11 May 2018

Stuart admits Raiders can't compete with "astronomical" money offered to his stars from rival clubs

| Lachlan Roberts
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Ricky Stuart wants to have players to stay in the nation’s capital for the right reasons, and not just for the money. Photos: Supplied by Canberra Raiders.

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said that two of his stars have been offered “astronomical” money from rival clubs and his side cannot match their offer.

Speaking after the Raiders’ 32-18 win over the Gold Coast Titans, Stuart said that Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd had been offered huge deals from other clubs which the club can’t compete with.

But Stuart said that he wants his players to stay in the nation’s capital, not for the money but because they want to be a Raider.

“They are off-contract and I want to keep every one of them, but I can’t pay the huge money that has been offered to these boys,” Stuart told media on Saturday.

“If Junior and Boyd are getting this astronomical money from other clubs, they go with my best wishes. It’s going to affect us as a football team and it is going to affect our club. I have got to have a squad of players that want to be a Raider as well.

“I want to keep stability while I’m coaching here because I know stability will get you success at some stage. But the money that is being thrown around is astronomical for those two boys and we can’t match it, simple as that.

“The one thing I want to do here as a club now is I want players to be here for all the right reasons, not just for getting the most money. That’s got nothing to do with Junior or Shannon, but the money they are being offered is huge.”

Stuart is also eager to re-sign Queensland State of Origin player Josh Papalii and said the Green Machine had offered him a “very good deal”.

“Papa’s off-contract, and we’ve offered Papa a very, very good deal. Fingers crossed, I hope that we get an answer on Josh very soon, and a number of the other boys,” Stuart said.

“As I say, I want to keep them all, but we can’t go paying that type of money because I won’t have a football team.”

Round 10 – Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium, 4:10 pm. Buy tickets from Ticketek.

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