Outgoing Manly coach Geoff Toovey has front the media to discuss his departure from the club, answering questions with typical grace and dignity while thanking fans for their support through a tough time.
After months of speculation, club owners and management headed by the Penn family and CEO Joe Kelly came to an agreement with Toovey that would see him paid out from the final year of his deal to make way for Penrith assistant coach Trent Barrett to take over the reins full time next year.
Speaking from the club's Narrabeen base Wednesday morning, Toovey answered a range of questions on the matter and his future.
On accepting he wouldn't be coaching Manly next year: I'm very disappointed that my coaching career has ended this year, at the end of this year, but it's still not over yet, we're still in with a chance. If you saw how the players played last week [beating the Warriors 32-12 in Auckland] you'd be well and truly worried if you were the teams above us.
All I know is a decision's been made and I have to accept it, I've come to an agreement with the club and I won't be here next year.
On speculation over his future: It's been suggested for several months but until things were finalised and until things were worked out between myself and the board there was nothing to be said. When they were finalised and worked out and we came to an agreement it was announced.
On the club's advisers, including Manly legend Bob Fulton, making the decision: They felt they'd go in a different direction, they got some advice from some advisers out there, consultants they thought going forward that another coach would be better for the place. As I said I'm disappointed, we had plans in place for the future but I've got to accept the decision, I've worked it out amicably with the owners and we've got to move on.
On seeing out the rest of 2015: It's always hard but I think everyone knows the Manly team, we thrive on adversity and I think we'll need that this week seeing as we lost three more players [to injury] last weekend in the game but it's been a difficult time not only for me but for the players as well.
There's been a lot of things going on with regard to negotiation of contracts this year with players which has been widely reported. We're concentrating here on winning matches and that's what we need to do as a football team and as a coaching department.
On whether he would stay at the club: Not in the short term. This club's been, for nearly 28 years, a part of my life, longer than most of the players have been alive so I can see possibly something in the future.
On whether he will coach again: It's too early for me to announce anything like that, I need a bit of a break, I've had probably one week off in the last four years so I need to take some time and maybe take a breath for a while.
Of course [Manly will always be my club] be but in saying that it doesn't mean I couldn't fulfil a role somewhere else but at this stage it's way too early to say anything.
On the support of the club's fans: I'd really like to thank the fans, they've showed great loyalty to me. I really appreciate that sincerely, the members also, and even the sponsors. I appreciate all their support. It's been a tough time but the decisions' been made and I need to move on.
On the club's record under his leadership: I want to make one thing clear – the football department here and the coaches here are fantastic, our record speaks for itself, it's probably unsurpassed by many clubs in the competition and envied by many clubs so in that sense it's disappointing but as I said the results speak for themselves over the last four years. This year's been a tough year, sure, that happens from time to time, there's lots of things going on, a bit of a perfect storm this year. We're still in there with a chance, the players believe we're in with a chance, we believe we've got the players and the ability to get there and if we do we'll give it a good show.