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glennb
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Just in now in the Daily Telegraph

Brandon Smith contract news: Storm grants star early release
The player agent of a Storm gun has shopped his client to 14 NRL clubs, with the email revealing the star would be granted a shock early release.
t’s the secret email sent to 14 clubs on Monday revealing NRL grand final star Brandon Smith will be granted a shock early release from Melbourne Storm.
The Daily Telegraph secured a copy of the letter which details Melbourne’s decision to allow their champion hooker to leave after next season provided the club secures “commensurate compensation” in return.
The return of Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant has prompted Smith to look for another club with his manager, Stan Martin, saying in the email his client wants to “play exclusively at hooker”.
Smith, 24, will remain at Melbourne next season before seeking a release from the final year of his deal in 2022. He is currently earning around $425,000 a season but could attract more money on the NRL open market.
It’s the secret email sent to 14 clubs on Monday revealing NRL grand final star Brandon Smith will be granted a shock early release from Melbourne Storm.
The Daily Telegraph secured a copy of the letter which details Melbourne’s decision to allow their champion hooker to leave after next season provided the club secures “commensurate compensation” in return.
The return of Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant has prompted Smith to look for another club with his manager, Stan Martin, saying in the email his client wants to “play exclusively at hooker”.
Smith, 24, will remain at Melbourne next season before seeking a release from the final year of his deal in 2022. He is currently earning around $425,000 a season but could attract more money on the NRL open market.
One source told The Daily Telegraph that he believed a high-profile Sydney club was prepared to release a representative prop to Melbourne in exchange for Smith, the New Zealand Test hooker.
Some club officials believe Smith is being pursued heavily by one club but Martin wants all clubs to be aware his client would be leaving Melbourne early.
Canterbury, Wests Tigers, New Zealand and Newcastle have been touted as clubs that could show an interest in Smith.
While Smith has entered an elite class in the NRL, it is generally accepted Grant would become Melbourne’s number one hooker with Cam Smith set to retire.
Smith has developed into an outstanding middle forward and dummy half.
Martin’s email was sent to:
Smith shopped to 14 NRL clubs
Roosters: Trent Robinson, Craig Walker, Jamie Mathiou, Daniel Anderson
Tigers: Adam Hartigan, Michael Maguire, Warren McDonnell, Scott Woodward
Bulldogs: Dave Hamilton, Mark Hughes, Craig Wilson
Sharks: Glenn Brailey, Darren Mooney, Shane Smith
Raiders: Don Furner, Peter Mulholland, Ricky Stuart
Panthers: Ivan Cleary, Matt Cameron, Jim Jones
Eels: Ben Rogers, Mark O’Neill, Peter Sharp
Sea Eagles: Noel Cleal, John Bonasera, Scott Fulton
Knights: Alex McKinnon, Clint Zammit
Dragons: Ben Haran, Ian Millward
Broncos: Peter Nolan, Simon Scanlan
Cowboys: Peter Parr, Dane Campbell
Rabbitohs: Mark Ellison
Warriors: Peter O’Sullivan
Strangely, no officials from Gold Coast – a club who would likely be interested in luring Smith to Robina - were on the list
Martin’s email reads: “Please note that after advising the Melbourne Storm that Brandon Smith would be looking for a release due to issues surrounding his desire to play exclusively at hooker.
“The Melbourne Storm has given us permission to look for another club based on (certain) conditions.”
His email then provides two paragraphs attributed to Melbourne Storm.
It reads: “Further to previous communications with the club, I can confirm Melbourne Storm grant permission for Brandon Smith to discuss his playing options for the 2022 NRL season with other clubs.
It’s the secret email sent to 14 clubs on Monday revealing NRL grand final star Brandon Smith will be granted a shock early release from Melbourne Storm.
The Daily Telegraph secured a copy of the letter which details Melbourne’s decision to allow their champion hooker to leave after next season provided the club secures “commensurate compensation” in return.
The return of Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant has prompted Smith to look for another club with his manager, Stan Martin, saying in the email his client wants to “play exclusively at hooker”.
Smith, 24, will remain at Melbourne next season before seeking a release from the final year of his deal in 2022. He is currently earning around $425,000 a season but could attract more money on the NRL open market.
One source told The Daily Telegraph that he believed a high-profile Sydney club was prepared to release a representative prop to Melbourne in exchange for Smith, the New Zealand Test hooker.
Some club officials believe Smith is being pursued heavily by one club but Martin wants all clubs to be aware his client would be leaving Melbourne early.
Canterbury, Wests Tigers, New Zealand and Newcastle have been touted as clubs that could show an interest in Smith.
While Smith has entered an elite class in the NRL, it is generally accepted Grant would become Melbourne’s number one hooker with Cam Smith set to retire.
Smith has developed into an outstanding middle forward and dummy half.
“In order to achieve this, part of any arrangement moving forward will need to include commensurate compensation for Melbourne Storm, given Brandon’s contractual status, his playing ability and representative status.”
Martin finishes by saying: “If there is any interest in Brandon, please contact myself at a suitable time.”
NRL clubs were busy contacting each other on Monday night to discuss the Smith situation. One recruitment manager said: “He’s on $425,000-a-season but he could get more on the open market.
“I hear there is a representative front-rower that a club would be prepared to release Melbourne. It’s an interesting one.”
One NRL club chief executive is adamant Smith has already decided to join a Sydney-based club.
I reckon he has a club. He has his buyer. But they are sending it out to everyone in case a club is looking to move a player that might satisfy Melbourne and then the Storm would allow Brandon to leave,” he said.
The cult hero nicknamed The Cheese made 14 runs for 112 metres and completed 18 tackles in Melbourne’s grand final win over Penrith.
He delivered a typically hilarious interview after the match.
“It was pretty good, I mean I played pretty shit tonight but I got the ring,” Smith said.
It’s for sale, I need to pay for all the beers I’m about to drink.
Smith was full of praise for the future Immortal he’s been stuck behind in the Storm pecking order.
“To the captain, I hope he can play on,” Smith said.
“I know it’s a tough situation for me but I wouldn’t want him carrying me to another couple of rings, I don’t think we should force him out of the game.
“To Craig, he does nothing pretty much all year. Smithy does all the coaching, (Bellamy) is getting paid lots of money to do piss all.”
Last edited by glennb on Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
blazza18
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Was inevitable. He would've made a great lock for us. Really a shame how many teams are in need of an upgrade at hooker.
Bullucked
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Second last paragraph mis-quoted? I thought so but it is now the second time I have read this, some months apart..
Will he still be universally loved if he lands at the Rooters? Hmmm
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sallymay
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Not really a surprise as well as being a major surprise if you know what I mean
Shuttlesworth99
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I completely understand his desire to play in the 9. Personally I see him as a ball playing lock.

One would assume that locks Harry in officially going forward.

It is easier to replace a quality 13 than a quality 9.
blazza18
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This obviously isn’t realistic now but I wonder how much it would’ve taken for him to be fine with playing lock/backup hooker here.
Scooter
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Disappointing re: Brandon. But if he wants to play hooker full time with Harry back, he has to move elsewhere. I am assuming that Storm must have told Brandon that Harry will be first choice hooker.

I too think it would be perfect fit for Brandon to play lock and Harry at hooker.
RobbieRoss
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Far better to have Harry than Brandon. Aside from being a better hooker, Harry is an 80:min player , whereas Brandon seems to be 40-45 mins max with his wrecking ball style.

Well handled by the club given one inevitably was going. . We have both of them next year, and compensation in 2022.

Looks like the club is angling for a strong title defence next year, with Brandon , Fox and Jahrome all there for what will likely be their last season. Harry for GOAT, Tui for Tino , Isaac L or Reimis Smith for Suli, and off we go again.
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Danger D
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I wonder how durable Brandon would be over the long term. His reckless style is very effective and makes him a real joy to watch but you'd have to think it would catch up with his body eventually. I hope he has a long and successful career, but I worry for him sometimes.
blazza18
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Honestly you wouldn't want either him or Harry playing 80 minutes at hooker every week with how they play. That's why I'm a little disappointed in Brandon not seeing a bigger picture with staying with us. Get money playing a huge factor but we'd keep him fitter and healthier than any other club.
Utha
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Wonder how much (if anything) the lure of possibly being the long-term #9 for the KIwis has to do with it.
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nacho
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Utha wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:22 am Wonder how much (if anything) the lure of possibly being the long-term #9 for the KIwis has to do with it.
The strongest argument for him being a career hooker is based on his performance in rep games.

Week in - week out, his best position is at Lock. Unfortunately, the payday is not as attractive.
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Danger D
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nacho wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:55 pm
Utha wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:22 am Wonder how much (if anything) the lure of possibly being the long-term #9 for the KIwis has to do with it.
The strongest argument for him being a career hooker is based on his performance in rep games.

Week in - week out, his best position is at Lock. Unfortunately, the payday is not as attractive.
In fairness to Brandon he hasn't had that much time to develop his game at hooker at club level. I'm sure he can take his hooking game to another level if given a regular opportunity.
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No surprise but 12 months is a long time, who knows where he'll be at then.

Remember, we were supposed to lose JAC but he is still here!
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I think Brandon has had enough opportunities to show us what his style of play would be like from the #9, and as others have said, I don't think he has the stamina to play the full 80 minutes with his high energy, no self-preservation style that makes him such a handful, and when he doesn't play with that style he is far less effective.

I agree with those that think Grant is probably better suited to the #9 position, from both an 80-minute performance as well as a play-making Hooker perspective, with Brandon's best position probably being Lock.

It'll certainly be a shame to lose Brandon though - surely we can afford to pay him #9 money to play with a #13 on his back (he wouldn't even really have to change his play), and I don't see why playing at #13 for us would mean he loses his grip on the NZ #9 jersey either.
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