Sea Eagles disarray does not please me

I HAVE never been a big Manly fan, primarily because as kids my twin brother was a passionate Sea Eagles supporter and I followed the mighty St George Dragons.

It was a healthy sibling rivalry.

But allegiances aside, the disarray at Manly at the moment is very sad. For obscure reasons, some are hell bent on destroying a truly great footy club.

Love them or despise them, the Sea Eagles are an NRL powerhouse.

Introduced into the competition in 1947, they have won eight premierships and played finals footy in 43 of those 67 seasons.

In more recent years they have been stand-outs, not having missed a final series in the past decade and winning two of their four grand finals in that time.

But unless someone at Brookvale starts to crack the whip - and a few heads - those momentous days might be over. Manly's status as a genuine premiership threat appears as shaky as the hold their No.1 ticketholder - PM Tony Abbott - has on his job.

In their favour though is ridding themselves of Anthony Watmough. Although a terrific player, Watmough has been fractious since his status recently outgrew his form.

Criticism of the club in general, coach Geoff Toovey and even former teammates, has not endeared him to those on the northern beaches who once idolised him.

But then no one could surely be surprised at anything Watmough does or says.

And while Glenn Stewart was once an integral part of the Manly success, his 45 games from a possible 81 in the past three seasons indicates his injuries could be endemic.

The huge chip he carries on his shoulder certainly won't be missed.

But the major issue heading into season 2015 is the on-going hullabaloo over the future of halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Keiran Foran. The 'will they-won't they stay' soap opera is well into its second year and has become a total bore and no doubt an even greater distraction.

Having said that, the fortunes of Manly - short and long term - is anchored to the decisions of this pair. It's odds on that if one leaves so will the other and the club may well fall apart without them. In fact, after the disruption of the past 12 to 18 months with player unrest and boardroom in-fighting, the eagles' nest could disintegrate almost immediately.

When it comes to player movement, I'm old school. Provided they are well looked after and happy, players should feel a loyalty to where their glittering careers were nurtured. And Manly has certainly given Cherry-Evans and Foran their launching pad.

Sea Eagles fans will no doubt hope the recent signing of Steve Matai might just be the catalyst for two more signatures - maybe this week.

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