MELBOURNE Storm forward Michael Crocker will link with prominent UK club Hull in 2009 after agreeing to terms in a 3 year contract with the UK Super League outfit.
Only 27, the Queensland and Australian forward has seemingly been on the NRL for a long time and was part of the Storm’s 2007 premiership winning team. Crocker said he owed a lot to his time in Melbourne and his experience there had greatly helped his career move forward, but the offer tabled from Hull was too good to walk away from.
â€œMy 3 years in Melbourne have quite possibly been the most enjoyable of my career and I couldn’t have dreamed I would have achieved as much as I have since moving here,â€ Crocker said.
â€œI’ve won an NRL premiership, played in the Queensland Origin Squad and Kangaroo line-ups, and loved every minute of football basically.”
Crocker, who remains a lucky charm with the Storm – the forward never losing a game in 29 matches with the Storm will be sorely missed by his club who are going through a period of transition as the younger generation step up.
Storm chief executive Brian Waldron said while the club was disappointed to lose such an integral player, they understood the move could set him up financially and had agreed to release him from the final year of his contract.
â€œWe’ll always appreciate the hard work he has put in,â€ Waldron said.
Bellamy said Crocker was the sort of player who raised the level of the players around him and had been vital to turning the club into a premiership side.
â€œHe brought a certain hardness to the team when he joined the club from the Roosters in 2006, and that took us to the next level,â€ Bellamy said
â€œWhile it may be quite freakish the record he has of never losing in a Storm jersey, it just goes to show the talent he has and the qualities he brings to our footy team.
â€œWe’ll be sad to see Michael leave the club, but it now gives an opportunity to one of the young backrowers we have here to stand up and make that spot their own in 2009.â€