Fired Here Hired There Life for an NRL Coach Involves Relocation

When we first heard the news regarding Trent Barrett and his acrimonious relationship with the upper management group of the Manly Seas Eagles, we were tempted to put our hands up for the job, based on our conviction that we could take an 14th place team and not do too much harm, despite our knowing little about football.

We were stopped by the notion that we could somehow experience success, only to suffer the same fate as Anthony Griffin by coaching the Sea Eagles into the finals, only to find our heads on a silver platter engraved with the NRL logo.

The speculation over who will succeed Barrett is in full gear, with Manly Chairman Scott Penn telling The Daily Telegraph that there is a short list of potential replacements consisting of Neil Henry, Michael Maguire, John Cartwright and Tim Sheens.

No telling how many more names are on the long list.

The Manly players want Cartwright. They liked Barrett, so their endorsement could be considered a kiss of death for Cartwright now or at some future point.

“We love Baz and it’s unfortunate the situation we find ourselves in,” Tom Trbojevic said to sources that included NRL.com. “But if he isn’t here we have someone at the club ready to take control. The boys have a lot of respect for Carty. He understands what we’ve been through and has a great relationship with everyone here. He’s got my support to coach this club if Baz isn’t here.”

Cartwright does have the proper credentials.

Prior to serving as an assistant at Manly and North Queensland, he meets the criterion of having lost a NRL head-coaching gig with the Gold Coast Titans, where he held on for eight years.

Neil Henry shares that distinction with Cartwright, dismissed by Gold Coast in 2017.

Matty Johns maintains that Henry is a good educator, but lacks the cultural understanding needed to lead Manly.

Barrett is sticking around to see the Sea Eagles through the final two games of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition.