Beaver sticks to Manly

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Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan
Greg Prichard | August 2, 2007

NEWCASTLE captain Danny Buderus believes Manly's decision to re-sign his fellow one-club star, veteran Steve Menzies, for next season will prove "awesome" for both parties.

Buderus, who was at Bluetongue Stadium with Menzies yesterday to promote next Friday night's clash between their two teams on the Central Coast, said the 33-year-old former NSW and Australian representative still had an enormous amount to offer the Sea Eagles.

"The game is a business these days. They wouldn't be offering 'Beaver' a new contract if they didn't think he was worth it," Buderus said. "But he's worth it - there's no doubt about that. He's incredibly durable as a player, and off the field the young guys at the club would learn so much from him.

"I think the NRL should applaud Manly for wanting to let the fans get to see Beaver go around again next year, and Beaver for achieving what's he's achieved."

Confirmation that Menzies has agreed to terms to play a final season at Manly could come as early as tomorrow. Contract negotiations between the player's manager, Wayne Beavis, and Sea Eagles chief executive Grant Mayer have taken a while, but appear to be reaching a conclusion.

"Grant is going to ring me tomorrow," Beavis said yesterday. "We'll see where it goes from there, but I'm expecting we'll meet on Friday. It should be a nuts-and-bolts meeting, really. There's a chance a deal could be finalised before the weekend, but if it's not done, then it will be done soon. Beaver is going to be there next year."

Menzies had an option for another year in his contract, but Mayer said it had to be exercised by May or it would expire.

"It's basically a renegotiation now," Mayer said. "Beaver was out injured when the option was running out, and he said he wanted to get back and play four or five games before he made a decision on his future.

"We want Steve to play next year. It isn't so much about the money - it's about how his contract would be structured."

Menzies had indicated he would be prepared to take a pay cut, although he said yesterday he "wouldn't want to go crazy". But it's clear that he won't have to take a drastic cut in his new contract.

"Any change in the figure for next year wouldn't be outrageous," Mayer said. "I'm confident we can work it out. Beaver isn't driven by how much money he can make out of the game - he just wants to do things right. We would like for him to be involved with Manly in some way after he retires from playing as well."

Beavis added: "It won't be a case of having to get the pruning shears out or anything like that. It will be a deal that is good for both Beaver and the club."

Menzies knows that, wherever the Sea Eagles finish this year, they are capable of doing at least as well - if not better - next year. He is adamant he won't play on just for the sake of sharing in some glory, but since he wants to play another year anyway, there is only one club for him.

"I wouldn't play for another NRL side," Menzies said. "I played in a very successful period for Manly in the mid-1990s, but we had a few lean years after that. Now that we've come on strong again it would be hard to go somewhere else."

Menzies said he was enjoying his football more than ever now. "The body is still quite good and the enjoyment factor is probably a bit more now because I think how lucky I am to do what I do for a job," he said.

"Knowing there is not long to go, you tend to relish and enjoy it a bit more than when you're younger."

Manly coach Des Hasler said all he had needed to know from Menzies was whether he wanted to play on for the right reasons. Once he was satisfied that was the case, the rest, the coach said, was simple.

"We had a long talk about it," Hasler said. "I know it's about the football with Beaver. I'm an unabashed fan of his, and I believe he's still got a lot to offer, so why wouldn't you want him to play another year if he's up for it?

"He adds something to this team, and that's what matters. Steve Menzies and Manly are a great fit."

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