It was a long time coming, particularly after a great deal of speculation that he was headed out of the club, but it has finally been confirmed – with Raiders fullback Josh Dugan deciding to stay on with the Raiders, for another two seasons.
The new deal will see Dugan stay with the club until at least the end of the 2014 NRL season, in what is a massive boost for the club, ahead of their Rd 1 home clash against the Melbourne Storm.
For Dugan himself, he said that there was never any doubt about leaving the Raiders, and that he is pleased to have his future settled before the NRL season begins.
â€œThis is my hometown. All my family and friends are here and we have a great group of players here as well which I think can go a long way and I think that was the main reason for me wanting to stay,â€ Dugan said.
â€œMy manager and Don (Furner) have worked really hard to get it over the line and get it sorted. I know that they have been talking a lot, but itâ€™s finally finished and now I canâ€™t wait to get out there for round one.â€
Despite the long process involved to re-secure his signature, Dugan says that that was not so much down to interest from other clubs, but merely working out what was best for him and his future in the NRL.
â€œI donâ€™t really think so (on going to another club). There was a lot of talk about me leaving, but I never really had any meetings with any other clubs and my heart was always here with Canberra,â€ he said.
â€œI definitely see myself here long term, but as a player you have to test your worth now and then and Iâ€™ve always been a player that backs my ability.â€
Raiders CEO Don Furner, said that the re-signing of Dugan was positive, and that it shows the Raiders have the potential to keep their high-profile players.
â€œThereâ€™s no doubt Josh is a star in the NRL and to have him with the club until the end of 2014 is a huge positive not only for the club but for the members and sponsors as well,â€ Furner said.
â€œWe work hard to ensure we can keep our home-grown talent and Joshâ€™s re-signing is certainly a massive example of this.â€