It seemed improbable at this point last year that the Manly Sea Eagles would be looking back at 2009 with such lament. Following their 2008 premiership win, big things were expected of the Sea Eagles last season, but it all fell in a screaming heap before a ball had even been kicked - and the reigning premiers of the year never truly recovered.
As a result, it comes as a surprise to many, that with such a disappointing year in 2009, that many would predict the Manly club to rise again from the lowly first-week-finals exit they were consigned to. But with a changing of the guard, it seems like that is exactly what is going to happen.
The off-season produced a few curve-balls on the Northern Beaches, with captain Matt Orford walking away from the club to sign a then-controversial deal with Bradford (Titans winger Chris Walker had done the same and Orford