Twist emerges in Sea Eagles' coaching search

Des Hasler has thrashed out details of a stunning return to Manly on Monday but a twist in the Sea Eagles’ search for a new coach has emerged.

Hasler met with his manager George Mimis on Monday after Manly chairman Scott Penn confirmed the club’s former premiership-winning coach is a contender for the vacancy.

“I haven’t signed any deal,” Hasler said.

“I’ve just arrived back from overseas and obviously I have the desire, I’d like to coach in the NRL again.

“And that’s the chance this offers me. Basically it was just a matter of being briefed and catching up about the possibility of coaching at Manly again.”

While 7 News Sydney’s Liam Cox reports Mimis is finalising a deal with Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman, 7 News Brisbane’s Chris Garry has revealed a spanner in the works.

Broncos assistant Jason Demetriou has been put forward by Wayne Bennett as the man to replace him in the hot seat at Brisbane after next season.

Des Hasler v Jason Demetriou: who will the Sea Eagles choose as their next coach? Pic: Getty/Broncos

However, Garry reports that Demetriou is still in the running for the Sea Eagles’ gig after multiple interviews.

The 42-year-old former player will be interviewed by Brisbane to replace Bennett, who was told last month that he would not receive an extension to coach beyond 2019.

But Demetriou would find it difficult to turn down a formal offer from Manly this month.

Penn will arrive back in Sydney from New York in the coming days.

The chairman has put aside an unpleasant past with Hasler following the coach’s departure from the club after the 2011 premiership.

“We have had a few discussions about what transpired and will put it all behind us if we work together in the future,” Penn said.

Meanwhile, Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has offered his support to the prospect of Hasler returning to Brookvale.

The halfback is the only remaining member of the side that Hasler guided to victory in the 2011 grand final before his acrimonious exit to Canterbury.

Cherry-Evans, speaking in Auckland in the Australian camp, said he hadn’t been updated by Sea Eagles officials on their search for a new coach after Barrett tendered his resignation.

However, he welcomed the idea of Hasler returning, saying the coach occupied a special place in his heart after handing him his first-grade debut.

“Tim Sheens gave me an Aussie jersey, Mal Meninga a Queensland (jersey) and Des Hasler at club,” Cherry-Evans said.

“So those three coaches are people that I’ll never forget.

“If I was to link up with my first-ever first-grade coach, I’d be all for it.”

The northern beaches are often referred to as the “insular peninsula” and Sea Eagles fans live by the motto “No one likes us and we don’t care”.

It’s often said that Manly needs a coach ingrained in the Manly culture to thrive and Cherry-Evans described Hasler as one of the architects of the Manly siege mentality.

“Everyone hates Manly so our backs are against the wall and we love playing that style of footy and living with that mentality,” Cherry-Evans said.

“Obviously Des was a big part of that. If he gets the opportunity to come back, I’m sure he’ll pick up where he left off.”

with AAP