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Orford keeps them guessing

By Daniel Pace and Jim Morton 17/07/2005 08:21:16 PM Comments (0)

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."

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