Storm headed for a fall 06/10/2008 3:44 PM Adam Lucius Sportal Melbourne's record loss to Manly in the 2008 grand final will reverberate well into the future, with the promised Storm dynasty looking shakier than Brian Waldron's grip on reality. Three grand final appearances in three years is not to be easily discounted or downplayed, but sport is all about winning and Melbourne has just the one title to show for all its recent dominance. For a reference point, just look at how history judged the Sea Eagles sides of 1995-97. They won in '96 but the two losses sandwiched either side meant they were never afforded the accolades they probably deserved as the undisputed kings of the regular season. Melbourne changed the way the game is played and will be remembered Ã¢Â€Â“ if not with fondness Ã¢Â€Â“ as a remarkably tough, resilient and talented team. But you've got to cash in while you're at the top and the Storm have failed to do so. Now they may be looking at the other side of the summit and heading into freefall. Before the Melbourne faithful start up with the Joe Kinnear-styled attacks that 'featured' the last time this writer dared questioned Storm's standing in the league world (you guys went strangely quiet around 7pm Sunday), look at the facts. From the grand final side, Israel Folau, Mick Crocker, Matt Geyer, Antonio Kaufusi, Jeremy Smith and Russell Aitken (possibly) won't be seen in the navy blue and purple next year. Melbourne has made a modest investment in the player market, snaring Ryan Hinchcliffe and sacked Bulldogs halfback Arana Taumata from under the noses of Ã¢Â€Â¦ well, nobody. That's too much quality leaving and not enough joining for it not to have an impact. Coach Craig Bellamy admitted as much when asked at the post-grand final press conference what the future held for his side. "We are losing a lot of players, without doubt. Losing some really good quality players," he conceded. "Obviously 'Boofa's' (Geyer) retiring but when you lose guys like Folau and Smith and Crocker, Kaufusi, you're losing quality players there, but that's the way the system works and it's happened to other teams before." "I don't know how we're going to go next year to be quite honest but I tell you we'll be in there working hard in the pre-season and as Cooper (Cronk) said we like to pride ourselves as a club that never gives up." "We'll be working real hard so we can play well again next year." Manly coach Des Hasler was back at work the morning after the night before, already thinking about the future less than 24 hours after his breakthrough win. While the Sea Eagles farewell veteran Steve Menzies, centre Steve Bell, prop Mark Bryant and utility player Luke Williamson, Hasler had a contingency plan in place. Newcastle's clever pivot Chris Bailey, powerhouse Parramatta winger Tony Williams and Penrith's Shane Rodney will head to the northern beaches next year, supplementing the outstanding talent already at the coach's disposal. Sea Eagles fans have every right to look to the future with plenty of optimism. Melbourne? Let's just say Bleak City could be even bleaker next winter.