Senior players at the Roosters are right behind Willie Mason writes Dave Moyso; with skipper Braith Anasta declaring the big forward must stay at Bondi.
With some sources hinting Mason is on the outter and was offered a parachute for 2010 – players feel the profile and ability of a fit Mason can lift them to the lofty heights they are desperate to achieve.
Newspapers report a decision on the future of Big Willie could come as soon as next week.
The Sydney side is scheduled to return to training under new coach Brian Smith next week.
“As players we all respect and like Willie,” confirmed Anasta.
“For us to win, we need Willie. He is a leader. It’s up to him to get back to his best but I am sure he can.
“I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes but he will be there on Monday when we return to training with the rest of the team. We need guys like Willie there to help get us off to a flyer next season.
Mason’s player agent has already been scouting overseas opportunities for the high profile player, given his salary would likely decrease if he was to join another NRL club.
Officials at the Roosters fear the impact someone like Willie Mason has on younger players. While they say this privately, its hard to believe they didn’t realise this when they lured him from the Bulldogs several seasons ago. The problems not just around Mason, but the core group of senior Bulldogs was widely known.
“Willie is a mate, I am in the same position as him. I don’t know what is going on” confirmed Anasta.
First talk of Mason getting the boot came last week, but this was scuttled by Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce, who said: “Willie has a contract to run for the next 12 months.”