Orford yet to decide future


Journey Man
In-demand Melbourne halfback Matt Orford has kept everyone guessing despite speculation that the off-contract No.7 will sign with Manly.

The Sea Eagles were expected to officially announce Orford as Manly's new recruit following today's NRL clash against St George Illawarra at Brookvale Oval.

But Orford said he would make a final decision on whether to stay at Melbourne or link with rival bidders South Sydney or Manly after speaking to his manager George Mimis.

The plot thickened when Orford admitted all three clubs were "still in with a shot" and said he would make an announcement "Monday or Tuesday".

Orford said he wanted to "get it done last week" but didn't want an announcement to disrupt Melbourne's preparations for today's NRL clash at Brisbane.

"I'll have a chat to my manager tomorrow. Nothing's been done. It's been the same issues," Orford said following Melbourne's 28-15 loss at Brisbane.

Manly executive chairman Paul Cummings admitted he was "slightly concerned" that Orford had delayed the decision.

Asked about his club's chances of signing Orford, Cummings replied: "I have to be honest with you, the longer it takes, it gives me a slight concern but it's not a major concern.

"I would've liked to have had an answer before today but we haven't and my understanding is that he'll be making an announcement tomorrow.

"I can guarantee you we have not signed anything, nor have we got a `yes' or a `no' yet."

Cummings said he last spoke to Mimis on Saturday.

South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson today said he expected an answer from Orford by Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy believed the Storm should have given Orford a deadline after starting negotiations six months ago.

"I think that's one of the mistakes we've made to be quite honest," he said.

"The offer's been on the table for a long time but we didn't want to put too much pressure on him because we want him to stay.

"But Matt obviously sees himself worth more than what we've offered and that's where it stands."

In other news, Cummings confirmed back-rower Sam Harris would be released from the remaining two and a half years of his contract with Manly to join Wests Tigers on a three-year deal.

But Cummings denied his club agreed to the release to make room under the salary cap and increase its offer to Orford.

"It wasn't because of the salary cap. It's no good having a player we can't guarantee a run in the second-row starting side all the time.

"He'd be at best, in our mind, part of the 17."

Meanwhile, Manly forward Ben Kennedy said he would love to see Orford join the club, even if it meant skipper and current No.7 Michael Monaghan being shunted to hooker.

"I think it'd be great if we can get good quality players like him," said the NSW forward.

"If we signed a quality player who was in the back-row I wouldn't give a ****


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
at this rate I hope no one signs him....joker


Reserve Grader
I wouldn't hold my breath in orford announcing where he'll go by tuesday as he has dragged it on & on we might never know we he goes.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
everyone should hav given him a bloody deadline, is he that much of a princess that teveryone is that worried about upsetting him


Reserve Grader
Would you sign with us after watching that crap?

Can't say I'd been keen to........ Souths have a more promising future, at least they have shown a bit of heart the last few weeks.


What a fool. Hurry up and make a decision..

were losing out on other players.. i wish souths get him.. and release Sutton.

Sutton looks like he will be an exceptional talent. Heaps younger and wants less.


Gee Sutton looks bloody great. I don't know why Souths were throwing Anasta so much, this bloke could be one of the best in the near future.


agreed Volley. The guy has a great offload to.. hes massive and with some good power and pace. Very creative and a decent kicking game.

I think he will one of the big names of the game in the future.. unfortunately for Souths.. it wont be with them.


First Grader
Looks like Orford loves the attention.

I think he's waiting for Matabele, Sue and Vegas to roll out the red carpet!
2 ways to look at it

1.from our point of view-dissappointing as we are getting more desperate by the hour.
2.his point of view-most important contract he will ever sign and requires an informed decision.

what is the old saying "fools rush in".

i too would like a resolution but watching your preferred candidates work under pressure is what i would call due diligence.dont kid yourself.we are nervous mainly because of out atrocious performances and need some solace.that is what is driving this.

byso if you forget all the history behind this it is really very simple.

we KNOW our present halves are not good enough going forward.
we HOPE matt orford will take us to a new level.

the present combination is not an option.even if you dont rate orford surely hope is a far better option than the absolute certianty that exists now.we all know our present 7 is not a real option.i dont think there is any way round that logic.

we will know in 48 hours.simple.i think we have far more pressing problems in the club at the moment than worrying whether orford will sign on the 7th or the 17th,dont you.

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