It was the question that every Melbourne Storm fan was asking; would Billy Slater be playing on in 2018?
Having already lost Cooper Cronk who is likely to retire from the game, Storm fans were hopeful that favourite son Billy would be staying on and he did not disappoint.
At the club’s presentation night last night, Slater confirmed that he would continue to play on for one more season, a huge boost for Storm’s back-to-back premiership ambitions.
Just two days out from helping the Storm win the premiership and winning the Clive Churchill Medal, the fullback that many regard as the greatest of all-time and of his generation, will crack the 300-game milestone next year.
Sidelined for much of the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to shoulder surgery and shoulder issues, Slater burst out of the block on his return in 2017 at 34 years of age proving that he still has what it takes to perform consistently.
In a surprise to no-one, the club is ecstatic to see their veteran fullback opt for another year.
“We are delighted that Billy has made the decision to pull on the purple jersey again in 2018,” Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said.
“He has been a champion of this Club and NRL for over a decade so it is fantastic for the game as a whole that Billy will be back on the field next year.”
The adversity that Slater overcame was nothing short of remarkable and Donaghy praised that resilience.
“Billy has overcome a great deal of adversity in recent years. The fact he has not only return but is back to his best this season is a true testament to his professionalism, dedication and incredible resilience,” the CEO continued.
“Our young players will now have another season to play alongside and learn from one of our Club’s all-time greats, which will be invaluable for the future of Melbourne Storm.”