9 February 2024

Ricky Stuart taps into the legends of the past to create the legends of the future

| Tim Gavel
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Jarrod Croker, Raiders Foundation Manager Paul Walshe, Jarrod Croker Scholarship recipient Mitchell Brophy

Jarrod Croker, Raiders Foundation Manager Paul Walshe, and Jarrod Croker Scholarship recipient Mitchell Brophy. Photo: Raiders.

When the Raiders last won the premiership in 1994, a number of the current squad weren’t even born while the Club’s oldest players, Elliott Whitehead and Jordan Rapana, were just emerging from kindergarten.

This is why Ricky Stuart has utilised former coaches and players to provide motivational insights to help current players understand what it takes to reach their potential.

This is why when the players walk along the tunnel from the dressing room at Canberra Stadium, there is a visual reminder of the Premiership years.

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To embrace the experiences of former players, the concept of club legends was formed as a crucial element in Stuart’s time as coach.

One such club legend, premiership coach Tim Sheens, spoke to the players last week.

Additionally, former skipper Alan Tongue has come on board as the Raiders’ leadership manager.

Most recently, retired Raiders captain Jarrod Croker joined the legends rank.

Croker has been employed as an assistant coach working with players from the under-16s through to the NRL. His focus is on outside backs and goal-kicking.

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Who better to learn from than the greatest point scorer in the club’s history?

Croker says, “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to remain with the Raiders in this new role and I’m really keen to work with players from across the grades to help them as much as I can.

“I’ll be looking to bring my own experiences and what I’ve learned over my career and pass on what I have learned to the next generation of Raiders players.”

Croker has also been honoured with a scholarship in his name through funding from the Raiders Foundation.

SG Ball player and Erindale College student Mitchell Brophy is the first recipient of the Jarrod Croker Scholarship, which will provide funding for rent, food, travel and education expenses.

This initiative continues the holistic approach of the Raiders, focusing on more than the here and now.

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