After negotiations with the Roosters broke down, Anasta was immediately shopped to rival clubs, one of which was the Eels, on an immediate transfer.
”Ask me not long ago and I would have told you I couldn’t see myself anywhere else, but to be honest with you they haven’t offered me an extension of my contract,” Anasta said.
”And I’ve been told I won’t be offered an extension any time soon. I am off-contract and â€¦ it’s tough, mate. Ideally, I’d like to sign my life away with the Roosters. I’m the captain of the club, it’s my home and I love it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed about it all because I am.”
With the Eels still having $500,000 or more in their salary cap, they are perhaps the only team that can match Anasta’s pay demands should they choose that path, however, the Eels are believed to have passed on Anasta for 2011, 2012 and beyond.
Anasta, who played arguably some of the best football we have seen since his move to lock from five-eighth, is still a candidate for Origin berths, given that he is still only 29.
”Now I guess I’m just going to have to reassess everything, my future,” Anasta said.
”I’m not sure what’s going to happen now. I suppose that will take care of itself in the next couple of months. It becomes difficult because if you wait, wait and wait until mid-year and then all of a sudden they don’t offer you that extension or it’s pretty poor compared to elsewhere, it leaves you with your hands tied.”
”As hard as it is and as painful as it is and as disappointing as it is, you’ve really got to look after yourself. And playing the game for as long as I have – this is my 12th season – you see it happening to to other players and it’s just part of the game. It’s sad but it’s just the way it is.”
The speculation regarding Anasta did not just start with this however, with the Cowboys attempting to sign the star Rooster during last years final, only to have Roosters Chief Executive Steve Noyce deny any possible move.
”We talked about where the club is up to in terms of recruitment and retention and we agreed we’ll wait until the start of the season before we look to do anything,” Noyce said.
”As I understand, Smithy had a really good chat about his future plans for the club. There certainly was no discussion that he wouldn’t be considered to be part of the plans, but in today’s environment, the salary cap is only what it is. You have 25 players to fit in and you have to continually look to the future.”
”It’s an important decision for Braith as well, I understand and respect that. We’re all aware of what a great ambassador for the game Braith is.
”He’s right up there with the way he handles himself on and off the field and he’s a great attribute for a club with young players.”
Anasta is eager to finish his career at the Roosters, and is willing to take a pay-cut, a big one at that, in order to remain with the Bondi club that he has grown up with, rejecting big money offers from other teams and Union in the process.
”At the end of the day you’ll take pay cuts to stay where you want and be happy at a place where you want to be,” Anasta said.
”It’s just a matter of what extent.
”Players should be rewarded for staying loyal to the code.”