General Manly's Greatest Team Announced

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Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have enjoyed a great history with a few hard times in the last 60 seasons and last night they announced their greatest ever team between 1947-2006.

There were over 400 people in attendance last night at Manly Leagues Club, which included many greatst from the past and present to select their greatest side from 60 years of history that has included six Premierships, several Grand Final appearances, 60 Internationals and even two years as a merged entity with arch-rivals North Sydney Bears.

As expected with every historical side announced, there were a few surprises with Wally O'Connell selected at five-eighth over long-time stalwart Cliff Lyons and Ben Kennedy named on the bench ahead of former Internationals such as Noel Cleal and Rex Mossop. Max Krilich won the hooker position ahead of Fred Jones in what would have been a tight decision and politics was ignored with 1987 Premiership-winning Manly captain Paul Vautin deservedly winning a place on the bench alongside Lyons, utility specialist Des Hasler and Kennedy.

Former Manly Chief Executive Ken Arthurson named the side, which included Arthurson as Team Manager following in the footsteps of Canterbury's 70-year side two years ago when they named Peter Moore in the same position. Manly however named a Coach with Frank Stanton the standout choice ahead of Ron Willey and Bob Fulton.

No captain was officially announced but Fulton who captained Manly to Premiership success in 1976 is the obvious choice who Arthurson regards as the best player he's seen and was one of the four original Immortals.

Manly have won Premierships in 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1987 and 1996, have won the Minor Premiership on nine occasions and never won the Wooden Spoon. Manly have provided 60 Internationals with Max Krilich captain of the 1982 Invincibles Kangaroo Tour and 38 players to the State of Origin arena with 25 coming from New South Wales and 13 from Queensland. Krilich and Geoff Toovey captained NSW when at Manly whilst Vautin led the Morons.

The Sea Eagles of 2006 are now in the top four with four rounds remaining and with a solid front row, an excellent back-row, a good halfback and speed outwide Manly are one of the major threats to a Storm-Bulldogs Grand Final this year.

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES GREATEST TEAM:
1. Graham Eadie 1971-83 (237 games)
2. Ken Irvine 1971-73 (60 games)
3. Bob Fulton 1966-76 (213 games)
4. Michael O'Connor 1987-82 (115 games)
5. Ray Branighan 1972-78 (114 games)
6. Wally O'Connell 1951-52 (34 games)
7. Geoff Toovey 1988-2001 (286 games)
8. Roy Bull 1947-59 (177 games)
9. Max Krilich 1970-83 (215 games)
10. John O'Neill 1972-74 (51 games)
11. Steven Menzies 1993-2006 (302 games)
12. Terry Randall 1970-82 (208 games)
13. Malcolm Reilly 1971-75 (89 games)

Bench:
14. Des Hasler 1984-96 (255 games)
15. Ben Kennedy 2005-06 (37 games)
16. Cliff Lyons 1986-99 (309 games)
17. Paul Vautin 1979-89 (204 games)

Coach:
Frank Staton

Team Manager:
Ken Arthurson
 

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