Manly coach Geoff Toovey has turned his attention to sorting out the internal issues plaguing the Sea Eagles now their NRL season is over.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey will set his sights on sorting out the much publicised internal ructions at Brookvale, now the Sea Eagles’ 2014 premiership tilt is over.
Last year’s NRL grand finalists were bundled out of this season’s title race in their thrilling 18-17 semi-final loss to Canterbury at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
The in-form side for much of the season, Manly only lost the minor premiership to the Sydney Roosters on percentages after their final round loss to the North Queensland.
They were subsequently knocked out of the final series with back-to-back losses, with the Bulldogs defeat proceeded by the 40-24 thrashing at the hands of South Sydney the week prior.
Manly lost momentum at the most crucial time due to injury to key players Matt Ballin (leg) and Jamie Buhrer (knee), but the internal rumblings that have emanated from an unhappy playing group still upset of the loss of Glenn Stewart to the Rabbitohs next year played their part as well.
Despite being under contract, Brett Stewart has been linked to a move to Canberra next year and Anthony Watmough to Parramatta, while Steve Matai could join the Warriors.
That would tear apart the core of a playing group that has qualified for 10 straight final series, with Jason King retiring.
Toovey said he wanted to sort out the mess so that it did not affect Manly’s 2015 premiership campaign.
“They will be sorted out when they are sorted out, I can’t put a time frame on it,” he said.
“Everyone would like to be in the land of milk and honey but that is football and we are going to do the best we can.
“These issues happen at every club, we are just moving forward.
“The players are very professional and love playing in the maroon and white and they will continue to love playing in the maroon and white while we put in the effort and commitment we have over this year and I will expect the same next year.”
Toovey will reportedly have the final say on what players, if any will be allowed to depart Brookvale, but refused to blame their disappointing finals efforts on the drama.
“We finished equal first and until recently we hadn’t lost two games in a row, the players always gave their best,” Toovey said.