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Storm coach relieved to re-sign Finucane

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/03/2017 Melissa Woods

After working so hard to build a forward pack that has become an NRL force, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said it would have been "disastrous" to lose Dale Finucane.

The Storm, however. landed their man, beating six NRL clubs to extend lock Finucane's contract until at least the end of the 2021 season.

While his four-year signing follows that of fellow forwards Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich and Joe Stimson, Bellamy is gutted to have lost Kevin Proctor to the Titans, with Tohu Harris (Warriors) and Jordan McLean (Cowboys) departing at season's end.

"We built a really strong pack up last year and all of a sudden we lost those players and they are all big losses," Bellamy said on Wednesday.

"To lose Dale on top of that would be disastrous to be honest."

Bellamy admitted it stung to lose the players he had, particularly McLean who they supported through a series of injuries as well as the toll of his involvement in Alex McKinnon's career-ending injury.

"Jordan's been through a fair bit and I'd like to think the club supported him through all those things and you'd like to think that would make the bond a bit tighter," Bellamy said.

"But everyone makes a decision on what's best for them."

Already part of the Storm's leadership group, Finucane will become even more valuable when the likes of Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk retire.

Bellamy talks about Bega-product Finucane like a proud father, saying his work ethic and good manners are rare these days.

"I like the fact that he's got a bit of an old-school mentality and he's a real team player," said Bellamy, who tried to poach Finucane from the Bulldogs before he initially signed ahead of the 2015 season.

"He's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen and he's not a 12 hour a day footballer, he's 24-7.

"He's the sort of player I love coaching."

Bellamy said he would like to see Finucane, who has played 119 NRL games, rewarded with higher honours and a call-up to the NSW Origin side.

"He's what rep footy is all about and hopefully he will get his chance this year because he's started off the year in great form again," Bellamy said.

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