Monaghan – Manly to Warrington
Michael Monaghan Signs with Warrington Wolves
Current Manly Sea Eagles Utility Michael Monaghan today officially signed a deal to join UK Super League club the Warrington Wolves.
The estimated $2 million dollar contract means Michael Monaghan will be tied to the Warrington Wolves for the next four years – and means the talented Rugby League half will be 31 when the agreement expires with the Wolves.
Monaghan leaves his post at Manly, on an estimated $240,000 a year – after losing the halfback spot to Matt Orford and facing competition at hooker from the new Manly talent Matt Ballin. Interestingly enough, Monaghan has been the form player for Manly in the halves in NRL 2007 and has been the driving force behind their top of the table near undefeated run.
Andrew Johns and Adrian Morley are both reported to have phoned Mick Monaghan to sing the praises of the Warrington Wolves and persuade him to sign up.
This is not all bad news for Manly, the Sea Eagles now have some serious cash freed up under the salary cap and can be active in the player market come 2008 or be more able to retain current players for 2008 – should they see continued good results and the inevitable rise in their players value. Manly were able to sign Jamie Lyon at only a fraction of his worth due to the role played by his surrogate father Noel Cleal and his desire to return to Australia and play in the NRL. Combine this factor with the upcoming juniors and strike weapons such as Orford, Bell, Matai and Wattmough and you can see why the future on the Northern Beaches looks promising.
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I was never really a convert to team Mongahan. Most Manly fans weren’t. In fact, there was very little objection from my fellow Manly fans at Parramatta Stadium in 2005 (Preliminary Final) when I started an ironic “we all wish for a team of Monaghans” sing-a-long after another mediocre display. In fact a few people even joined me. They gave up when they realised I wasn’t planning on stopping.
Monaghan could be great one week, and then woeful the next. He could find an outside man with a bullet like 20 metre pass, and then fail to find touch in the next play.
I’m not sure he’d ever be capable of winning Manly-Warringah a premiership, and at $260,000 a season he is too expensive to keep while we continue to pay Matt Orford (our halfback of choice) in excess of $400,000 a year.
My only concern with this new development is that we are giving up a competent halfback (albeit on an inflated salary) at a time when decent halfbacks are hard to find. The single most important position in the modern game is that of number seven and yet the number of teams going around at the moment (and struggling) without a true half is quite staggering. Alfie Langer was lamenting this fact just last week when they named the Broncos greater ever side. Can we really afford to give one away?
If he had to leave (and he probably did) I’m glad that he’s wound up in England. That solves a few problems for the club, but most of all it means that I’ll never have to support against him (unless we play Warrington in a World Club Challenge), or worse still, suffer through him beating Manly (it could happen) and then have to listen to morons like Laurie Daley and Gary Freeman wax lyrical about how “Monas had got one back at the club who rejected him”. Furthermore, I won’t have to engage in meaningless arguments with bandwagon forum fans and explain to them why buying Orford was the right move.
I don’t hate Monaghan. In fact, I think he’s probably the best club man we’ve had since Toovey (and that includes Menzies). I say good luck to him.
As for Jamie Lyon, if what Manly is paying for him is fraction of his worth, then he might be jostling with Alan Moss from Macquarie if Crusher ever leaves.