General O'Meley hedges on options

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O'Meley hedges on options
By Steve Mascord
July 3, 2006

MARK O'Meley's chances of staying at the Bulldogs beyond next season are set to shrink dramatically if the club cannot hang on to Queensland forward Nate Myles.

With the Belmore club having already told New Zealand Test prop Roy Asotasi it cannot afford to make him an offer for 2007, Myles is being chased by seven rival teams and is also heavily tipped to leave.

Asked if he wanted to extend his current deal with the Dogs, which runs out next year, O'Meley told The Daily Telegraph: "It all depends.

"You've got to look at who you're keeping and who you're losing. I suppose with what they've got left under the salary cap these days, clubs don't have as much cash as they used to have.

"It's great to be part of a great pack. I know we need to keep Roy or Nate ... we can't lose both."

O'Meley's comments make it increasingly likely the Bulldogs will lose two representative five-eighths - Johnathan Thurston and Braith Anasta - in consecutive seasons and then lose highly rated props in the next two.

And with the scrapping of anti-tampering rules, effective on Saturday, other clubs are now free to approach O'Meley even though he is tied to his current club for another 15 months.

"I've been laughing, actually - saying I might sign up for three years somewhere, another three after that and then three years captain-coach back up the local footy side at Wyong," O'Meley said.

"At least my next nine years are tied up!


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"I'm sure there's a bit more pressure back at our own club with them upgrading blokes.

"I've got next year there. I think with Nate and Roy still off, they'll be lucky to have time to re-sign them."

But while O'Meley's long-term future in the blue and white is up in the air, his commitment to his teammates right now is unquestioned.

The 26-year-old joined former teammate Steve Price in hitting out at NSW's axing of Dogs second-rower Andrew Ryan.

"Pricey's probably right there. He's such a well-liked bloke by everyone and gets on really well with everyone," said O'Meley.

"It makes it - I don't know - a bit easier on the selectors.

"I felt really bad talking to him.

"I was shaken up, myself, talking to him. I felt pretty bad for him.

"It's happened to him a couple of times (where) he didn't play the third game. It's hard to know what to say to him.

"But I can remember in '04, last time it happened to him, he came out and scored a hat-trick that weekend.

"I'm hoping this week versus the Tigers he'll score three and put us through for a victory."



The Daily Telegraph
 

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