Off-contract Storm lock Dale Finucane has opened up about why he wants a new three-year deal as Melbourne prepares to do everything in its power to keep the 29-year-old warhorse.
The dual premiership winner joined Brad Fittler’s NSW Blues squad in camp as one of the game’s most sought after players after being named in the extended squad for Game Two of the State of Origin series.
Now co-captain of the Storm, Finucane epitomises everything the club stands for on and off the field, which is why his name is on plenty of shopping lists.
Finucane led the Storm to a 66-16 thrashing of the Tigers and afterwards said his manager was still in discussions with Melbourne and other clubs about his future. This will likely be his last contract and he wants to make it a good one.
“Ideally I would like a three-year deal because I still feel like I have a lot of good football ahead of me,” Finucane said.
“I am really enjoying footy at the moment. The team is going quite well and I am enjoying the success we are having. I don’t feel like slowing up at all so I would love to be playing on for at least another three years.
“There are obviously salary cap pressures at the moment with the Melbourne Storm … and my manager and the club are having discussions about what is happening there.
“This is my seventh year at this club. I’ve been lucky enough to have some success and play with some great players.
“That was initially the drawcard when I was 23 and coming here after leaving the Bulldogs, to play with the ‘Big Three’ and players like Ryan Hinchcliffe.
“They have all moved on and the club is still producing really good players. Whilst I would love to be involved with it, I am not sure where that sits at the moment.”
Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi said the Storm wanted to keep Finucane for several key reasons.
“Dale’s professionalism and leadership are just critical. We will do our very best to keep him because he is a really important part of the fabric of our organisation,” Ponissi said.
“He has spent seven seasons at the club and it is no coincidence we’ve had a lot of success in that seven years. He has been a major driver in that but doesn’t get the wraps he deserves.
“We saw against the Tigers how important he is to the football club. The things people don’t see, that are also important, are what he does off-field.”
Finucane has been called back into the Origin arena. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)Source:AAP
Ponissi said Finucane had “thoroughly deserved” selection in the NSW squad for Game Two.
While not expected to play in the 17 at this stage, Finucane spoke just before his selection about why he would relish any chance to again be part of the NSW set-up and add to his four Origin games.
“I was lucky to be involved in 2019 for my first game in Game Two over in Perth and then again last year after coming off the back of the grand final and being involved in Game Two,” he said.
“It is one of the biggest spectacles in our game and something I would like to be involved in. It is a different type of game where the ball is in play a lot more than traditional NRL games. You could see from that first game how fast the start was, and I’d love to be a part of it.”
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