There are plenty of coaches waiting to return to the NRL.
There are plenty of coaches waiting to return to the NRL.

Who replaces Barrett? The coaches waiting for an NRL gig

ANOTHER coaching bombshell was dropped on Tuesday night when it was revealed Manly coach Trent Barrett would exit the club at the end of the season.

So who would take his spot in 2019 and beyond?

Foxsports.com.au looks at some of the possible contenders, and some of the other coaches who are waiting in the wings for a top NRL job.

 

 

Des Hasler has a stellar coaching record. Picture: John Grainger
Des Hasler has a stellar coaching record. Picture: John Grainger

DES HASLER

NRL coaching record: Two premierships (Manly), 12 finals appearances, 58.2 win percentage from 361 games.

The former Manly and Canterbury coach has kept a pretty low profile since his sacking from the Bulldogs in 2017.

But it's clear he still has ambitions to coach, having applied for the New Zealand Kiwis job before ruling himself out of the running to focus on a return to the NRL.

 

Called the "Mad Scientist" by some, Hasler is known for having an intense personality but also how thoroughly he prepares for games - his record speaks for itself.

Many are tipping Hasler to put his hand up for a return to the Sea Eagles, but given the mess he left the salary caps at both his former clubs, he may have some mending of bridges to do.

 

Michael Maguire is the current coach of the New Zealand Kiwis.
Michael Maguire is the current coach of the New Zealand Kiwis.

MICHAEL MAGUIRE

NRL coaching record: One premiership (South Sydney), four finals appearances, 55.6 win percentage from 153 games.

Another coach who has made it known he wants to continue his NRL career, Michael Maguire took over the Kiwis coaching job in May, signing a four-year deal.

Previous to that, he'd applied for the Gold Coast coaching position but lost out to Garth Brennan.

 

Maguire might've been sacked by the Rabbitohs following the 2017 season - their second consecutive bottom-eight finish - but he deserves plenty of credit in getting them to their history-making grand final win in 2014.

The club had missed the finals for four consecutive years before Maguire took over and he immediately helped transform them into an NRL powerhouse.

An intense coach with a hard-nosed approach to training, he'd be best suited to a club that will give him plenty of leeway.

 

 

GEOFF TOOVEY

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, three finals appearances, 58.1 win percentage from 105 games.

Some people are still wondering why Geoff Toovey got the punt from Manly in 2015, but if one thing's for sure, he's still keen on coaching.

Following his departure from the Sea Eagles, Toovey's stayed in and around rugby league holding various media roles as well as briefly coaching the Bradford Bulls.

A smart operator, Toovey recently expressed his desire in returning to the Sea Eagles if Trent Barrett vacated his role.

"I wouldn't say that at this stage, but you never say never," Toovey told Controversy Corner.

"I'd definitely put my resume in of course."

There's been some concern among Manly legends that the club has lost some of its identity in recent years and Toovey is one person who could bring it back.

As Paul Kent told NRL 360: "He immediately walks back into the joint, Manly gets its soul back."

 

Jason Demetriou at Broncos training.
Jason Demetriou at Broncos training.

JASON DEMETRIOU

NRL coaching record: N/A

Yet to coach in the NRL, it's been considered for a number of years that Jason Demetriou will be one of the next mentors to get a crack at the big time.

Boasting an impressive resume in the lower grades, the 42-year-old took Northern Pride to back-to-back minor premierships in the Intrust Super Cup, as well as grand final and State Championship victories in 2014.

He was a member of the North Queensland coaching staff for their 2015 grand final win before moving to St George Illawarra as an assistant coach and coach of the Illawarra Cutters who he guided to a Intrust Super Premiership title and State Championship win.

He joined Brisbane in 2017 as an assistant to Wayne Bennett, and was one of the contenders for the Gold Coast job when Neil Henry was sacked.

 

Neil Henry is been linked with Manly. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Neil Henry is been linked with Manly. Picture. Phil Hillyard
 

NEIL HENRY

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, five finals appearances, 43.5 win percentage from 248 games.

Neil Henry's yet to find an NRL gig since being sacked by Gold Coast after Round 24 last season.

While he's also yet to win a title, there's no doubt he played a big role building up North Queensland before they went on to win the 2015 premiership under Paul Green.

 

He also did a decent job at Gold Coast in turning them into a gritty side before Jarryd Hayne entered the frame.

Henry's been linked to the Manly job, even before the Barrett news, and his experience could very well count in his favour.

"Neil is a rebuild coach," NRL 360 host Paul Kent said.

"He's smart with his salary cap, he doesn't waste money on players, he'll educate and bring them from the juniors through (to NRL) which is very important for Manly."

 

Blues coach Brad Fittler wants to get back into NRL coaching.
Blues coach Brad Fittler wants to get back into NRL coaching.

BRAD FITTLER

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, one finals appearance, one wooden spoon, 43.1 win percentage from 58 games.

After guiding the NSW Blues to a memorable State of Origin series win this year, Brad Fittler revealed he still has ambitions to return to NRL coaching.

Fittler had a taste of it at the Sydney Roosters over two and a half years, taking them to a finals series before ending up with the wooden spoon the following season which led to his sacking.

Whether he's willing to give up his media commitments is yet to be seen.

"I wouldn't close any doors on anything," Fittler told ABC Grandstand back in July.

" … I love coaching. It's fantastic. I've been involved in footy since I was three years old. I can't change a light bulb but I think I have a decent idea on how to bring blokes together. That's why I'm still around the game at all different levels.

"I'll continue until the day they put me in the grave."

 

Mick Potter is looking for a new gig after leaving Newcastle where he was an assistant. Picture: Brett Costello
Mick Potter is looking for a new gig after leaving Newcastle where he was an assistant. Picture: Brett Costello

MICK POTTER

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, 0 finals appearances, 35.4 win percentage from 48 games.

The former Wests Tigers coach is now looking for a gig after a football department shake-up at Newcastle.

Potter has been at the Knights the past three seasons, working as an assistant to Nathan Brown who couldn't speak highly enough of him.

 

"Potts has been a head coach at three different clubs in three different countries and has done a super job at the Knights," Brown recently told The Newcastle Herald.

"I've worked with him here and at the Dragons and I couldn't recommend him to any club more highly. He's as loyal as they come and been a fantastic assistant.

"It is more a case of me wanting a bit of a change up and someone with some fresh ideas to come in."

 

John Cartwright. Picture: Brett Costello
John Cartwright. Picture: Brett Costello

JOHN CARTWRIGHT

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, two finals appearances, one wooden spoon, 45.3 win percentage from 192 games.

Currently an assistant at Manly and with the NSW Origin team, John Cartwright has plenty of coaching experience having been Gold Coast's inaugural coach from 2007 to 2014 when he was sacked.

With Barrett said to be leaving the Sea Eagles, it could open the door for Cartwright to step up into a head coaching role again.

He's also been linked with Penrith, the club he won a premiership with as a player.

 

DAVE FURNER

NRL coaching record: 0 premierships, two finals appearances, 43.8 win percentage from 121 games.

Another coach who has now been around for some time, David Furner's first and only head coaching job has been with Canberra.

Since then he's been an assistant with North Queensland and was a member of the staff when they won their title in 2015.

He's currently an assistant coach under Anthony Seibold at South Sydney.

 

 

Jets' coaching brothers Ben and Shane Walker. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Jets' coaching brothers Ben and Shane Walker. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

BEN & SHANE WALKER

NRL coaching record: N/A

Plenty of pundits have been calling for the Walker brothers to get a crack at the NRL after the way they've transformed the Ipswich Jets in the Intrust Super Premiership.

The brothers haven't hidden their NRL ambitions and applied for both the Newcastle and Gold Coast jobs when they became vacant.

They took over the Ipswich job in 2011, and in 2015, the team won the grand final.

Ben Walker also has a connection with Manly having played with the Northern Eagles and Sea Eagles teams.

 

KEVIN WALTERS

NRL coaching record: N/A

Proven to be a success at State of Origin level, Kevin Walters has long been considered an NRL coach in waiting after serving apprenticeships under the likes of Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy.

However, he does have some head coaching experience having guided the Catalan Dragons to the 2019 Super League preliminary final.

Earlier this season he reiterated he still sees a future for himself in the NRL, but was happy to focus on Origin for the time being.

A possible Broncos job would be more up Walters' alley should he decide to chase an NRL gig, as opposed to the Sea Eagles.



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