Many were not sure just how effective he would be in the NRL when he made the transition from Super League but Elliott Whitehead has proved doubters wrong, becoming a key staple of the Canberra Raiders side in 2016.
His form has been so good, that the club have acted swiftly to re-sign him. Already contracted for 2017, the club gave him a 1-year contract extension to keep him at the club until the end of 2018.
Playing in all 22 NRL games for the Raiders so far, the form and desire of the Raiders outfit was a big reason behind his decision to stay.
â€œWe are building something really good at the club at the moment and I want to be part of that. It was an easy choice for me to extend for another year,â€ Whitehead said.
â€œI feel like I have adapted very well to the NRL now. Hopefully I can keep improving as a player and keep helping the team out week in week out.
â€œWe have really improved from where we were at the start of the year, especially with defence. We are working a lot harder for each other and itâ€™s showing on the field with the results.”
As Whitehead becomes even more accustomed to the NRL, the Raiders Recruitment and High Performance Manager Peter Mulholland believes he can get even better.
â€œElliott has shown in his first season in the NRL that he is up to the standard of the competition and has produced some wonderful football for the club,â€ Mulholland said.
â€œHeâ€™s a skilful forward who gives our right edge and extra attacking threat and heâ€™s played all but two minutes of his first season in the NRL which is a huge achievement.
â€œWe believe we are still to see the best from Elliott and weâ€™re really looking forward to seeing what he can produce for the rest of this season and the next two.â€