Rugby League

Manly hails Hasler as the ‘salary cap master’

MANLY chairman and owner Scott Penn has labelled incoming head coach Des Haslery as the “salary cap master” as he faces scrutiny over his previous roles with the Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles.

Hasler returned to work at Manly on Monday, seven years after his bitter departure following the Sea Eagles’ 2011 premiership success. He has faced criticism for his use of back-ended contracts after being sacked by from both Canterbury in 2016 and Manly in 2011

The Sea Eagles confirmed Hasler would not have complete control of the salary cap with a committe put in place to oversee retention and recruitment.

Hasler, however, would have significant input.

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Des Hasler announced as Manly coach0:00

NRL: The Manly Sea Eagles have announced that Des Hasler will return to coach the club next season.

Penn went as far as to laud Hasler handling of the salary cap in the past.

“Des has always been one of the masters of cap management,” Penn said.

“He had 150 different scenarios. That something he’s always been strong at.

“We have no concerns.”

On Monday Hasler defended his controversial NRL salary-cap management record, claiming things would have been different if he’d had a chance to see out his plans in previous head-coaching roles.

“I’ve always had a pretty robust philosophy towards the best way to manage cap and list management at the time,” Hasler said as he appeared to read a pre- written answer in Monday’s press conference to trumpet his arrival, after first saying it wasn’t the time to discuss Canterbury’s cap matters.

“With an incumbent coach it’s always that coach’s priority to look at that list and to manage that list and carve out a way going forward.

“I think that exercise shouldn’t be about laying the blame but rather (about) going forward.

“It will be no different for me and I will adopt that and it will be the same as when I was at Canterbury and also at Manly here prior to 2012.

“Players’ values are very subjective and it’s got to fit in with the coach’s plans at that particular time.

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“I think it’s naive to suggest that one salary cap management plan is another’s misery.” Hasler indicated on Monday he’d likely take a similar approach into his return at Manly, defending the method that took the club to two premierships.

Half of his roster was overhauled between his 2008 and 2011 titles, with rookie halfback Daly Cherry-Evans among the younger players he brought in for his second success.

But the club felt the pain following his departure, as Geoff Toovey reached the 2013 decider but he and successor Trent Barrett had to deal with an ageing roster in the years that followed.

Canterbury then faced a similar problem with rising contract values this season.

Des Hasler shakes hands with Manly CEO Lyall Gorman as Chairman Scott Penn looks on.Source:Getty Images

“I’ve always had a plan. I’ve always been committed to executing that plan going into the future in my time at the Dogs and in time here prior to Manly,” Hasler said.

“Had I been retained in those coaching roles I would have been committed to seeing those plans through and manage those matters that I’ve always had.

“In my coaching time we’ve had some success.

“The notion of back-ended deals as reported is simplistic and generally wrong. It does not have regard to many factors that come into list management.”

Originally published as Manly hails Hasler as the ‘salary cap master’

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