South Sydney hooker Damien Cook is just two weeks away from being on the open market for the 2020 season, although he’s repeatedly made it clear he doesn’t want to be.
Cook is currently under contract for 2019 with the Bunnies, but given he signed that deal while he was a bench player, his management want the Rabbitohs to come to the party and pay Cook what he’s worth.
According to The Daily Telegraph, a deal worth $800,000 a season is what he could sign.
“I still have next year to go with Souths,” Cook told The Daily Telegraph when asked about his contract situation..
“I really enjoy it there. It’s part of the business. I do come off contract. It’s a bit different. Last time I did a contract I wasn’t sure where I was going to be. I’ve told my manager to look after that especially while I’m (in camp with the Australian squad).
“It is different this time around. I’ve openly said to Souths, I’d love to be there long-term.
“I’m 27. You never know how many more deals you’ll get. You have to make the most of it when you can.”
Cook had an amazing year this season, and has been rewarded with a spot in the Kangaroos’ squad.
He attributes his successes to two big moments, with one of them coming earlier this year.
“It’s been a good journey and certain parts have been really important,” Cook said.
“Coming out of 20s and coming back to Illawarra. They just put a NSW Cup side in then. I was lucky Illawarra put a team on the park to allow me to continue my journey.
“It was my stepping stone. I wasn’t flying out of 20s. l kept developing as a player. Very grateful to have the Cutters come back into it and use them as a stepping stone.
“The next one was getting the No. 9 jersey for round one this year. It wasn’t a big reveal (by coach Anthony Seibold). I knew I’d had a big pre-season. He told me I’d have first crack.
“Once I had it I just had to keep playing well. Seibs puts a lot of trust and loyalty to his players. “f I kept playing well I knew I’d be able to keep my jersey.”