Manly have identified Anthony Seibold as the top contender to help coach De Hassler and possibly succeed him in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest shake-ups in the club’s history.
Hassler, who is under contract until the end of 2023, sought a one-year contract extension, although the sides have yet to come to an agreement despite lengthy and sometimes public talks. The two-time premiership coach would have automatically extended his contract if his side finished in the top six last season, but injuries and the fallout inclusivity jersey fiasco effectively ruined their playoff chances.
The Sea Eagles are in need of a new assistant coach after Chad Randall left to join new Bulldogs mentor Cameron Chirold at Belmore, with several contenders mooted as replacement options.
Josh Hannay has been touted as a contender and Hassler is believed to be a favorite to replace him, while some at the club believe current assistant Steve Hales has what it takes to become the next head coach. However, this was reported by sources familiar with the situation Herald that club owners have Seibold at the top of their shortlist.
Seybold is familiar with Manly’s system after working as an assistant on the northern beaches under Trent Barrett. The Sea Eagles hierarchy also appreciate the fact that he has first grade coaching experience in South Sydney and Brisbane, having completed a round-robin apprenticeship.
Seibold was named Dally M’s Coach of the Year in 2018, despite serving less than two of his five contract years at Red Hill. The former Storm assistant has publicly said he is a better coach because of his tough experience and went on to work in football under England rugby coach Eddie Jones.
The club declined to comment when contacted Herald on Wednesday evening.
Courageous powerbrokers want a clear succession plan for Hasler after a disappointing 11th-place season. They haven’t ruled out extending Hassler’s contract, but want to map out a path forward whenever he’s done with the clipboard.