Prior extends stay at Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prior extends stay at Dragons

By David Beniuk 22/03/2010 08:34:47 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra boss Peter Doust says a recent spate of player re-signings is a vote of confidence in the NRL club, and not an indication coach Wayne Bennett will be sticking around long-term.

The Dragons announced on Monday they had locked up rising star Matt Prior until the end of the 2013 season, hot on the heels of big names Jamie Soward and Michael Weyman re-committing in recent weeks.

Bennett has had a massive impact since taking the reins at the club last year, guiding it to a minor premiership and, so far, an unbeaten start to 2010.

Doust agrees the supercoach is a factor in players re-signing, but adds they have all agreed to stay longer than the Bennett's current term without insisting on get-out clauses in their contracts.

"There's the obvious contractual circumstance there that Wayne's contracted until the end of 2011 and the players that we've contracted are going through to 2012 or further," Doust told AAP.

"I think that's just indicative of where they see themselves as far as the St George Illawarra Dragons are concerned and obviously not in this time and space influenced by what the coach is doing."

What the coach will be doing beyond next year is not a matter the club is yet prepared to discuss.

"That's putting the cart before the horse," Doust said.

"We made a commitment to each other - the club, the coach and myself as well - that that contract period was what we were looking for and that's where we are now and I don't have really any more to add to that."

Six-time premiership winning mentor Bennett arrived with the challenge of seeing what he could achieve at the silverware-starved Dragons in three-years but Doust said that didn't constitute a concrete plan for winning the premiership.

"The way I'd look at it is we're very happy as a club with the progress under Wayne's football management and, while we were disappointed with the final result last year, we're confident we can improve on our outcomes for this year," he said.

"There's no real plan, it's about consistency and it's about confidence for the players and all of our partners in the club and where it's headed, so there's no plan to achieve any specific outcome in any specific time period."

Prior said the Bennett factor had been just one of many in his decision.

"It did have a bit (of an influence) but in the end I'm from the area and I love the place so I want to stay here with family and my friends are all here," he said.

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