In the wake of Desgate many would have had us believe that our team would be torn to pieces and all we would be left with is a rotting carcass not likely to figure in any finals campaign for years to come. The sky was going to well and truly fall in on Narrabeen and Brookvale. So what's the tale of the tape 8 months or so on. Contracted Snake - 2016 JT - 2014 Killer - 2013 (and on record saying he wants to stay) Shoulders - 2015 Foz - 2015 DCE - 2015 Gift - 2014 (make it 2016 because he won't leave Brett) Choc - 2014 (you may as well say life) King - 2014 Kite - 2013 Ballin - 2015 Ferris - 2014 Joe G - 2013 George - 2013 Vic -2013 Losses T-Rex Whare Lussick Oldfield Harrison Robinson (??) Gains Fa'aso Chee Kam Sao Hiku Gutherson (not technically a gain I know) Undecided Wolf - but not likely to go anywhere next year because of injury I don't know about you guys, but if you had told me at the beginning of the year that the only major player we would lose was T-Rex, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. I would have also thought you were stark raving mad. The fact that we have the main core of this side tied up for another 3 years is unbelievable. Add to that some promising junior signings and we are looking mighty fine to be giving this comp a shake for the next few seasons. This tells me two things * The team management, led by Dave Perry, should take a bow. To be able to pull off all these signings is a testament to their abilities, not the least of which includes working under trying circumstances with a dysfunctional board and some big egos determined to publicly grind axes. You can officially take the P Plates off Dave, well done. * The players love Manly and want to play for this great club. Obviously a tight knit group and there must be a very positive culture in the playing group. Partially due to an obvious "no d!ckhead" policy on signings, but also to some wonderful leadership, both on and off the field, by a senior playing group. Killer, Kitey, Beaver, Kingy and even Joe, set the standard. They have the respect, and the young guys learn from that. Look at the change in some of the other guys like Choc and Stevie since they started out, and you can see that this group is all about respect and team first. Apart from the obvious on field ability and skills, the one thing that makes me most proud of this team is the humility of the playing group and the commitment the players have to each other and this great club. We don't have any show ponies, w@nkers, or rock stars, we have a group of quality men who go about their business with pride and self respect. It may not be a popular statement, but you have to give kudos to Des for setting this standard and breeding this culture. Tooves was part of that as well, and I have no doubt he will be as passionate and as proud with the clipboard as he was when he wore the jersey. We are lucky to have had coaches that know what it is like to play for Manly, to know what it is like to be hated because of that, but to have felt that pride of pulling on the jersey and running onto Brookvale. So here we are on the verge of another finals campaign, and a chance of a historic title defence. Life didn't end when Des left, the club proved it was bigger than any one man. I can't believe that we are so lucky as fans to support a club that has such a great culture and has experienced such success. Little wonder everyone hates us.... it's called jealousy. Future is looking bright, long may we reign !!!!!!!!