Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic has delivered an emotional parting message to former coach Des Hasler and also backed him to return to the NRL coaching arena.
The 61-year-old was shown the door after a tumultuous period for the Sea Eagles which saw them slip out of the finals race in the wake of the pride jersey saga.
Trbojevic was one of Hasler’s biggest supporters at the club and said he was “very thankful for everything Des has done”.
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“I loved working under him and being coached by him. Obviously, they have gone in a different direction, and I’m looking forward to going in that direction and seeing where we go,” Trbojevic said to the SMH.
Trbojevic also said if Hasler still has the desire to coach he would be a great addition to any club.
The veteran boss won two premierships while in charge at Manly in 2008 and 2011 before moving to the Bulldogs ahead of the 2012 season.
“He’s such a good coach and any club would benefit from having him there,” Trbojevic said.
“I’m not sure what he wants to do, that’s something he needs to work out for himself.
“I’m thankful for everything he has done for me and my family.”
Sea Eagles chief executive Tony Mestrov hired former Broncos and Souths coach Anthony Seibold to take over at Brookvale.
Seibold’s last tenure in the NRL ended with an ugly split and the 28-year-old lasted less than two years of his mammoth five-year deal in Brisbane.
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The 2018 Dally M Coach of the Year now makes an NRL return after a stint with the English rugby union team, alongside Shane Flanagan and Jim Dymock as assistant coaches.
Seibold previously worked as an assistant coach at the Sea Eagles in 2016 before taking the head coach role at South Sydney and Trbojevic is excited to link up with him once again.
“I’ve worked under Seibs before and I’m looking forward to working with him closely again,” Trbojevic said.
“He’s back from his commitments with England rugby now, so I’m looking forward to ripping in with him.
“Hopefully, we’re building for a better base next year. I really enjoyed working under him. I look forward to doing it again a little more closely this time.
“We’ve got a really good side staff. Having Flanno (Shane Flanagan) and Jimmy Dymock there as well will definitely help him. We didn’t play the footy we wanted to last year and we need to turn that around.”