Groom's future is going to the Dogs 1 August 2007 THE opportunity to play halfback in the NRL is behind Aaron Groom's decision to leave Manly at the end of the year. Groom, considered a highly talented player, signed a two-year deal with the Bulldogs last week. With Matt Orford secure in the No 7 jumper, Manly coach Des Hasler was never going to consider Groom at half. The Fijian-born talent, who first signed with Manly to play Harold Matthews as a skinny 14-year-old, was told by Manly that his future at the club would only be at hooker. ``My manager (David Riolo) spoke to Des, and Des said they saw me as a hooker who could play a bit of a halfback,'' the Berowra junior said. ``The Dogs see it the other way around so while I've got a chance to play halfback I'd like to pursue that opportunity and see if I can make it there. ``I wanted to stay with Manly, I love playing here and I'm very comfortable, so I would've been happy just to stay and play through at Manly. ``But compared to what the Bulldogs offered me, Manly's wasn't that good an offer at all.'' Groom and his management gave the Sea Eagles the first and last right to offer him a contract. Riolo said a number of clubs had expressed interest in his client, including early approaches from the St George Illawarra Dragons. ``In the end it was a two-horse race between Manly and the Bulldogs,'' Riolo said. ``(The Bulldogs offer) was much better (financially), but the money wasn't the deciding factor, he just wants an opportunity at halfback.'' Groom confirmed the money wasn't the issue behind his move. ``It's not so much about how much people offer you at my age,'' the 20-year-old said. ``But I see myself as a halfback and I'm just more looking about an opportunity for a pathway into first grade in that position. ``They don't really have a halfback in Premier League, so that's where I'll be going and `Shifty' (Bulldogs halfback Brent Sherwin) is off contract at the end of next year so there is a real opportunity for me there.'' I heard that the dogs offered him $100k per season which is huge money for someone who has not played Fg and whose defence is ordinary.