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NRL pull too strong for Manly CEO Stephen Humphreys to ignore


The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
2019 Tipping Competitor
Jul 26, 2010
Stephen Humphreys walked into his first board meeting as Manly chief executive on Friday afternoon. A concerning incident involving hooker Manase Fainu aside, it has been a cracking week for the club. The Trbojevic brothers – Jake and Tom – are on the verge of committing their long term futures to the Sea Eagles. Freshly-minted ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys has pledged to upgrade suburban grounds starting with Brookvale Oval.
Five years after leaving Wests Tigers to pursue job opportunities in Europe, Humphreys has returned and the early signs are encouraging.
“To be fair, I didn’t think I would come back,” Humphreys said. “After some time away you do really miss a lot of it. When we had done our five years in the UK — which was kind of what we had in mind as a family — I started to think about what I would do next, and the prospect of returning to rugby league was a really good one.
“If the opportunity came at the right club, I was up for having a chat about that. That is the way it played out. I am like a lot of people — it is a great game. The footy side is good, the theatre is pretty good. Generally speaking there are lots of good people involved in the game.
“It gets a bit tetchy at times. I remember having a couple of chats with my wife about it. If I look back at the Tigers, a couple of my boys were ball boys at different stages, I had a couple of my girls in the dance (troupe) I will remind myself of that when I am besieged by challenges along the way.”

No doubt, they will come. At the moment, Humphreys’ most daunting challenge is finding a home for his family and schools for his children. He and his wife have eight children, although two will remain in England to finish university and high school.
Humphreys has been steeped in rugby league for as long as he can remember. His father Kevin was one of the game’s most revered administrators and Stephen followed in his footsteps, having initially played fullback for the then-Balmain Tigers.
His father was good friends with former Manly chair and ARL supremo Ken Arthurson.
He concedes the area has its own idiosyncrasies, much like Manly coach Des Hasler. Hasler has a reputation for running his own race but Humphreys admits one of the attractions of joining Manly was the opportunity to work alongside the coach.
“Like a lot of the clubs they have been through their boardroom struggles but they look to me like they are in a good place,” Humphries said.
“They have a stable board and … that was an important part. I really like the opportunity to work with Des. I have been a fan of Des for a long time.”
He has kept an eye on the NRL during his time overseas, watching at least one and often two games a week. He remained a fan long after his time at the Tigers came to an end, Humphreys leaving when boardroom bickering became too exhausting.
Manly have had their own struggles on that front but they have seemingly entered a new era of harmony, the Penn family committed to the club despite rumours they have been approached to sell.
The Penns have made no secret of their desire to overhaul Brookvale Oval and Humphreys welcomed comments from V’landys about his plans to improve the ground.
“It is great for Manly and it is great for the game,” he said.

Mark from Brisbane

“ Triggered Boomer”
Premium Member
Oct 2, 2008
Eight children!
How's his cap management going to be? Great because he had to finance eight kids or shocking because of lack of discipline? ;)
Ive got a mate that has 10, and just normal Aussies.

They run a bush Camp / caravan park . Oldest is 17, youngest is 1, everyone has a job , they all “ work” in doing something for the family business OH and are home schooled!!

They are a “ force of nature”.
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