Melbourne’s Cameron Smith is yet to decide if he will extend his NRL career into the 2019 season.Melbourne won’t put a deadline on their new contract offer to skipper Cameron Smith even if it’s not finalised until after the NRL season.
While announcing the Storm had reached a record 25,000 members, CEO Dave Donaghy confirmed the reiging premiers had tabled a one-year deal for Smith.
Having surpassed Darren Lockyer last season for the most NRL games, Smith – on 377 games – barring injury will hit the the magical 400-game mark in 2019.
Donaghy said Smith, 35, would make the call in his own time.
“We’ve demonstrated with Cooper (Cronk) previously and Cameron and Billy (Slater) that those guys have been a huge part of building this club and they deserve the respect in making a call on their futures,” he said.
“There’s no secret that we’d love Cameron to keep running around and Billy as well and those guys have those decisions to make.”
Donaghy said he felt that Smith’s form had proven he had a lot of football left in him.
“He’s the Benjamin Button of rugby league; he keeps getting better with age,” he said.
The Storm boss said the club was yet to make an offer to Slater, also 35, as they were waiting to hear if he wanted to play on.
“We’ve left that with Bill at this point,” he said.
The new membership milestone of 25,100 sees the Storm add almost 5000 members on their 2017 total, with their figures increasing over the past eight consecutive seasons.
Only three NRL teams have more members – Brisbane, Souths and Parramatta.
Donaghy said the club was proud of the result in the AFL stronghold.
“It’s a remarkable achievement and it’s something that we don’t take for granted,” he said.
Melbourne host Cronulla at AAMI Park on Sunday with both teams in contention for a top-four finish leading into the finals.