No deadline on Foran NRL re-signing: ManlyOn 01/31/2019 by admin
Manly are putting no deadline on securing Kieran Foran’s services beyond next NRL season and admit they’re powerless to stop the persistent distractions of player contract wrangling.
The uncertain playing futures of Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart, who ultimately left the Sea Eagles, and Brett Stewart and Steve Matai, who both stayed, dogged the Sea Eagles’ 2014 campaign from start to finish.
Coach Geoff Toovey, though, was offering no guarantees on Wednesday that ongoing negotiations with star halves Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans wouldn’t drag on in similarly sorry fashion in 2015.
Foran and Cherry-Evans are both off contract after next year and would command close to a million dollars a season on the open market.
Foran, reportedly in the sights of seven rival NRL clubs, said after helping New Zealand to Four Nations glory over Cherry-Evans’ Australian outfit that he hoped to settle his future sooner rather than later.
Toovey, though, said it would be silly of the Sea Eagles to place any deadline on landing prized signatures.
“Both our halves are quality players and we’re confident that they’ll be staying here,” he said.
“But it’s like any (marquee) player, I suppose – Johnathan Thurston at North Queensland, is he going to go? Is Billy Slater going to go? Cameron Smith?
“It’s one of those things. It’s a tough environment to maintain a quality side with the salary cap and what-not.
“But we’re pretty confident that we’ll do that.”
Toovey said it was a priority of Manly’s to lock up “all the good players”.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had to let a couple go but that’s just because of the rules and the regulations,” he said.
“But we’re fairly confident that we can keep our quality players going forward.”
After himself signing a one-year contract extension last month that will keep him on Sydney’s northern beaches until the end of 2016, Manly captain Jamie Lyon said it was integral that the club also retained Foran and Cherry-Evans.
“It’s going to be massive. Obviously, the club and us guys want them to stay for their whole careers, hopefully,” Lyon said.
“Two great players and, of course, they’re going to be demanding big money. They’re two of the best players in the comp, so there’s going to be clubs there throwing some big money at them.
“I’m sure they’ll want to stay, but it’s a tough process – it’s hard. There’s a couple of big decisions they’re going to have to make.”
Foran, 24, and Cherry-Evans, 25, are viewed as future Sea Eagles captains in what Lyons conceded would be a fresh era for the NRL superpowers who have made the past 10 straight finals series.
“It’s going to have to be a new era sooner or later,” he said.
“We’re getting older, we’re getting a few more grey hairs, we’re going to have to finish eventually, so we’ve got to bring the young guys on and they can take over.”