NRL 2 years ago

Toovey ready to say goodbye to Brookvale

  • Toovey ready to say goodbye to Brookvale

Manly coach Geoff Toovey says his Brookvale Oval farewell on Friday night will be emotional but a win and an NRL finals berth remain his priorities.

The Sea Eagles' do-or-die clash with the Sydney Roosters on Friday night will be his final game at Manly's home ground.

Next season - for the first time since 1988 - Toovey won't be a regular fixture around Brookvale after being told his services were no longer needed.

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"It'll be good if we make the semis ... It's a bit surreal," Toovey said.

"It'll be a bit emotional but it's been a great ride and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

After a 286-game playing career that spanned 14 years and four years in charge as head coach, Toovey will be parting company with his beloved club and has ruled out any involvement next year.

Toovey could leave the club board with egg on their faces should his side win their last two games and qualify for an 11th straight finals campaign.

Manly have climbed from last spot in round 16 to within one win of the top eight with two games to play.

He admits injuries and the contract dramas of star halves Daly-Cherry Evans and Kieran Foran took their toll on the side in the first half of the year.

"All clubs can sit back and say `if we won that won or didn't lose that one'. That happens," Toovey said.

"Particularly when you're on that cusp it's easy to say that.

"We've had our opportunities this year and we've had a lot of things away from the field that have happened.

"You don't realise it until your two key playmakers are going elsewhere and have had contract disputes. No matter how much you want to think it doesn't affect your team, it does and their performance as well."

Toovey is yet to decide on his future but said he won't be seen around Brookvale.

Manly have traditionally been a bogey team for the Roosters, who have beaten the Sea Eagles just six times since 2005 and won only 12 times in 54 attempts at Brookvale Oval.

Their 2013 victory at the Manly home ground was their only win at the venue in their last eight attempts.

While the Roosters - on a 10-match winning streak - have been battered by a hamstring injury to Mitchell Pearce, which is set to keep the NSW halfback out for the a month, and a season-ending knee injury to prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Sea Eagles have their own problems.

Hooker Matt Ballin will miss the rest of the season with the same ACL injury as Waerea-Hargreaves, with Blake Leary to come in at No.9 and Jayden Hodges likely to come onto the bench.

"We're missing a few key players, I think that's evened out with Mitchell Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves being out," Toovey said.

"It'll be a tight contest either way.

"They're a very consistent side, that's why they're top of the comp and I've got no doubt they'll produce the same form they did last week against the Broncos."

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