Club legend Steve Menzies predicts Manly will return as an NRL premiership force next year following their aggressive recruitment drive.
Menzies admits to looking at the world through maroon and white-coloured glasses but he can’t help but be optimistic as new coach Trent Barrett continues to remould the club.
Having already added Martin Taupau, Nate Myles, Darcy Lussick, Lewis Brown and Apisai Koroisau, the Sea Eagles are expected to add star centre Dylan Walker in the coming days.
After missing the finals for the first time in 10 years in 2015, Manly fans accustomed to success will be setting the bar high for Barrett’s new-look team.
Menzies, who made 349 appearances for Manly and the Northern Eagles during a glittering 16-year career, expects an early learning curve with a new coach and reshuffled line up but sees them shaping as a title threat.
When asked if they should be considered premiership contenders, Menzies said: “I’m a bit biased but they should be there or there abouts.
“They’ve got some good young kids and seniors players from that group that came through when I was there.
“A lot depends on how you play and handle pressure situations but they’re in pretty good stead.”
Menzies said Taupau, controversially let go by Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor because he had signed with Manly for 2017, shaped as the side’s x-factor.
He said there weren’t many players blessed with the explosive power of the Kiwi front rower and capable of making something out of nothing.
“He’s just a talent and he’s shown that the last couple of seasons. He’s just one of those guys who are explosive and can just make things happen,” Menzies said.