Canberra Raiders chief executive Don Furner aims to schedule a meeting with the club’s star player, Josh Dugan, and his manager, Paul Sutton, next week as the Raiders step up their bid to re-sign the representative fullback.
Dugan is on the Gold Coast to play in tonight’s All Stars game and is due back in Canberra for training on Monday. Furner said that, once Dugan had returned, he would contact Sutton to arrange a get-together.
Negotiations to sign players usually do not physically involve the player himself until they reach the latter stages, and Furner has been talking to Sutton about Dugan’s future. Sutton was quoted last month as saying the Raiders had ”made a good first offer”.
Dugan is contracted until the end of this season, but interest in him beyond that is already keen, with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters among the clubs said to be interested.
If Dugan, 21, who broke into State of Origin football with NSW last year, is still not signed for next year a couple of months into this season, that interest will become a frenzy because he is among the hottest young players in the game.
Dugan re-signed for only one year the last time with Canberra. Furner said it was the club’s desire that he re-sign for longer if he does stay on. ”We’d like at least two years, and I think Josh would want something similar,” Furner said.