Finucane reminisces on lessons learned and successes with Melbourne Storm

Bega grin: Dale Finucane and Ryan Papenhuyzen hoist the Telstra NRL Premiership after the 2020 grand final with Finucane saying it's a career highlight from his time at the Storm. Picture: Gregg Porteous/ NRL.
Bega grin: Dale Finucane and Ryan Papenhuyzen hoist the Telstra NRL Premiership after the 2020 grand final with Finucane saying it's a career highlight from his time at the Storm. Picture: Gregg Porteous/ NRL.

A departure from the Melbourne Storm to join the Cronulla Sharks still hasn't fully sunk in for Bega's NRL export Dale Finucane.

"It's something that probably hasn't kicked in yet, it will be quite a surreal feeling when it's all finished up whenever that may be," Finucane said as part of a video feature.

"It's funny it hasn't been at the forefront of my mind, the fact that it's closing to an end we're obviously in the last couple of rounds of the season with finals coming up.

"I'd say that will be something that hits me when I've played my final game."

Finucane has long been regarded as one of the hardest-working forwards in the games and given the chance to reflect recalls some early lessons.

"I think you pick up bits and pieces off the different leaders and players in the sides I've been in. When I first came to the Bulldogs, guys like Michael Ennis and James Graham ... and Josh Reynolds as well, they were guys that trained really hard and had a good work ethic about them," Finucane recalled.

" I Vividly remember a story with Mick Ennis and he said to me to get out of third gear - I thought I was giving my best and was trying, but I'm obviously presenting a certain way that he's picked up on.

"That was probably a defining moment to make sure you do your best with all your efforts you do."

He said he took those lessons on board and has since soaked in leadership qualities from the likes of coach Craig Bellamy and Melbourne headliners through the years.

"You look at the calibre of players we've had here at the Melbourne Storm and the leadership qualities those guys have, you take little bits from everyone and mould that into your own leadership style," he said.

Melbourne Storm captain Dale Finucane has reflected on his time with the club. Picture: Melbourne Storm.

Melbourne Storm captain Dale Finucane has reflected on his time with the club. Picture: Melbourne Storm.

"That's something that's worked for me over the course of developing into a leader at this club."

He paid particular tribute to Bellamy for his off-field dedication and commitment to the club and it's players as a driving force for the Storm to be so successful.

"You see how hard he works and it sort of rubs off on players, the video analysis down to coming in the morning and seeing him flog himself in the gym."

Years ago Finucane had endeared himself to the Storm when he made the courtesy call to tell them he had signed with the Bulldogs and the Bega star has continued to be forthcoming with the club, saying he sat down with Bellamy long before putting ink to a four-year deal with the Sharks.

"Prior to actually making a decision and signing elsewhere, I had a conversation with Craig about letting him know that I wasn't able to stay with the club - that was prior to even locking into a contract," Finucane said.

"To have that conversation with him to help guide my decision goes to show how comfortable I am in the relationship,... I'm gonna miss him a lot, given he's taught me so much and the success I've had has been on the back of what he's taught me."

As far as highlights go, Finucane said it was hard to go past his debut, grand finals and the premierships won as well as becoming a father and his son Freddy being part of his Storm legacy.

"My first round back and Freddy was able to come on the field with me, but it was actually after our lap. I did savour that moment," he said.

He said the 2020 premiership was particularly memorable given the uncertainty of the entire season and a shake up before relocating to Queensland.

"I think when you look back and reflect and look back on what we had to do an overcome and there was some adversity with that - people without their families and uprooting their lives.

"People in society doing a lot worse than us, but in terms of a sporting context it's tough to do that and it's hard to go past the 2020 premiership."

This story Finucane reminisces on lessons learned and successes with Melbourne Storm first appeared on Bega District News.