The man helping Jarrod Croker become Raiders’ next ‘great captain’

first_imgAnd that’s why Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has enlisted the help of multi-premiership winning Raiders legend Mal Meninga this year.Stuart revealed in November he had spoken to his fellow club legend about a consultancy role with the Raiders, designed specifically to help Croker develop as a leader.And while Croker played down Meninga’s job when asked about his work, he revealed he regularly meets with the current Australian coach who has become a mentor of sorts.“I wouldn’t say he’s been back at the club, he’s been back in town,” Croker told“I caught up with him a couple of times, we went and had a coffee and had a bit of a yarn for an hour or so.“He also came up to the Sunshine Coast when we had a trial game up there, him and Steve Walters and a couple of other guys came for dinner.“Not an official role, unless something happens going forward, I’m not sure.”Meninga won three premierships with the Raiders and was long-time captain of the club, whose current best and fairest medal is named in honour of the legendary centre.Croker has been full-time captain of the club since 2015.Coach Stuart explained how Meninga could act as a personal adviser and mentor to the 27-year-old centre and captain.“Jarrod has all the integrity and respect of his fellow players. He’s a local boy achieving all the goals he wants, in regards to playing,” Stuart told“He’s a wonderful club man with an outstanding character as a person.“So that’s why he’s our captain. But I need some help in making Jarrod a great captain.”Croker wouldn’t go into great detail of his relationship with Meninga, but explained their catch-ups aren’t solely focused on football.“I just caught up with Mal a couple of times to have a coffee and a chat. Just life in general, leadership, a bit of everything,” he said.“He’s done a lot in the game on and off the field, so he knows a lot. Every time I get the chance to catch up with him for a coffee or a feed I jump at it.“He’s done it all, he’s captained everyone, he’s done all you can in the game.“He’s going to be great for me going forward as a leader and I’ll just try to get what I can out of him.”last_img

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