Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. PAUL MILLER

Raiders reveal five-point plan that's helping lure players

THE average minimum temperature during July in Canberra is zero degrees.

According to the Bureau of Meterology, the average maximum temperature in the death of winter is 11.5 degrees. That's an average temperature of less than six degrees. For an entire month.

The bitter cold, the lack of beaches and the small-town feel of the nation's capital has for the past 20 years been blamed for the Raiders' inability to attract and retain marquee talent.

Under the coaching of Ricky Stuart that's started to shift dramatically.

And the club's recruitment director Peter Mulholland has explained how the Raiders are luring players into the lime green.

"The first thing I don't talk about is the cold weather," Mulholland told the Fox Sports Market Watch podcast when asked how he sells the Raiders, adding that there's five components to his sales pitch.

"You sell your facility, but most of all you sell your coach, which is an easy sell with Ricky Stuart.

"He's passionate, he's successful, and he's a Canberra person.

"You sell your welfare and education programs, I think that's really important.

"You sell your locale, which is Canberra itself. It's an interesting town to fit into but once you're established it's a great town, a great town to be in.

"And you sell the pathways that your player's got. So there's five components to it."

Facility. Coach. Welfare programs. The area. Player pathways.

So that's that. The brochure luring rugby league players to be part of Ricky Stuart's NRL title charge.

And the constant recruitment of players is necessary in the "chess game" that is professional rugby league, Mulholland says.

The Raiders have let winger Edrick Lee and forward Shaun Fensom go in the past fortnight as a result of salary cap pressures. But they have the likes of youngster Nick Cotric who will replace Lee as a cheaper option in the outside backs, while big man Dave Taylor will come in on a one-year deal.

And Mulholland isn't too worried about the club's ability to attract quality players to the city, anyway. He says Canberra's other qualities can often outweigh a bigger offer from a rival club.

"Money is everywhere, you find money might sway some players but there's still those out there that have that magic goal of wanting to win a premiership," he said.

And the weather? Yep, they're hunting for a solution to that too.

"I don't think that's an issue any more, because by the start of 2019 we hope to have a brand new training facility at Braddon," Mulholland said.

News Corp Australia


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