Manly is at a crossroad right now. Manly's “Core Group” that have promoted and enhanced the player culture at Manly for many seasons may be torn apart. This culture is the envy of every club and it’s no surprise that the other clubs have been buying our staff and players hoping that the culture will rub off on their club too. It has now been reported that the Bulldogs are showing great interest in Glenn Stewart. Perhaps they could use him to lure another target they have always wanted to take from Manly, and that being Keiran Foran. The Core Group comprises of The Stewart Bros, Steve Matai, Keiran Foran, Anthony Watmough, Jamie Lyon, Jason King and Matt Ballin. Their loyalty to each other have been so great that they have sacrificed greater salary to stay at our club. It all started when those players viewed the loyalty of Steve Menzies to be a one club player was something they want to aspire to. Now, this Core Group is being threatened with being torn apart by the club’s delay in re-signing Gifty (the major factor who helped us win the 2008 and 2011 grand finals). The argument from some fans have been that it’s better to sign younger prospects than to retain old stars. I beg to differ. Whilst it’s important to look to the future, I don’t believe we should do it at the expense of tearing the fabric of the club's culture and breaking up a successful team. Then there’s the issue about injuries hampering certain players value. You can’t put a price on what that individual does for the team behind the scenes – maintaining player solidarity, then coaching and nurturing younger players. There has also been an article in the papers about one of our younger mega star who demands a massive price hike or he’ll walk. The question is, will Manly jeopardize harmony, culture, experience, stability, success, just to please one player (who'll probably walk away from our club for more money in the future anyway) or keep the Core Group to ensure we’ll always be able to stay on top? As Choc has stated, “Footy’s not a business at our club, we’re a family.” Matai said, “I’m sure if Glenn goes, there will be a few boys reconsidering re-signing here.” Peta Hiku said, “If I wanted to play fullback, I’d have to go elsewhere, but I don’t mind playing anywhere in the backline as long as I am playing in the team with a bunch of mates you like.” It’s a no brainer. If we ripped up the Core Group, nobody wants to hang around, including those young guns that we would like to keep. I’d rather keep the Core Group at discounted price than to pay over-inflated price of one individual and never get anywhere. You want an example? Try, Thurston. Do we want to be like the Cowboys? Some signs of brilliance but never achieving anything of substance!