You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Des Hasler marched into Manly's Narrabeen headquarters on Monday like he'd never left as the club formally announced his return as coach on a three-year deal.

An amused Hasler was greeted by a flock of media and quickly reverted to his unique brand of humour when touching on subjects not limited to the Sea Eagles' current state off the paddock, the playing roster and his bitter exit at the Bulldogs.

Hasler, who parted ways with Manly amid controversy following the 2011 grand final triumph, said he was thrilled to be returning to the Northern Beaches after seven-years away.

"It's great to be coaching back in the NRL, first up," Hasler said. 

"I missed coaching this year so [I] look forward to getting back into the day-to-day interaction and work with players again.

"[Manly] it's close, the synergy it's been well documented, I played a majority of my football here and have been around the coaching ranks for a long time. It's been a big part of my football life."

Lyall Gorman, Des Hasler and Scott Penn.
Lyall Gorman, Des Hasler and Scott Penn. ©

Hasler was quick to downplay any lingering animosity between he and club owner Scott Penn, who sat beside him at the announcement.

The premiership-winning coach considered legal action against Penn prior to joining the Bulldogs after the 2011 season.

Penn said dialogue first took place between the pair earlier in the month, but the final decision came at a recent members function.

"We had a good member session about two weeks ago at the Leagues club, with about 200 members," Penn said.

"I think that crystallised our thinking. We've won eight premierships with a Manly-man in charge. All eight so I think we're pretty confident Des can bring us back the success that we need."

Hasler, who coached the club to premiership glory in 2008 and 2011, said the playing group he'll have at his disposal are capable of turning things around quickly.

Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans is the only remaining member left who played under Hasler.

When asked of his expectations from the squad, the 57-year-old was realistic of their prospects.

"It's entirely up to the playing group," Hasler said.

"You would think watching the games last year they were certainly amongst it, the roster is quite strong, there's a good blend, a good mix, rep players that are playing. the roster is not too bad."

Des Hasler after winning the 2011 grand final.
Des Hasler after winning the 2011 grand final. ©NRL Photos

Hasler has come under fire from the Bulldogs for the way he left the salary cap at Belmore with back ended payments forcing the club to shed star players Moses Mbye and Aaron Woods mid-season.

He labelled blame on any suggestions of poor salary cap management as "simplistic" and declared he had no point to prove against his former club.

"I had a great time at Canterbury when I was there, like this club they're a very proud club, I had some good success at Canterbury, a couple of grand finals."

Monday's press conference had one off-limits topic - the future of Trent Barrett. Barrett is still employed by the club.

Des Hasler coaching record (2004-17)

Games 361; Wins 210; Losses 151. Win percentage: 58.2

Ranked 9th all-time for games won

Manly coaching record (2004-11)

Games: 206; Wins: 122; Losses: 84.

Won premierships: 2008, 2011

Manly reached finals between 2005-11

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners