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Former Manly player Anthony Watmough has unleashed an extraordinary tirade against current skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and ex-coaches Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey.

Speaking on the Hello Sport podcast, Watmough claimed Cherry-Evans “turned into a f***wit” after his first year in the NRL in 2011, in which Manly won the premiership.

Watmough was among a group of senior players who had helped the club to a long period of success.

They were believed to have been upset as young halfback Cherry-Evans’ greatly-upgraded 2012 contract added to the salary cap pressure that eventually hastened some departures.

He claims Cherry-Evans told him that he wasn’t going to turn up to training unless he was given a better deal.

“I said ‘mate you just signed a f***ing four-year deal, you turn up to training’, Watmough said.

“He (Cherry-Evans) goes ‘Nup. My manager told me not to’.

“Not to turn up to training … I’ve looked after him, gave him whatever he wanted as a kid. Always made sure he didn’t want for anything.

“I said to him ‘mate, you know what we’ve sacrificed to stay together, to be successful. Your time will come’ and he just looked me straight in the eye and went ‘nah, not turning up”, Watmough said.

“So I’ve walked out and went to Tooves (coach Geoff Toovey) and said ‘don’t give him any money. You’ve got him by the balls.

“If he doesn’t turn up to training, fine him’.

“And Tooves just succumbed to the board, next thing we know he’s up around the $500,000 mark after being on $50,000.”

“So that’s where Tooves stopped worrying about the players and started worrying about his own back. Tooves chose one side of the board over the players and that’s where he lost me.”

The forward also gave his version of circumstances surrounding coach Des Hasler’s departure to Canterbury in the days after the 2011 premiership triumph, saying he “burnt a lot of bridges”.

“If he had of just said ‘I’ve been offered $1.5 million, I’m going,’ we would have said ‘good, go’. But he blamed everyone else.

“So we as players were furious and then what we found out in the aftermath, well Dessie’s Dessie. He’s always going to look after Dessie.”

Watmough claims could no longer hold onto his side of the story.

“People are going to hate me for coming out and saying this but people have to know at the end of the day what the real situation was,” he said.

© AAP 2018
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The Crowd Says (32)

  • June 13th 2018 @ 1:11pm
    Dan said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

    Surprise surprise.

    • June 14th 2018 @ 11:24pm
      terrence said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:24pm | ! Report


      The not-so-bigger suprise is that DCE, his management (PSM), Hasler, Toovey and potentially the ex-Manly board members on the Quantum side (Phil Sidney and colleagues) are considering legal action against Anthony Watmough / Hello Sport and potentially Acast.

      DCE primarily over potentially earnings loss with future sponsors (3rd party / post footy), Hasler and Toovey over potential earnings loss (both are looking for full time NRL coaching roles, Hasler is very cashed up at the moment thanks to the doggies), PSM for being accused of telling a client to breach contract, Phil Sidney and fellow board members based on unfounded age based discrimination accusations.

      Watmough has certainly cast a negative light on a range of individuals and may need a high level of documentation/support (I gather a few of his mates won’t want to be cross examined or have their written testimony challenged.

      Hope Watmough has deep pockets and/or happy to pay a bit and make a range of grovelling public apologies.. Either way, it could be a good day for lawyers.

  • Roar Rookie

    June 13th 2018 @ 1:20pm
    William Dalton Davis said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

    The foxsports headline is probably the best headline I’ll ever read “DCE is a f**kwit who pissed off one too many people.”

    I like DCE (as a player. Don’t know him from a bar soap) but I can’t imagine him being a good teammate. There’s just too many whispers and rumours, and screaming Watmoughs.

  • June 13th 2018 @ 1:31pm
    thomas c said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

    Being on 50K seems unfair, but it does fit within theories of where the rot begins with DCE. He’s on big money at an underachieving club, where the saving graces are having unearthed (by dumb luck) a couple good players. When a player is upgraded to 500K, and then gets a million dollar contract, you’ve handed a lot of power to that player.

    In terms of reputation, Watmough (and manly’s team of yesteryear) probably has more runs on the board than DCE. I don’t know if any of this is fair to DCE, but he’s going to retire with a troubled legacy at the current rate. He needs to behave like an adult, win some premierships, force his way back into rep teams, otherwise he won’t disrupt the story of overpaid and at the heart of a toxic culture (bad blood, pay problems and strip club related misadventures all involving DCE).

    In terms of values, it helps to have a senior leader having ceded some cash “FOR THE GOOD OF THE TEAM”. It sets priorities and people can respect it.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 5:54pm
      Excoach said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

      “DCE is at an under achieving club”. Since DCE joined Manly, 7 years ago, in 2011 , they have played in 2 grand finals and won 1.!!. The Broncos haven’t won a premiership since 2006. Are they an under-achieving club? So, dumb luck got Manly the Trbojevic brothers! Mona Vale juniors is an affiliate club isn’t it. What luck Manly found the boys right under their noses. Finally, you are right about Watmough, he has more runs on the board. Unfortunately they include slapping a club sponsor, following an argument at the function held at the Wharf Hotel and allegedly assaulting his girlfriend who then took out an AVO against him. Maybe Watmough “retired with a troubled legacy’, don’t know. We do know he comes across as a bitter has-been!

      • June 14th 2018 @ 1:42pm
        Thomas C said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

        Yes, the broncos are underachieving, despite usually making the finals. The brothers are anomalies. Any club that has 2 players emerge to fill the stewart brothers shaped hole would be consider themselves as beneficiaries of good fortune. But it is a club currently languishing where dce is implicated in the money problems ( given his pay packet), where dce is implicated in a bizarre incident leaving a player in exile. And hes fallen from the kind of form that saw him as the next long term representative half. The successful Melbourne, Broncos and sea eagles teams has star players often agree to pay cuts. People are unlikely to do this if asked by dce

  • June 13th 2018 @ 1:52pm
    Rob said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

    So white ant Whatmough wanted his halfback to stay on $50k – truth is the Whatmough, Stewart(s) and Matai cartel didn’t like the fact they were being sqeeezed out in their ailing years because DCE’s salary upgrade ultimately caused issues under the salary cap.

    • June 14th 2018 @ 5:59am
      Chris Love said | June 14th 2018 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      I don’t think he was saying that at all. I think he’s saying you’ve been a grown man and signed a contract to play Rugby League now don’t let your team mates down by refusing to turn up to training. Any player in the leadership group of any club would be expected to have the same conversation with a player who stepped into a champion team and won a Premiership in his rookie year and was now throwing his toys out of the cot. The salary cap issues didn’t come until a lot later and the frankly shit attitude shown at the start ollowed DCE through all of the dramas.

  • June 13th 2018 @ 2:01pm
    Paul said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

    Ignoring the actual comments for a minute, the timing of this outburst is what’s extraordinary.

    Manly might be long odds to make the finals but they’re still a chance. Like it or hate it, DCE is who they’ve got as their primary playmaker, so I don’t understand why Watmough would want to risk more player issues at Manly half way through the season, given his record as a 280 gamer at the Sea Eagles. Unless he was provoked, Watmough has done significant damage to his old Club. Maybe we’ll find out why he decide to spray DCE in the coming days.

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 2:12pm
      Hoy said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

      Maybe he thinks its for the good of the club?

      DCE is a puzzling one. Bloke was playing for Aus on $50,000. Did he win the comp on that much as well? And they weren’t going to upgrade him until he got cranky?

      For Watmough to say “your time will come” is all well and good for Watmough, but no player in their right mind would have been happy having the games DCE did at that time, leading the team around, and only be on $50,000, then being told to suck it up by another player on much more…

      Having said all that, DCE keeps popping up at the heart of issues… I would probably have him in QLD in front of Hunt, but then, I don’t know the ins and outs of all that is behind the scenes.

  • Roar Rookie

    June 13th 2018 @ 2:13pm
    Dogs Boddy said | June 13th 2018 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

    Well this seems about right. Tie this in with the backflip he did on the Gold Coast and it goes to show that the only thing DCE really seems to care about is the money.

    Good luck to him, wish I could get paid a million dollars to grossly underachieve and not have to worry about it.

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