Josh Dugan’s teammates have urged the Canberra Raiders to do everything in their power to make the star fullback a Raider for life.
The NSW custodian is off contract at the end of 2012, with his management leaving any discussions about his future until the end of the season.
Raiders winger Blake Ferguson has seen enough of Dugan’s brilliance to realise his value to the Green Machine.
”They should lock him up until 2020,” Ferguson said.
Still only 21, Dugan could realistically play in the top grade for the next decade.
Raiders centre Jarrod Croker said talk about signing Dugan for the rest of his career was premature.
”It’s a bit hard to sign someone for life when they’re 21,” Croker said. ”He’s outstanding, we all know what he’s like and last night he showed how good he is.
”This year since coming back from injury he’s brought a lot of confidence back, he’s stepping up and doing some kicking and really leading the team around the park well. The longer they can sign him the better.”
Well, how about six years?
The Raiders set that benchmark when they re-signed five-eighth Terry Campese at the end of 2009.
Campese believed there was no rush for Dugan to make a call on his future.
”It would be great to see such a class fullback in such an important role at our club stay long term, but that’s his decision,” Campese said.
”I’m sure him and the club will talk through that and get it sorted when the time’s right.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Dugan’s manager, Paul Sutton.
”We’ll start having a chat eventually, just letting him play footy at the moment,” Sutton said.
”The Raiders have got to have the first opportunity, if everything doesn’t work out then you can have a look around.
”But you’ve got to do the right thing by the holding club, give them the opportunity to re-sign these players.”
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