmege had to step in to solve that ugly situation.

"I don't think anyone was doing anything out of spite or anything like that, it was just a bit of miscommunication," Monaghan says now. "The club was under real pressure, and I was under real pressure. Clubs have got to do what they think's best for their organisation, and they thought they needed another halfback.

"When I first moved here to Manly, they had two halves who ended up being moved on because the club signed me."

And so he is the next to be moved on. He speaks with genuine excitement about the move, after discussing it with his teammate Jamie Lyon, who spent two seasons at St Helens, his future teammate Adrian Morley, and someone he has never played with, Andrew Johns, although he has played in the Warrington No.7 jumper.

The Wolves organised Johns, the retired Newcastle half, to phone Monaghan and sell the club, while owner Simon Moran and coach Paul Cullen were on the phone to him from the UK almost daily. He appreciated feeling "wanted". And why wouldn't he?

That's not to say the decision was easy. Monaghan will have to give up most of his duties with the Arranounbai School at Frenchs Forest, a role which helped earn Monaghan the Ken Stephen Medal last year.

Monaghan visits the children there a few times a month, at home, at school and at Manly home games. He has helped to raise $140,000 for a bus to be purchased for the physically and mentally disabled children.

Some were in tears when he told them he was leaving.

"It's one of those things, sometimes in footy and life, you take things for granted," he said. "There's a bit of perspective, especially playing rugby league, where you earn good money and get a lot of free time.

"It's something that keeps you grounded a little bit. No matter how hard you're doing it, some people are doing it a lot tougher than you."

Being the second-best halfback at your club ain't so bad after all.


Monaghan calls in on some old friends in Sydney

Monaghan calls in on some old friends in Sydney

WARRINGTON Wolves' Australian scrum half Michael Monaghan, currently back home in Sydney, has paid a visit to Arranounbai School.

Monaghan was a regular visitor to the school, which caters for children with disabilities and learning difficulties, while at NRL club Manly and the children were delighted that he had come back to see them.

School principal Garry Smith said: โ€œMichael is Our โ€˜Patron at Largeโ€™ for us here, the students were so excited to see โ€˜Monasโ€™.

"Michael's involvement in our school has been so important to students, families and staff.โ€

Michael is renowned for his dedication to community work and while at Manly was awarded โ€˜The Ken Stephen Awardโ€™ in 2006 for his charity work.

To sum it up, he is all class

double hoops

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2013
I am over the moon with this signing. I see an heir apparent to DES. I see a player who I just loved. I see someone who can really add to our club now actually.

If they Announce Ballin some time soon, I think they have done well in the coaching department.


Well-Known Member
Jul 14, 2010
Great to see Ballin back coaching U20s.and other duties. With Tovey and Lyons looking after the juniors we have a very strong Sea Eagles tradition again at the club. Welcome back Michael Monaghan.
Do you mean to say Noel Tovey AM has been signed to teach them how to dance?

Real Deal

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2013
Always liked Monas when he was with us. Was sad he wasn't part of our 2008 triumph. Having said that i think anyone such as Monas who was in that 2007 team should get premiership rings. That would shut the Storm up and stop them claiming that year as a premiership. Welcome back, Mick.

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