Finch manager adamant he'll stay in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finch manager adamant he'll stay in NRL

08/04/2009 06:27:06 PM Comments (0)

Brett Finch's manager is adamant the Parramatta playmaker will not be forced to England and will have the option to continue his career in the NRL.

Finch's agent Steve Gillis will meet with Eels chief executive Denis Fitzgerald on Thursday to nut out a deal after the 27-year-old halfback requested a release from his deal on Tuesday night.

Fitzgerald has agreed to the release "subject to satisfactory negotiations in regard to the release and especially in regard to the financial situation".

Fitzgerald did not rule out the possibility of Finch linking with a rival NRL club, but said that agreement had come on the basis that he was interested in playing Super League in England.

"We will give him a release to a Super League club ... (an) NRL club, we'll have to give that further consideration," he told reporters on Wednesday.

But Gillis said a club could not impose any such restriction on a player if it had instigated the split.

"England's an option but it's not the only option," Gillis told AAP on Wednesday.

"He'll have the option to play in Australia or in England or in France or wherever he chooses to play.

"He won't be agreeing to any release unless he has the right to go where he chooses.

"You can't have a club say you're not part of our plans but we'll tell you where you can and cannot play."

Gillis and Finch were both adamant the club had instigated the circumstances which forced the halfback's hand with nearly three years remaining on his contract.

"I think it was pretty clear that the coach and the club had indicated to Brett that he wasn't what they were looking for going forward," Gillis said.

Finch told the Daily Telegraph website: "It's important for everyone to understand this was the club's agenda and not mine and, after much thought, it made sense for both parties that we try and sort something out and move on."

Gillis said he had fielded "a couple of inquiries" from interested clubs.

He said he was hopeful of finalising the release on Thursday but, if not, Finch could be forced to return to training with the Eels to avoid breaching his contract.

He would be unavailable to play against St George Illawarra on Friday night, however, because of a shoulder injury.

Fitzgerald said Finch's request had shocked him and denied any suggestion the player had been told to start looking elsewhere, but he said the situation was now "too far gone" to be repaired.

"Coach Daniel Anderson had spoken with him about his performance last weekend and Daniel indicated that he hasn't got a guaranteed spot in first grade," Fitzgerald said.

"Brett was looking for something more secure than that and then surprised us greatly by requesting a release.

"Whilst we're not playing too well all players are under the pump as far as the new coach is concerned ... they're all on notice that they've got to perform or otherwise they'll find themselves playing in the NSW Cup."

Regular benchman Kris Keating, young gun Daniel Mortimer and former Manly lower-grader Jeff Robson are the possible replacements for Finch, with Robson believed to have the early running.

Parramatta's players reacted with surprise to Finch's move.

Star forward Nathan Hindmarsh described him as "probably the most passionate footballer I've actually played with".

"Whatever his decision doesn't bother me, seriously," said Hindmarsh, who was yet to successfully contact Finch.

"I'm the type of player, if someone leaves and they just pack up and go, well that's it, they pack up and go.

"I've still got to get up and play football."

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