Today's verdict is huge for this club. Immediately, of course, there is the great emotional relief. The lifting of the creeping tension, the sheer stress that must have weighed heavily on Brett, his family and all those close to him. There's some anger as well, but I don't expect we'll focus on that too long. Beyond that there is also the lifting of the smear. That particular shadow simply cannot be overstated. It was felt all the way to the top of the NRL, but Brett and his family Ã¢Â€Â“ and the Manly club Ã¢Â€Â“ have borne the brunt of it. The details of Brett's character given in evidence in court have been nothing short of outstanding. It would be no surprise if before too long he was restored to a position of great respect within the wider community. This of course is not always the case for accused persons.Â Even when charges are not proved, suspicions sometimes linger. This won't occur in the case of Brett Stewart. It may sound bizarre to suggest, but he may even come out of this shocking ordeal with an enhanced reputation. So we will get our attacking spearhead back. Not only this, but the bonds between our players, who have stood fast together while this marathon played out, will count for plenty when they all run out next year, together with Brett in the Number 1 jersey. Aside from his mates in the team, the club itself never wavered in support of Brett, and massive credit to the club for that stand. Led by Des, who was literally with Brett at every step, the club defiantly continued to select him in the face of considerable outside pressure. This stance was quite clearly never simply a selfish desire to get their star player on the field. The allegations were serious, and it was apparent the club really did have full faith in this young man. A faith finally vindicated by the resounding 'not guilty' so swiftly delivered by the panel of citizens commissioned to decide the facts. What this now means is that the entire club can go into this next off-season on something of an emotional high. A very tough time has been endured Ã¢Â€Â“ together Ã¢Â€Â“ and survived. The mood will be buoyant, and forward looking. Better times are coming. From the outside too, we suddenly look better. Our appeal to potential sponsors is no longer clouded. Our brand is intact. As a fan of the team, and the club, and a fan of Brett, I am highly impressed with how he and all of us have come through this. I have only met the man twice, and was certainly impressed both times.Â I'm also impressed with Silvertails, and the manner in which our on-line community has developed. Thanks to the well-conceived strategy of Dan and his moderators, and the sterling efforts of our star court reporter, we've been able to follow this event in an extremely close and quite unique way, and in my view we've come through stronger than ever.Â Now bring on 2011!