Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith has today committed his long term future to the Club, signing a contract extension that will see him remain in Melbourne until at least the end of the 2012 season.
After attracting intense interest from rival clubs, the Club’s highly credentialed leader has agreed to a new agreement and is excited to be remaining at the Club for the foreseeable future. “I spoke with a couple of clubs about my future, but I would have found it very difficult to play against the Melbourne Storm,” said Smith.
“This club has been a major part of my life, they gave me my opportunity in the game and have been very good to me, so to sign the new contract was very satisfying. “We’ve had quite a bit of success here over the past few years, and with Craig re-signing along with Cooper, Greg and a whole host of other players, I don’t see why we can’t be successful for a few more years yet.”
Smith, from the south-Brisbane suburb of Logan admits the temptation to return to Brisbane was strong. “The lure of returning to Logan where my family is was strong, particularly with a nine-month old baby girl at home,” said Smith.
“But my partner and I are very happy in, we have made this place our home and after speaking with a couple of clubs it didn’t take long for us to decide this is where we want to stay.”
Head Coach Craig Bellamy is delighted his Captain has pledged his future to the Club. “Cameron is without doubt the best hooker in the game, and he is central to how we play, so to have him here for the next four years is a wonderful bonus to the Storm,” said Bellamy. “It would have been impossible to replaceÂ Smith with someone of his calibre, both as a player and a leader, so I couldn’t be happier with his decision to stay.
The re-signing of Smith will be a major boost to the game in Victoria according to Storm CEO Brian Waldron. “What is most pleasing about Cameron Smith’s re-signing is that he has, like many of our players, chosen to remain with us despite there being opportunities to earn more elsewhere. This is testament to the selfless culture this playing group has developed here in Melbourne,” said Waldron.
“Cameron’s signing is a major bonus for rugby league in Victoria. His profile in this state’s sporting landscape has grown enormously in recent years and he will continue to play a vital role in the growth of the game’s profile in this market. I know sports fans in this state will be ecstatic with Camerons’s decision.”
Smith joined the Storm in 2002, making his NRL debut in the same year filling in at halfback. Smith won the first of his three straight Storm player-of-the-year awards in 2005, and the following year he won the game’s most coveted individual honour, the Dally M Medal.
In 2007, Smith captained the Storm to their second NRL premiership, defeating the Manly Sea Eagles 34-6; Captained Queensland to their second straight State-of-Origin Series win; and claimed the Golden Boot Award as the world’s best player at year’s end.
In another coup for the Storm, they’ve signed Members Equity Bank (MEB)Â as a sponsor. The new multi-million deal will see Members Equity Bank becoming the clubâ€™s front-of-jersey sponsor until the end of the 2011 season.
Storm CEO Brian Waldron is delighted to have found a major partner in MEB, particularly in the current financial climate.