Outsider Barrett respects Manly legends
New Manly coach Trent Barrett has credited past Sea Eagles mentors Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey for instilling the strong culture he is looking to thrive within for at least the next three seasons.
Speaking for the first time in a coaching capacity at the Sea Eagles' 70th anniversary season launch, Barrett was more than complimentary to his predecessors who between them had the club win the 2008 and 2011 NRL premierships in a decade of dominance.
"We all respect what Geoff Toovey did here in the past and we respect what Des Hasler has done in the past too. The influence of those blokes certainly shapes the attitudes of all the players who I have in my team now," Barrett said.
"I thank them for that because I have a mentally tough squad. I've seen that since pre-season started and that's something I don't want to lose. The Sea Eagles have a culture and a level of respect that not many clubs have and I certainly want to improve on that.
"There are coaching techniques we want to implement but the culture and the regard everyone holds this club in is solid."
Only the third man since 1966 to come in as head coach without having any previous history with the Sea Eagles, 37-year-old Barrett isn't daunted by the inevitable pressures he is set to face.
"It's just another challenge [being an outsider]," he said. "It's a real privilege they think I can do the job. But again, I can't let external opinions factor into what I am doing. I have a job to do, and we are prepared to do it.
"I'll be held accountable for the results in the end, I know that and we all know that when you come and coach a side, so we'll see how we're standing this time next year.
"This is such a big club and I understand the history in the place and who has gone before me but the moment I start thinking about [the pressure] I'll lose focus of what I'm trying to do."
Barrett also touched on the politics that has run roughshod throughout the Sea Eagles over the past year or two – with the former Penrith Panthers assistant coach remaining adamant it won't impact his first stint as an NRL coach.
Complimenting CEO Joe Kelly and Chairman Scott Penn for making his time in the role as enjoyable as it can be Barrett isn't stressing about any political facets of the job.
"There is politics in every club. If I'm honest first and foremost with myself and everybody else then I'll be okay," he said.
"We have a small group here that are making all the decisions and we're all on the same page, I don't foresee there being any problems."