You can say without a doubt that a contract extension was justified, and that it was merely a matter of when it would be done – but former Panther Sandor Earl, who joined the Canberra Raiders mid-season in 2012, has re-signed with the club for a further 2 years.
Earl, who was an important figure in the Raiders charge towards the NRL finals earlier this year, said that he was looking forward to the next two years in the nation’s capital.
â€œThis deal caps off what has been a great year for me and Iâ€™m really excited about being able to sign for two more years,â€ Earl said.
â€œItâ€™s another test for me and Iâ€™m already looking forward to pre-season and getting ready for what I know will be a big year for the Raiders.â€
Adjusting to a club both culturally and in the playing sense is never easy, but for Earl, he found the transition easier than you would have expected.
â€œThe change of scenery was good, but it was more about what I got out of the coaching staff and playing group when I arrived,â€ he said.
â€œI was welcomed by Furnsie (David Furner) and the players straight away, and felt like part if the team as soon as I hit the training paddock for the first time.â€
With the Raiders making it into the finals series on the back of a late-season charge, Earl believes that the side is only just realising their potential as a team, and can continue to perform well in years to come.
â€œItâ€™s scary to think what we can do as a group with a full pre-season together and I canâ€™t wait to see what we can achieve next year,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a really strong team right across the park and the edge I play on has some very talented players like Josh McCrone, Josh Papalii and Blake Ferguson ,so I know Iâ€™m always going to be a chance to be in the action.â€
Don Furner, the Raiders CEO, said that the club was pleased to have retained the services of Earl, for both on and off the field reasons.
â€œSandor has been fantastic for us since arriving mid-year. His form has warranted another two year deal and we look forward to seeing him get better and better,â€ Furner said.
â€œI think Sandor was a bit surprised by how welcoming the Canberra community has been towards him and heâ€™s a great case to show other players from outside the region what Canberra has to offer as a place to live, and play footy.â€