Hasler signing highlights farcical Manly dilemma

Scott Bailey

Outgoing Manly coach Trent Barrett remains in NRL purgatory, yet to have his future finalised but with Des Hasler having already filled his role at the Sea Eagles.

Barrett's fate remained the biggest mystery of Hasler's appointment on Monday, as Manly officials requested for no questions to be asked about Barrett before the press conference.

Barrett officially remains an employee of the Sea Eagles until next July, after he handed in his required 12 months' notice midway through the season citing his intention to resign.

The relationship between the rookie coach and Manly's management has since become untenable, with both sides throwing barbs over Barrett's claims of a lack of resources at the club.

"I think we've been clear for the last few months that Trent is employed by the club. He has a contract on foot, he resigned, that was his decision," Manly chairman Scott Penn said.

Manly effectively have two coaches on their books for 2019. Pic: Getty

"And then as a club we need to protect our interests and that's exactly what we've done.

"We need a coach for 2019 and we're working through that process."

Asked if they expected Barrett to continue fronting to work to see out his resignation period, Penn opted not to answer.

Manly are mindful of the fact that if they are to sack Barrett earlier than next July without proving he has broken his contract, they could be forced to pay out part of his contract.

One option to keep him employed at the club over that period has been the suggestion he could stay on as an assistant to Hasler or an under-20s coach, both of which seem unlikely.

Hasler claimed on Monday that was yet to be discussed, but spoke in more glowing terms about both assistants John Cartwright and Chad Randall - the latter of whom he coached during his previous tenure at the Sea Eagles.

"They're both good fellas," Hasler said.

"I've coached Chad, I've worked with Chad and I played with John and against John, so both are good human beings."

Hasler also said he'd begin mapping out a plan for his staffing now he'd officially signed, with trainer Don Singe, former hooker Matt Ballin and recruitment manager Noel Cleal all linked to returns.

The Sea Eagles are currently operating without a recruitment manager, while it's understood performance manager Dan Ferris has left the club - potentially opening the door for Singe's return.