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Munster's Storm redemption leads to gong

Cameron Munster's redemption story is complete after the star Storm five-eighth clinched Melbourne's inaugural Cameron Smith player-of-the-year award.

With former skipper Smith on hand at the club function to present the trophy, Munster polled 33 votes, finishing six clear of hooker Harry Grant.

Linked with a move to new NRL entry the Dolphins, Munster was asked about his playing future at the end of his current deal in 2023 but dodged the question.

However he spoke freely about a return to his best form, which coincided with a season-long booze ban.

Munster entered a rehabilitation facility in the off-season after he was filmed partying with white powder after the Storm's finals exit.

He admitted he thought at the time his contract was going to be torn up.

"I couldn't imagine 12 months ago that I was going to be in this position," the 28-year-old said.

"I thought my contract was going to be ripped up and everything was up in the air about what I was going to do with the board, the coaches - I wasn't sure if they still wanted me here after what happened but they stuck by me.

"I just hope I can deliver next year and win another premiership with this great club."

Fitter than ever, Munster said he felt like a young kid at times through the season during which he also spent time at fullback.

"I was just playing the style of footy I wanted to play - free-flowing, playing off the cuff - I just wanted to play like a kid again and I was lucky enough to do it this year."

Coach Craig Bellamy was emotional in his speech farewelling club greats Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and also Felise Kaufusi, who are all Dolphins-bound, and also Brandon Smith who will join the Sydney Roosters.

But he also warned he wanted more resilience from his remaining players, who crashed out in week one of the finals after they were upset by Canberra.

He promised the team's toughest pre-season yet.

While the Maroons five-eighth is set to miss a large chunk playing with the Kangaroos at the World Cup, Munster said he didn't fear what lay ahead.

"I'm excited to get back there and do whatever I can," Munster said.

"I haven't had this feeling for eight or nine years, I've been in a prelim every year I've played so to bow out earlier is making me even hungrier."