By David Beniuk
Former Melbourne winger Steve Turner, who won two NRL grand finals with the Storm, says he still considers himself a premiership winner.
Turner was a part of the Storm sides which won the 2007 and 2009 deciders, competition wins which were rubbed from the record books by the NRL on Thursday after revelations of a $1.7 million salary cap rort.
Asked if still thought of himself as a premiership winner, 25-year-old Turner who ironically left for the Bulldogs at the end of last year supposedly because of a salary cap squeeze said: "I do. I worked really hard, I know the players that I played with worked really hard to get and achieve what we got but obviously it's a hard time for the club at the moment and I do know they'll bounce back.
"They've got quality people and quality players around there that will keep the side together and I'm sure they'll play some good footy this year."
Turner said he was yet to contact his former team-mates at the Storm.
"It's obviously disappointing, I feel for the boys and I feel for the coach Craig Bellamy down there but I know they're a strong club and I know these blokes will rebuild and I know they can do it," he said.
"I know they're a club who are big on beliefs and I'm sure they'll come back from this.
"I was shocked as (were) a lot of people in the community but I've moved on from the Storm and I'm really enjoying my time here at the Dogs.
"I'm disappointed with what's happened in the last 24, 48 hours but David Gallop and his staff have made that decision and I'm sure everyone at the Melbourne Storm is disappointed as I myself being a past player am disappointed with what's happened with the club.
"I made some great mates, made some long-time friendships so I'm disappointed but I've got to move on and focus with what I've got to do with the Dogs."
Rival coaches Kevin Moore and Ivan Henjak said the scandal, one of the biggest in league history, had not been a distraction before Friday night's 36-18 victory to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
"Obviously there was probably a bit of talk about it but it wasn't a distraction for us, we had to get on with the job," Moore said.
"The game needs to move on a little bit."
Henjak said: "We were shocked like everyone else but that didn't take away from our preparation.
"We didn't even mention it."