Storm happy to let Smith wait on NRL call

Evergreen Cameron Smith is keeping quiet about his future after Melbourne's NRL grand final win.
Evergreen Cameron Smith is keeping quiet about his future after Melbourne's NRL grand final win.

Melbourne teammates have no doubt Cameron Smith could play on in 2021 if he wants but both they and management insist there will be no pressure on him to decide his future.

Smith became rugby league's oldest premiership winner since North Sydney's George Brown in 1922 in the Storm's 26-20 triumph over Penrith.

And he still somehow shows no signs of letting down.

The Storm hooker was a serious contender for the Clive Churchill Medal, after scoring his first grand final try and managing the clock perfectly at the death.

About the only thing he doesn't have an answer for is what will come next year.

Time and time again since fulltime Smith has insisted he has no announcement to make, and at this stage he remains undecided.

"Whatever the outcome whether he continues to play or retires we will be happy," lock Dale Finucane said.

"Obviously if he retires he finishes on a fairytale run where he's won a premiership.

"If he continues to play on he's still playing really well.

"It's not like he is an older player fading out of the game. He featured in the Dally M points in the top 10 at the end of the year.

"Whatever he decides we'll accept and be happy with."

Melbourne chief executive Dave Donaghy also confirmed on Monday he was still unsure of Smith's fate, with the captain not due to start any pre-season training until January.

In reality, the hooker has three options.

He can either play on at the Storm, move on to a club like the Gold Coast or retire.

Others like Brandon Smith and Harry Grant await his call, although Brandon insisted on Sunday night he wanted his namesake to stay on to help him win another ring.

The appeal of going out with Craig Bellamy next year could be a lure for Smith, with the coach set to make 2021 his last season in charge of the Storm.

"We'll let Cameron make his call," Donaghy told SEN on Monday.

"And when he is ready to do that I am sure he will let us know and we'll let everyone else know after that."

Regardless, Storm players are still amazed by Smith's ability at age 37.

He set up tries more often this year than in any other season in his career, and was still as reliable in defence as he was when in his 20s.

"I think it's particularly the consistency of how well he plays (that stands out)," Finucane said.

"The longevity, he debuted in 2002. Some of our squad members were born only a couple of years before that and now they are playing with Cameron.

"A lot of people idolise him and pinch themselves they are playing with him this year.

"Whatever he does I am very happy with what he has achieved."

Australian Associated Press