The drama, or if you prefer, saga, that has embroiled the Manly Sea Eagles showed no signs of abating as Captain Daly Cherry-Evans threw his support behind departing coach Trent Barrett.
Reports suggest that Barrett has indeed handed in his resignation and will leave the Sea Eagles with two years remaining on his contract.
Now, with Cherry-Evans chiming in, it seems as though Barrett is not the only malcontent with issues over how the club is being managed at the top.
Cherry-Evans told Fairfax Media, “I don’t know if Trent has the support (of the board). But for things to have not changed after numerous requests, I don’t understand why.I’d like to think our coach has never been the problem. The fact he feels he’s in a position where he has to question a few things with our hierarchy puts into perspective how much he cares about this playing group.”
To Cherry-Evans’ way of seeing things, Barrett is/was a players’ coach, having himself spent 295 games himself as a player, 199 of those in Illawarra.
His is not the first instance of a former player failing to continue on as a coach where he left off as a player, but not having the support of the top ranks is hardly the formula for success.
“I can’t speak on behalf of everyone, but the coach has my support 100 per cent,” Cherry-Evans said.
Of course, 14th on the ladder of a 16-team league and falling is not the sort of thing that contributes positively to career security for an NRL coach, especially in light of the events that recently unfolded around the Penrith Panthers.
Cherry-Evans did not come out and say it directly, but he aimed a comment in the direction of the club hierarchy when he said, Trent Hodkinson said during the week he hadn’t been here for 10 years and things hadn’t changed much, other than the playing group. That’s a little insight to what is happening or not happening around here.”