Toovey calls for calm at crisis club Manly

·2-min read

Manly legend Geoff Toovey has called for calm at the NRL club, warning now is not the time to make drastic coaching changes or move on coach Des Hasler.

Hasler's representatives were due to meet with Manly bosses for crucial talks on Thursday, after a poor end to the team's season and week of dramas at the Sea Eagles.

Key issues in the talks were expected to be long-term succession planning, as well as the systems in place around Hasler's coaching staff.

Hasler remains contracted until the end of next year, but has long pushed for an extension and has now endured a week of speculation around his future at the club.

Manly have also spent the week dousing rumours of splits inside the team and at management level, with the pride jersey saga the tipping point in the drama.

New CEO Tony Mestrov provided a calming voice, telling AAP this week he was focused on changing processes in the NRL club and not personnel after becoming the sixth chief executive in eight years.

Mestrov played alongside both Toovey and Hasler in the 1990s, and Toovey stressed it was important for the new CEO to be given time in the job before any changes were made.

"Des is probably the best fit for the job at the moment," Toovey told AAP.

"Maybe he needs to look at the people and systems around him, or management needs to look at them.

"Tony Mestrov going in is only a good thing.

"He's got a football background. Let's give him a chance to have a look from the inside, and he will make some recommendations to the board.

"To make any decision or judgement you need to be hands on there, and now that Tony is in there, he will have a look and make some good decisions."

Toovey was himself sacked by Manly in 2014, after making the grand final the previous season in just his second year as head coach.

A former assistant to Hasler, Toovey conceded the veteran coach would naturally be under pressure after Manly fell from last year's top four to miss the finals this season.

But he backed the suggestion that any changes should not result in Hasler exiting.

"There is no use throwing the baby out with the bathwater," Toovey said.

"Des has had a history of success with the club.

"With the new CEO getting in there, maybe (Hasler) just needs some help and procedures around to help the situation.

"I think Tony learnt a lot from Greyhounds NSW (in his previous role), which would have been a tough gig.

"Everyone just needs to take a deep breath and let Tony settle into the job and maybe make some recommendations down the track."