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likely leader - Hasler
Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler says halfback Michael Monaghan will "definitely" be considered for the Sea Eagles captaincy next year despite backrower Ben Kennedy's inspirational season and the imminent arrival of Matt Orford.
Incumbent skipper Monaghan is expected to be relegated to hooker when Orford officially relocates from Melbourne in 2006 along with Storm teammate Steve Bell.
Monaghan, who re-signed for three years in 2005, has been the centre of speculation linking him with other clubs since Orford snapped up a lucrative Sea Eagles deal mid-season.
Monaghan looked destined for the hookers role when regular No.9 Chad Randall - son of Manly legend Terry - was not offered a contract extension this year.
But Hasler said Monaghan would still be top priority when the club started to plan for next season at the end of the week.
Asked if Monaghan would be shifted to hooker with Orford's arrival, Hasler said: "Later this week we will start our season review and all those things will come up".
Asked if Monaghan would again be considered for the captaincy, Hasler said: "Definitely so".
Hasler said he was proud of his side after its first playoff campaign since 1998 ended with a 46-22 qualifying final loss to the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.
The loss drew the curtain on the Sea Eagles' career of Randall - for now.
Randall will link with the London Broncos next season but didn't rule out again linking with Manly after his one-year deal expired.
After Randall was not offered a contract extension, his father Terry resigned from the leagues club board after 10 years of service.
"It was just the emotion around it," Chad Randall said of his father's resignation.
"My dad was probably more disappointed than me. He's obviously been around the club a long time and Manly is in his blood.
"From his point of view he was very disappointed but for me I am looking forward to a new opportunity.
"I was very disappointed when they told me. But things happen for a reason and I look at it now as probably a good move for me.
"It might be the best thing to get out of my comfort zone. I have never left Manly, it's something new and I'm exited about it."
But Randall said he'd always support the Sea Eagles.
"This side is still growing and they will be better for it next year," he said.
"I will always support Manly and the boys. We are all pretty close.
"They made progress this year and they will make another step next year and will be pushing for the top four next year.
"They will still be my favourite NRL club."