There are no issues between Tim Sheens and Scott Fulton, according to the experienced coach. However, Sheens expressed his frustration with the Wests Tigers for failing to retain Luke Brooks as a one-club player. Manly recently announced the signing of Brooks to a four-year deal, which coincided with reports of a clash between Benji Marshall, Sheens’ eventual successor, and Fulton over the team’s roster. Fulton was reportedly uninterested in keeping Brooks, while Marshall did not support Fulton’s target, Josh Schuster from the Sea Eagles.
Despite the rumors, Marshall has denied any intention to leave the club due to disagreements over the team’s direction. Sheens dismissed the idea of any discord with Fulton and found it amusing how the media had changed their perception of Brooks, from calling him “hopeless” to praising him as a great acquisition for Manly.
When asked about his thoughts on Brooks’ move, Sheens stated, “Brooksy has made his decision, people know where I stood with that.” Sheens also clarified that there was no division between the coaches and the recruitment department and that the decision for Brooks to leave was primarily driven by financial considerations.
The departure of Brooks has left the Wests Tigers with a significant question mark over who will play at No. 7, especially since Adam Doueihi‘s return from a knee injury next year is uncertain. Additionally, this weekend’s game will feature a new halves combination of Brandon Wakeham and Daine Laurie, both of whom are off contract. Marshall recently met with Latu Fainu, a young player from Manly, further fueling speculation about the team’s plans.
Sheens expressed that the focus for the Tigers is on the next 10 rounds and moving away from the bottom of the table. Laurie will have the opportunity to showcase his skills in the No. 6 jersey against North Queensland on Saturday after recovering from a concussion. Sheens believes that Laurie’s experience playing in that position, coupled with his defensive abilities, will serve the team well.
Regarding the futures of Wakeham and Laurie, Sheens stated that both players are in the team’s plans. However, the final decisions will depend on how they perform and the financial considerations involved. Sheens has encouraged both players to focus on playing good football and let everything else fall into place.