Sea Eagles to announce Hasler signing
A DETERMINATION to bring back relentless discipline and a steely edge - plus a person with Sea Eagles DNA - will compel Manly to formally announce Des Hasler as the club's new head coach as early as Monday.
The Daily Telegraph has been told Hasler has agreed to a three-year deal and will turn up for work at the club's Narrabeen headquarters on Monday.
No official contracts have been signed but the deal is done, minus a few minor details which, if not finalised on Monday, will only delay the announcement by 24 hours.
It will be stunning homecoming for Hasler, one of Manly's favourite sons as a player and coach.
It is understood Hasler, does not want outgoing coach Trent Barrett at the club next season as either an assistant or under-20s coach as the Sea Eagles look to avoid paying out their disgruntled coach before he serves out his 12 months notice after resigning last July.
Manly's owners and senior officials agree Hasler will instil a strict discipline at the club - and even bring a fear factor for the playing roster.
"Des is a hard core professional. He does have a fear factor about him," one source said.
"Look at senior coaches like Wayne Bennett, Trent Robinson and Craig Bellamy. They're feared to some degree by their players. Des has a dominant and respected personality."
A Sea Eagles fan forum held earlier this month at Manly Leagues Club highlighted what fans wanted - a Manly person back in charge.
Manly's eight titles have all been under coaches who have represented the Sea Eagles as players - Hasler (2008, 2011), Bob Fulton (1987, 1996), Ron Willey (1972, 1973) and Frank Stanton (1976, 1978).
Sea Eagles assistant coach John Cartwright has a deal at the club until 2020 and it's believed Hasler will work with him. But there is also speculation Canberra are interested in Cartwright, who is great mates with Raiders head coach Ricky Stuart.
Hasler is well aware of Manly's modest training facilities, having used them when winning NRL premierships in 2008 and 2011.
It is understood Hasler and Manly co-owner Scott Penn have been in dialogue for around three weeks.
At one point during his previous reign at Brookvale between 2004 and 2011, Hasler guided Manly to three grand finals in five seasons.
Hasler, 57, also has a strong supporter in Fulton, a Manly Immortal.
"There won't be any need for wholesale changes," said another club source. "It will be business as usual. The sooner Des's deal is announced, the better."
Hasler, who still lives on Sydney's northern beaches, will start placing his own imprint on the squad this week.
Cartwright was well in the running for the top job but has missed out. Manly officials claim signing former South Sydney coach Michael Maguire "wouldn't have worked out", despite him turning down the job.
The Sea Eagles know Hasler's unique character and Hasler knows Manly's rich history and DNA.
Back in 2004, Hasler built the then struggling Sea Eagles into a premiership-winning club and he now has the challenge of repeating that achievement at the same club 15 years later.
Penn and Hasler were unavailable for comment.