http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/01/17/soaring-sea-eagles-about-to-fall-from-the-sky/ By BobbyBouche, 17 Jan 2015 BobbyBouche is a Roar Rookie New author! Since reentering the competition following the Northern Eagles debacle, the Manly Sea Eagles have entertained the crowds, won several premierships and been consistent final contenders. They are the team that everyone loves to hate but defy the haters with success. That will all change in 2015. Much was made of the ‘culture’ of Manly in 2014, as the cracks started to show and soon the boardroom war spilled onto the streets. Eventually the Penn family made their move and now all is good at Brookvale. Manly have a new CEO, a united board and are ready to win a grand final in 2015. Don’t believe it. Manly are masters of spin, with none better than their coach Geoff Toovey. Toovey is a much-maligned character – you either love him or hate him (much like Manly). Before the Penn takeover, talk was Toovey could possibly be on his way out, but that never eventuated. All in all probably a good thing, but I digress as that’s all history and hearsay. The fact is this: Manly are an ageing team and missed a golden opportunity to do a Parramatta-style clean-out and launch the careers of some potential superstars. This would have also saved them a lot of cash, which would open the doors for recruitment of more fresh faces. No doubt in my mind they should have let Brett Stewart go to Parramatta or Canberra as they would then have had the opportunity to bring through Clinton Gutherson, who is a very good prospect. Instead an ageing and injury prone ‘Snake’ will stop the progression of this young man and drag out every last cent he can from Manly for the next few years. The same can be said of Steve Matai to a degree, and the drama of ‘will they or won’t they stay’ starring Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran doesn’t help. On the positive side they got rid of an under-performing Glenn Stewart to Souths and said goodbye to Anthony Watmough, who was a very unhappy camper. But to replace them Manly recruit an ancient Willie Mason well past his best, and a man who is yet to reach his potential (if ever) in Feleti Mateo. While the club is strong in the halves, the rest of the key members of the backline are ready to fall apart due to age and injuries. The forward pack looks good on paper but are old in key positions, with Mason and 31-year-old Matt Ballin leading the way on that front. I am certainly not convinced Manly have the key reserves in place, ready to play first grade when injury does strike. Loyalty is a fantastic and rare commodity in the NRL, but Manly have been too loyal to some players. The Sea Eagles are due to become the West Indies cricket team of the NRL, hanging on to ageing, out-of-form, injury-prone players until they can play no more and then expecting untested youngsters to suddenly play at NRL level. Breaks my heart as a Manly fan to watch this, but our fall will be swift and violent and will take years to recover from. The start of this fall is 2015.