After playing finals football in 2010, Raiders halfback turned five-eighth Josh McCrone is ready to play footy with new halves partner, the experienced Matt Orford.

For some players, being forced to step aside from their preferred position would be a hindrance, but for McCrone, he is eager and raring to go to get the chance to play alongside Orford, as the Raiders prepare for life without instrumental five-eighth, Terry Campese.

For McCrone, he thinks that the move from halfback to five-eighth is not as great as some people may think.

“I’ll wear a different number that’s about it,” he said.

“We play left and right halves anyway, so it’s pretty much the same thing for me. I played on the right side last year and Furnsey (Coach David Furner) wants me to stay there on that right side.”

In light of the injury to mainstay five-eighth Terry Campese, who is set to miss at least the first 8 weeks of the season, mostlikely more, as the Raiders made the decision to sign 32-year old Orford on a 1-year deal to bring some experience into the back-line.

“I could understand where the club’s coming from,” McCrone said.

“What he (Orford) brings to the table is good for us. Especially for our backline, we needed an older head there.

“I would have been the oldest and I’m only just coming off my first full year of first grade.”

With Orford now at the club, McCrone can see the benefits of having the 2008 Dally M Winner at the club already.

“Between him and the young guns it’s been pretty good,” he said.

“And with me, it’s just little things like he’s done, like telling me to watch your depth in attack and things like that that only experience teaches you.”

With McCrone well aware that he has to perform in the trials and the regular season or else his head will be on the chopping block, he will get the chance to do that in the Raiders trial at Bega.

McCrone is also eager to play finals football again, saying that the thrill and experience was incredible, and something that he again aspires to reach with the Raiders this year.

“It was an awesome feeling last year, running out onto Bruce Stadium with 26,000 people there, that was the best experience I’ve had playing footy and I want to do it again,” McCrone said.

“There’s a great feeling in Canberra, people know we have a good team and we know we’ve got a good team, we’re pretty excited about this season.”

By ricky

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