In a huge boost for the Canberra Raiders premiership aspirations, Englishman Josh Hodgson has re-signed with the club on a new long-term deal.
Already contracted for the 2018 season, the new deal begins in 2019 and will see Hodgson remain in the lime green until the end of the 2022 season.
Currently in the English camp preparing for his country’s semi-final clash with Tonga, Hodgson’s focus at present might be on the World Cup but his sights are firmly set on chasing premiership glory with the Raiders upon his return.
“There’s no way I’d sign long term if I didn’t believe this group of players were able to achieve great things, so a big part of the decision was staying at a club who I believe will have long-term success,” he said.
“We know our results last season were not acceptable and I know the group is already back in Canberra working hard to make sure things are better in 2018 and beyond that.”
Although the chance to play at a World Cup is an exciting one for Hodgson, he knows what the Raiders side is capable of and wants to get stuck back into pre-season training.
“I’m really enjoying the World Cup experience and hopefully we can continue through the tournament, but I’m also looking forward to getting home and working with the rest of the squad as we get ready for next season,” continued Hodgson.
With Canberra now Hodgson’s home away from home, he said that he and his family could not imagine moving anywhere else, and because of that, he made the decision to re-sign long-term.
“Canberra’s been a home away from home for us and I know my wife Kirby and I have really enjoyed our time here and want this to be our home for the next few years as we raise our family,” Hodgson said.
“The club was fantastic in helping us make the transition from England to Australia, and so far, we’ve been able to make some wonderful friends and settle into the community.
“The players were fantastic from the moment we arrived and the current group is a wonderful bunch of blokes who I believe have their best footy ahead of them.”
Knowing how crucial he is to the club both on and off the field, Raiders CEO Don Furner knows that his retention was so important for their ambitions.
“It’s the longest contract we’ve done for some time and it reflects our faith that we have in Josh of being a leader of this group and how committed to the Raiders he is,” Furner said.
“Josh moved to Canberra with his wife and then started a family here, so it’s also a great endorsement for our club and city to have him commit long term.”
Furner had nothing but praise for Hodgson’s on-field and off-field endeavours.
“From a football perspective Josh brings experience, leadership and professionalism to the team and he’s demonstrated over the past three seasons how valuable he is to our organisation,” continued Furner.