As the rugby league rumour mill continues to churn out throughout the off season, fans and experts are still waiting on Cooper Cronk’s decision regarding what he will do with his future.
Will he have a fairytale retirement with a premiership and World Cup glory? Or will he have a LeBron James ‘decision’ announcement and take his talents to a Sydney club?
For the past week, Cronk has been said to be heading to the Tigers, Bulldogs and even the Sydney Roosters.
Wests Tigers’ massive recruitment drive and Josh Reynolds’ huge salary seem to take them out of the race, while newly appointed Canterbuy-Bansktown coach Dean Pay recently said he was “not really” interested in Cronk – a big decision from an untested first-grade coach!
That leaves the Sydney Roosters as the most financially stable and promising club to lure Cronk away for his final years, given reports the Tricolours have nearly $800,000 left in the salary cap.
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However, as an avid and devoted Roosters supporter, I say, “Cooper, don’t come.”
Cronk is one of the best halves of the modern era and deserves to be regarded as one of the greats of the game. But I don’t think Trent Robinson needs him.
Some will say the Roosters failed to put in an 80-minute performance this year, and Cronk’s professionalism and experience will help that, but is it really worth paying someone the better part of $1 million for one year?
Luke Keary was one of the buys of last season, having statistically his best year yet. He scored the most tries in a season so far in his career, with eight, and led the competition for line break assists (31) and line breaks as a half (15), while coming second for try assists (24).
The gap left by James Maloney at the end of 2015 was filled just fine by Keary, and his combination with Mitchell Pearce will only get better over time.
But that is what they need. Time.
The addition of the RLPA’s Player of the Year, James Tedesco, will only strengthen the team’s attack and all-round game, and should almost catapult them into premiership favouritism for 2018.
The signing of Cooper Cronk would be tremendous for any club, on and off the field, with his professionalism, skill and competitiveness second to none.
But the Roosters don’t need him.