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Dolphins, roster, recruits, Wayne Bennett, Cameron Munster offer, contract, Melbourne Storm

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett says some NRL players need to step up as they open up the team’s recruitment drive ahead of the first season.

Bennett spoke earlier in the week about the “worry” for players who lack confidence in their own game and instead want to know they’ll be playing for a new franchise.

Now, speaking Triple M On Sunday afternoon, Bennett expressed dismay at the current state of player negotiations after a few potential recruits flipped on the Dolphins.

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“There were actually two men who made the deal, everything was done and then they had a change of heart,” he said.

“I do not know [if it was the manager]. Everyone is part of it. It’s like a lot of things in life, we blame everyone – the referees, the manager – that’s the problem with a lot of players now, they’re not developing.

“Everybody is waiting for them, because someone said he was going to come, we want to blame the manager for deciding to come and then changing his mind. Then it’s the manager’s fault, I don’t understand. [Players should say] It’s my decision, I have to own it and if I’m not strong enough to stand up to my manager I will pay a heavy price for it.

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Losing those recruits initially “disappointed” Bennett, admitting he “hit the bullet” by not landing uncommitted players.

“There’s more to being a football player,” he said.

“I spent my life trying to convince players that I would train like that. You want them to be manly and: ‘Listen mate, I’m not coming or whatever’… to own it. I understand that [it is a blessing in disguise].

“You realize you’ve thrown a shot, but you get emotionally involved and look for the player and think he’s what you think he is, and then know that’s not what you’re dealing with.

Bennett will be hoping he doesn’t have the same issues with Melbourne Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster.

A News Corporation Saturday’s report is that Bennett’s Dolphins are looking to offer Munster a club-record deal to lure him north in the 2024 season.

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“He’s one of a group of players we’re looking at,” Bennett said of Munster on Sunday.

“We have made known where we stand and our position with that. We’ll have to play the waiting game, see what happens and hopefully come to the Dolphins in 2024.

The Dolphins still have 11 spots to fill on the roster for the first time, making it difficult for Bennett to predict how successful they will be.

“I really can’t say anything about next year because I don’t know what the football team is going to look like yet,” he said.

The only thing I can guarantee is that we will do our best and that’s all for me. I have coached all my life. We’re going to come in and be the club that everybody wants us to be. It might take a little longer than we’d like, but that’s okay.

“You have to be patient. Nothing is built overnight.”

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