Where to now for the Raiders?

CrocodileGandhi 27 November 2013

Canberra times and all sports outlets now have the news that Anthony Milford will stay for with the Radiers in 2014, before joining up with the Broncos in 2015.

Yet again, Canberra has found and signed up talent at an early age, developed them into the player they are today, and then had them taken by another club. While I understand that there are some other factors going on with this situation (family health etc), it is mighty annoying that the Raiders keep doing all of the legwork only for other clubs to be the beneficiaries.

So what should the Raiders do? Is it time to move away from a strong focus on youth development and place more efforts into attracting big names? Many of the successful teams over the past few years have fairly poor u20s teams. Conversely, the teams with the strongest u20s sides are generally poor at the top grade (Warriors, Panthers, Raiders, Tigers).

For a long time I thought that youth development was the silver bullet for the Raiders. That growing a strong squad and keeping them together would be the way toward a premiership. This has been mildly successful with the likes of Croker, Fensom, Dugan, Thompson, Vidot and Justin Carney all coming from the same u20 team. But now Thompson, Vidot, and Dugan have been lost to the Dragons (a.k.a the Raiders’ graveyard) and Carney is playing his trade in England. I’m failing to see the benefits of wasting time and money for almost zero gain.

Anyone else share this opinion or have a good counter opinion to hopefully restore any hope I have for my team?

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