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Craig Bellamy knows that in the era of the modern football, players like Dale Finucane are hard to come by.

The Storm coach came to that realisation long before Finucane ever pulled on the purple jersey.

It came five years ago, when Bellamy and Football Director Frank Ponissi sat down with Finucane in an attempt to lure him to Melbourne.

Dale was only 20 years old at the time but what he said in that initial meeting left a lasting impression on the Storm coach.

“Sitting down and talking to him then, he wanted to have a leadership role,” Bellamy said.

“Some guys don’t particularly like that leadership role. They like to do what they do best and look after themselves.

“But that was one thing I found dosn’t happen too often, when you get a young player asking how they can get into a leadership position in your club. That was one of the first things he asked me and I was a bit surprised at that.

“You could see that was important to him, to be in that leadership role, it shows that he cares about his teammates and he cares about what this club is about.”

That initial meeting did not turn out to be successful, with Finucane choosing to stay with the Bulldogs.

It was not the news Bellamy wanted to hear but the way he received it only made him warm further to the young forward.

“His manager rang us up and said ‘Dale is not coming’ which was disappointing but Dale actually rang me and rang Frank as well,” Bellamy said.

“You don’t usually get that these days. Their manager usually just rings up and says they ain’t coming but he rang us up, thanked us for our time and thanked us for showing him around.

“That is old school, you don’t really see that these days. Those sort of guys with that sort of mentality, they are the ones you want at your Club.”

History now shows that Bellamy eventually got his man.

Now the Storm coach has four more years to enjoy having a player who fits his style in every sense of the word.

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Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.