Before the 2011 season has even begun Storm football manager Frank Ponissi is fighting to re-sign up to 12 of the club’s 30 contracted players for 2012.
Storm’s 2010 player of the year, Ryan Hinchcliffe, is also looking for a new deal and could expect a raise, as could Blair, who signed his last deal as a 21-year-old and is now established as New Zealand’s vice-captain.
Ponissi conceded it would be a difficult task to keep everyone, despite the forced clean-out of talent last season courtesy of the salary cap scandal which freed up room for 2012.
“Every year is a juggle and given the amount of players we lost in 2010 we are in a much better position for next year,” Ponissi said.
“But it will be a challenge to keep them all. That’s the aim, but the reality is a different matter.
“We’ve got a few coming off two and three-year deals. Blair is the big one. They are all high priority, but he is No. 1. Matt Duffie, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Todd Lowrie, Kevin Proctor, Chase Stanley and Gareth Widdop are some who come off this year and all our energy is going in to retaining those players.”