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How to lose fans and alienate punters

Chris Chard Columnist

By Chris Chard, Chris Chard is a Roar Expert

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    Anthony Milford was lost to the Raiders after all the work and money they spent developing him. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Renee McKay)

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    It’s the question that’s on every rugby league fans lips. Is Anthony Milford a young superstar facing a heartbreaking moral dilemma, or just the next ungrateful bugger off the ACT assembly line?

    In the space of a few months Canberra Raiders player Anthony Milford has gone from another kid whose name you’ve heard whispered around the traps, to actually existing, to being an exciting player with a long future in the NRL.

    He’s got the Canberra locals chanting Milf! Milf! Milf! With a fervour not seen in the nation’s capital since Anita Keating left the Lodge, and has helped to mop up some of the ink stained mess left behind by Davo Dugan.

    Which naturally means he’s intending to leave the Raiders in the near future.

    Yes, as was mentioned on the Roar last week it seems that not all the Cockington Green’s or lime milk in the world can keep anyone aged under twenty-five in Canberra, and Milford is looking to take up a position at the Broncos.

    The twist in the tale though is the fact that this Anthony might actually have a better excuse than frustration at not being given automatic entry to the Immortals or being barred from Mooseheads, as Milford’s father lives in the Queensland capital and is battling illness.

    It is a delicate situation, one perhaps not being helped by Milford’s management putting out the fire with Goulburn gasoline by proclaiming that their talent will sit out the season and play video games with Gorden Tallis if he doesn’t get his way.

    So far the Raiders have refused to budge, having already let go enough talent to fill several Dragons sides, and also knowing that footy players wanting to move closer to their families has become a great get out of contract free card (how are the folks in Brisbane Izzy?)

    And that should be the end of the road for Milford.

    Fortunately though Anthony has got an ally inside Guantanamo Green Machine who has been busily tunnelling his way out for some time now.

    Forget Snake Piston, if Milford really wants to ‘Escape from the ACT’ (with or without the kidnapped US President) then there’s one man he needs to get in contact with.

    Blake Ferguson.

    Remember that Seinfeld episode where George tries to get himself fired from the Yankees so he can take up a position with the New York Mets?

    Fergo has been doing that for the last three years!

    Reports are that Ferguson wasn’t at the Raiders game on Saturday because he was hanging out in Cronulla.


    That’s like Lyle Lanley going for a coffee date in North Haverbrook.

    If Milford really wants out of his Canberra contract all he has to do is start acting the goat with Blake and sooner or later the Raiders will be forced to turf him out.

    And, the great thing is him and Fergo could have a lot of fun trying, they just need to get a bit more creative.

    Anyone can post a selfie of yourself being a goose on facespace, what about taking the Raiders team bus for an early morning road trip to Fyschwick?

    Or tying a nude Dane Tilse to the Canberra Uni flagpole? Or willfully damaging the premiership trophy (although I think Laurie already did that in 89).

    A couple of these zany schemes and the Milf is a free man, Fergo can move in with Uncle Choc and the Raiders can continue on their mediocre ways.

    Everyone wins.

    Except, y’know, the fans and stuff…

    Chris Chard
    Chris Chard

    Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar since 2011. Tweet him @Vic_Arious

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    The Crowd Says (112)

    • August 19th 2013 @ 6:58am
      Albury Tiger said | August 19th 2013 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      Sensational Seinfeld, Simpsons, Escape from NY references

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:28am
        Sideline Comm. said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        +1, top stuff as usual Mr. Chard.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 1:55pm
        Lancey5times said | August 19th 2013 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        I hear he is being pursued by the Ogdenville Omlettes….

        • Columnist

          August 19th 2013 @ 2:32pm
          Chris Chard said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          And by golly he’ll put them on the map!

          • August 19th 2013 @ 4:51pm
            Nick Inatey said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

            Remember that mono means one, and rail means rail.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 7:10pm
        Football fan said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

        Snake PLISKIN, dang it Chard!!

        Well played otherwise.. Raiders keep getting stitched up. I thought milford’s parents were in Canberra with him at the clubs expense, no?

        • Columnist

          August 20th 2013 @ 7:55am
          Chris Chard said | August 20th 2013 @ 7:55am | ! Report

          You would think if Canberra are keen to hang onto Milford then yes, bringing his parents to him rather than vice versa would be a smart idea…reminds me of the college recruitment in US football where they’ll sometimes set the family up in a house near the college and help them find employment etc

          Not sure how Shuey would feel about all that though….

    • August 19th 2013 @ 7:39am
      oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Anthony Millford is only a teenager and Canberra really dont need him on their roster anyhow,. The kid wants to go home to Brisbane, be with his dad.
      Maybe Canberra should start looking to buy matured players, the young kids are not wanting to hang around in Canberra, cant blame them either.
      I have thought about this, the other day some guy posted what was wrong with Canberra? well it is boring, i went their once, could not wait to leave. Great city for a day visit, thats about it.
      Canberra really need to buy players who have maturity. Like Brett White and Co.
      Millford belongs in Brisbane now, him and Barba will be loved and turned into real superstars in front of huge crowds.
      Lets see if i am right.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 8:19am
        James said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        Oikee, I’m sure the locals weren’t too cut up to see you leave either mate.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 8:29am
          Liatrevlis said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          James , join Chui and myself on a total ban of anything oik ! the sooner we all stop feeding his ego the sooner he/ she ? Will wilt away

          • August 19th 2013 @ 8:32am
            Wozza said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

            How could ya tell it was Oikee’s plane that flew into Canberra ???????
            Even after the pilot shut the engines down there was still a loud whining coming from the plane ….

            • August 19th 2013 @ 8:45am
              Liatrevlis said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

              Could you imagine how much carbon tax he’d have to pay if the greens get there way !! arnt they taxing cows that fart ???

          • August 19th 2013 @ 9:03am
            James said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

            Liatrevlis, great idea on the self imposed ban. I’m on board mate.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 9:21am
              Liatrevlis said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

              Chui must be credited for this fantastic idea !!

            • August 19th 2013 @ 9:24am
              Meesta Cool said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              I would much prefer to read Oik’s words of wisdom than the mundane drivel that some of you guys excrete!, it least I get a smile from his ravings…

              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:12pm
                V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                I’m with oikee and Meesta Cool…I’ve been following you Liatrevlis…you are a forum Nazi and try to ostracize anyone who doesn’t agree with you. It’s a free world buddy, if you don’t like the contributions of Oikee (which I often find have amusing references) then just don’t read them. I suspect my comment will lead to some typical lashing out of abuse now.

          • Roar Guru

            August 19th 2013 @ 12:11pm
            peeeko said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            i join as well

            • August 19th 2013 @ 3:48pm
              bangbang said | August 19th 2013 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

              Come on guys. Give the fella a break. Other than his misspellings, bad grammar, mably bashing (and Bronco bashing when they’re not winning) and continuous doom and gloom of the NRL being destroyed from the inside out, soon to be the 3rd rated game nationally after AFL and soccer, his posts aren’t always too bad.
              Actually… carry on. 😉

              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:18pm
                bangbang said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                *Manly bashing

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:16am
        planko said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Brisbane are not smart enough to sign milford they will buy a has been named Cam Smith … NQLD have spent most of their cap Thurston who is a great but has played his best football. Brisbane will blow their load on Cam Smith who is a great player whose best football will be played by at best the end of next season.Souths will blow their load on Inglis and Reynolds which I think is not the worst decision but IMO Inglis has a one of those body shapes that say I am going to spend half the season on the sidelines.

      • Roar Guru

        August 19th 2013 @ 10:59am
        SportsFanGC said | August 19th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Oikee can you explain how Canberra don’t need Milford exactly? If he is a kid as you say would they not want him to remain and possibly be a 10 year player for the club?

        So what you are basically saying is that its OK for players to break contracts as long as they want to move to Brisbane. Don’t worry about their legal obligations that they agreed to with the Club, now that they want out they should be allowed out, as long as the Broncos benefit correct?

        Would you be of the same opinion if say, Hoffman requested a trade to Manly for “family reasons” and Gillett requested a trade to Cronulla for the same thing? (I’m not suggesting they have family in those locations, simply using it as an example)

        • August 19th 2013 @ 11:21am
          oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          Yes i can. Canberra have two good halves, and they have Robinson or even Ferguson to play fullback. Same as South Sydney dont need Keary.
          They could make excuses they do, but these players should be allowed to move to other clubs freely, without clubs trying to hold them into contracts that are rusty, shakey or should be worthless for immature players. Maybe a cutoof point like 23 should be for players to honour contracts.
          Alot things can and does happen to young players, Family, Maturity, Hormones, even night life.

          The Broncos have no star players or superstars, plus have Hodges who is on his last leg.
          Where else should he go, ? to the Roosters. Maybe Manly needs another superstar you guest.
          Look, Brisbane has not been able to replace Petro or Lockyer, our kids that are any good are injured, or gone to other clubs, yes call me Greedy, but Brisbane needs something to keep our headas above water. While every other club seems to have stars, Brisbane is badly lacking. Or do you dissagree, surely your not going to call Faiday our toiler captain a superstar. hehe

          • Roar Guru

            August 19th 2013 @ 2:03pm
            SportsFanGC said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            Oikee that is exactly the point – Milford shouldn’t go anywhere, he has a contract with the Raiders. Same as Ferguson.

            If Brisbane is lacking star power then you should direct your questions to the Club –

            Who is taking up all the salary cap space that players keep leaving?
            Who is in charge of recruiting and why they though it a wise idea to get in Scott Prince?
            Who is in charge of developing players at the Club?

            You whinge incessantly that Brisbane are copping a raw deal from the NRL but I think there is no one else to blame except the people running the Broncos. The Storm get no help from the NRL yet they discover players on their own and they turn around careers of players thought not good enough at their previous clubs. They have also debuted their first homegrown Victorian this year.

            Why are the Broncos incapable of doing the same as the Storm?

            There is an entire rugby mad state with only 3 NRL teams in it yet they need to poach players from other teams?

            Give me a spell

            • August 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm
              V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

              +1 yer Brisbane Broncos administration has a lot to answer for the position they are in. They have really dropped the ball. I think it may of stemmed from the fact they have had a policy to limit the number of State of Origin representatives by signing up players of kiwi origin. In the meantime they have missed plenty of QLD talent that has gone South.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm
              oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

              They bought Prince because no one else was available, now when they want to buy a young junior, Canberra and everyone else are screaming blue murder, give me a break.
              Look, Milford and Barba want to move hiome, what is the issue with that, are we now in lock down mode when the Broncos see a opening for a player.
              When ever Sydney teams want something, Sonny or Dugan, the game bends over backwards to go over the cap and get them on board.
              I am not buying any of this, it seems one rule for Sydney, the rest can go get stuffed.
              Canberrs have halves, and a fullback, if they lose the lot, not my or anyone else’s fault, buy soem maturity, and maybe they can grow up themselves. All you ever here from canberra is another player leaving for some reason or the other.
              I dont even want to go into the way Eels, Tigers and Penrith have been allowed to be run. Geez.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 11:25am
          oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          Look, keep Milford, i would be happy for Brisbane to sign Ferguson, who i think is a superstar and one of the very best players i have ever seen.
          So, whats it going to be, give us Milford, or we sign Fergo, your call.
          You cant have everyone, and that is all i am saying,. canberra need to stop being greedy.
          Brisbane lost Folau and Inglis.

          • Roar Guru

            August 19th 2013 @ 11:28am
            SportsFanGC said | August 19th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            Brisbane poached Folau from Melbourne and Inglis was never a Brisbane player.

            Why does it have to be either option?

            If you are concerned about players not wanting to stay at their clubs would you be happy for Milford to go to the Titans? Just down the road from his dad here on the GC.

            Ferguson has no interest in going to Brisbane, he wants to live with Mundine so a Sydney club is going to happen. You happy for him to go to the Sharks possibly?

            • August 19th 2013 @ 12:26pm
              oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              If you know rugby league you would know that Brisbane Props up 5 teams.
              Canberra, Melbourne, Titans, Cowboys and Broncos all need players from the Broncos system and Queensland.
              The Titans have Bird, Myles, Harris, Bailey and now James, along with good halves in Kelly and the other half , pus Takkarangi and Mead Gorden, mate how many more good players do you want.

              Brisbane have a bunch of toilers with not one superstar. Is their a jealousy going on here, is their some reason that people dont want Brisbane to have any star players.

              Look, this has got to stop Not one club can grow the code as Brisbane Broncos can, in the best stadium in the most passionate support area in the world, yet everyone wants us struggling without being able to even buy a superstar.
              No wonder the code has gone backwards and running on life support and letting toovey get away with abuse, we be having busboys run the comp shortly, well we have a waterboy at Manly.

              • Roar Guru

                August 19th 2013 @ 2:06pm
                SportsFanGC said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

                Any chance of Brisbane identifying, developing and retaining all this talent on their doorstep?

                If Melbourne, Canberra, Gold Coast and Townsville are managing to identfy talent and develop them at their clubs then why can’t the Broncos?

                No one is preventing Brisbane from doing this except Brisbane.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:17pm
                bangbang said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

                Completely agree with SFM here.
                Oikee, you say Brisbane has no ‘superstars’ but they only have themselves to blame. They had the opportunity to nab Milford, Barba AND Daly Cherry-Evans but didn’t see their potential until they let other teams sign them.
                And now that these players are showing just how good they are, you suggest Milford should just be given a release because the Broncs have no superstars? Maate… get off the acid.
                The Broncos have no one to blame but themselves for not having the foresight to sign them when they were playing jrs.
                And besides, I would consider Hodges a star albeit an injured one. And Hoffman is definitely an up and comer along with Ben Hunt possibly. A lot of teams would love any of these guys. Even some NSWelshmen would like Hodges even if they consider him a dog. Lol.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:23pm
                V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:23pm | ! Report


              • August 19th 2013 @ 4:37pm
                oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                No, you cant keep everyone, even i know this is impossible, that does not mean we should be exempt from buying a player when we need one. Geez Whiz, we just lost Beale, Norman, Teo and Gagai who all were our so-called juniors, all gone to feed struggling clubs.
                Our feeder program is now in the toilet.
                We cant even feed ourselves, yet we had to sink another 6 million into grassroots, well where is the rest of the clubs six million i ask.
                Or are the Broncos the only club have to pull their weight, while the rest suck off the titty.
                The wife calls the NRL clubs baby birds, always got their beaks open looking for a feed from the NRL.

        • August 19th 2013 @ 2:04pm
          Robz said | August 19th 2013 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

          Seeing as you raise the point of breaking contracts, Canberra will be in breach of the contract if they don’t release Milford. When he signed, his father was already ill and knowing the illness might worsen the club allowed the get out on compassionate grounds clause to be written into his contract for just this scenario. And let’s face it if they hadn’t of had to sack that knob-jockey Dugan they wouldn’t have hesitated in standing by the contract that they signed and releasing Milford. I feel for Canberra I really do, they have had to sack many talented playrs over the years for disciplinary reasons, only to see those players pop up at other clubs (usually on more money) playing against them with those clubs being the beneficiaries of the development work and investment that the raiders put into these players. But now it’s like Milford is being punished for the sins of Dugan etc; because and I repeat – Canberra agreed to and signed the Milford contract including the compassionate release clause. So how about focussing on the club’s legal obligations to the player in this instance.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 4:27pm
            V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            Totally agree Robz….and let’s not forget Milford is only a young kid… he should be given the benefit of the doubt either way. He’s already said he will sit out next year if it means being with his family in Brisbane…it says a lot about anyone denying him being with his sick father.

            • August 19th 2013 @ 5:03pm
              bangbang said | August 19th 2013 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

              It says a lot about Milford too. Not for being a spoilt brat for not getting his own way, but putting his fathers health above his own career in the NRL. That’s gotta tell tell you alot about his character, and how strong his family values are.

              • August 19th 2013 @ 5:18pm
                V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

                exactly bangbang… pretty simple really. A bit of perspective. He sits out next year, the game is the loser, but he is young and has plenty of time to make hay.

          • August 22nd 2013 @ 9:15am
            JSB said | August 22nd 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

            Totally agree, Canberra are breaching the contract then crying foul.

      • August 19th 2013 @ 12:57pm
        barfly said | August 19th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

        I hope that not only these too muppets walk out on brisbane but a few more do too,so u can no wat Canterbury and raiders fans and clubs feel like after developing these two wat ever they are but the very contracts u sign them on is the very f same contracts they both just broke………………………………………….

        • August 19th 2013 @ 4:29pm
          V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

          Milford is a natural…I’m sure any development Canberra has provided, while beneficial, isn’t the reason why this kid is ready to blossom.

    • August 19th 2013 @ 7:45am
      dwayno75 said | August 19th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      I’d laugh if I wasn’t crying at the state of the Raiders…!

    • Columnist

      August 19th 2013 @ 8:21am
      Kris Swales said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      Textbook Odd Year Curse stuff from the Raiders this year. You just wait until 2014 when we fluke our way into sixth with a four match winning run leading into the finals, then you’ll be sorry.

      • Columnist

        August 19th 2013 @ 8:36am
        Chris Chard said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        And I look forward to the 2 year David Furner contract extension that accompanies it Kris!

        • August 19th 2013 @ 8:04pm
          GW said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

          Why not 3 more years? 5 hasn’t been enough, so another 2 won’t make any difference.

    • August 19th 2013 @ 8:28am
      Wozza said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Your always right oikee , just have to ask you..
      Just another over payed spoilt brat looking to bite the hand that first fed it ….
      This is a direct result of the blameless ,unaccountable mentality that the pinko poofo land rights for gay whales tree hugging do gooders are instilling in kids these days ….
      Who cares if Milford ,barba,Ferguson are lost to the game while they sit out their contracts on the sideline, maybe next time it may teach them about responsibility…..and the Broncos can buy some out of contract players like eveyone else ….

      • August 19th 2013 @ 9:47am
        oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        Not really, the sooner clubs stop turning kids into superstars is when the nonsense will stop.
        Look, instead of whinging, maybe findind solutions is the way to go. We have about 3-4 guys above on a personal vendetta against me because i speak my mind, say what i think for the good of the game, always for the good of the game. They take it personally instead of improving the situation the game and clubs find themselves in.
        Anyhtony Millford is a kid, and Canberra like other clubs place way too high expectations on kids.
        Brisbane loses alot of their young players because they are not given a chance to shine, as soon as a young guy comes through, some club wants to buy them. Folau and Gagai and Corey Norman and Beale, just to name a few.
        And that is the problem, clubs dont have long enough with younger players for them to mature. Canberra is a club also in this bracket. The kids come through and this club wants to hang onto them, even though they already have good players in those positions.
        Canberra have got to start letting these immature kids go, and buy some decent matured players, the Warriors are in the same boat, bringing through kids who cant even tackle and trying to hang onto them, instead of letting them fly and learn the way of the world. Then buy them back later.

        Anyhow, i have had my say. Better be off because only a few guys read my rants now. I am banished to the sidelines by a couple of muppets and a tree frog. hehe

        • August 19th 2013 @ 4:41pm
          oikee said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

          They dont have any stars, they have toilers, toilers dont win you comps.
          Thje longer the Broncos go without a superstar or two, the longer the decade becomes without winning a comp. The greatest club in the world is now what, just a laughing stock thanks to the NRL.

          Mate, we wont ever grow or create Man-U’s if we dont stop clipping powerhouse clubs wings.

          • August 19th 2013 @ 4:59pm
            V.O.R. said | August 19th 2013 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

            OK oikee…what’s the team the Donkeys are going to put forward to win the premiership in 2015? Does it go like this? Still looking a bit soft. I wonder whether a back line with Milford, Barba and Hunt may lack too much size.

            1. Barba
            2. Hoffman
            3. Reed
            4. Hodges??
            5. Yow Yeh/Copely
            6. Milford
            7. Hunt
            8. Hannant
            9. C.Smith
            10. McGuire
            11. Thiaday
            12. Gilett
            13. Parker

            14. Papali
            15. Glenn
            16. Dodds
            17. Kennedy

        • August 20th 2013 @ 6:29am
          the spectator said | August 20th 2013 @ 6:29am | ! Report

          Oh Oikee, if you didn’t cry all year long about manly poaching off contracted players your argument for Broncos poaching contracted players might’ve gone unnoticed!!! Less is more mate,

    • August 19th 2013 @ 8:49am
      Morfs said | August 19th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Free The Springfield, uh, Canberra Two!

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