St George Illawarra Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor admits he is both disappointed but ultimately respectful of Brett Morris’ decision to request an early release from the final year of his existing contract.

The Kiama Knights junior was today officially granted the early release following an approach by Morris and his management to the Club to join the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs long-term next season.

Dragons Grant Brett Morris Release

McGregor explained that the Club had tried to come to a suitable resolution that would have catered to both parties but ultimately Brett expressed his desire to be somewhere else.

“It has been a totally difficult time to be honest as Brett is a good lifelong friend of mine and still will be,” said McGregor.

“However, it was a decision that he was strong about and it was in the best interest of himself and his family.

“Brett came to us with a question and we tried to talk him out of it and we tried to come up with a solution that would suit best parties.

“We did try to keep Brett and he knows that but he felt it was in the best interest for him in his football career and the best interest for his family.

“You have to respect that as Brett has done some great things for the Club and it will always be a special part of his life.”

Brett Morris discusses the reasons behind his decision to request for a formal release

McGregor has praised his life-long friend for the years’ of service shown to the Club but admits his departure will now provide an opportunity for someone else to don the famous Red V jersey.

“Brett is a great voice and leader and a person that I had relied on a lot as a coach as he is the best winger in Australia and has been for some time now,” McGregor.

“This will however give some of the young guys who have played under him for some time now a chance to play first-grade.”