Mitchell Cornish

In the NRL, the plan for a lot of teams is building for the future, and that is what the Canberra Raiders have done – as they today re-signed promising young half Mitchell Cornish, to an extended 2-year deal.

Already contracted for the 2013 season, it was his form for the Raiders in the Toyota Cup competition at just 19, that has prompted Raiders officials to keep him at the club for the long-term.

To illustrate Cornish’s solid form in the Toyota Cup, the Raiders half is the competition’s 2nd highest point-scorer, and ranks in the top four in try assists.

For Cornish himself, to have the chance in the future to make his debut for the Raiders, would be a dream come true for him.

“It’s great to be on board for another three years,” Cornish said. “I didn’t really look to go anywhere else. My family is here either side of Canberra so my main focus was to stay here as long as possible.”

“Ever since I was young it has always been my dream to play first grade for the Raiders. It has been my goal ever since I got into the Harold Matthews team in under 16s.”

“The club has had local juniors such as Dugan and Croker come through and every other 20s player here aspires to join them in first grade.”

The club itself is thrilled to have re-secured the skills of Cornish, as the local Goulburn junior looks to follow the lead of other young Raiders juniors in the first-grade squad.

“Mitch Cornish has been terrific since he’s been here,” Furner said. “He trained with the top squad in the off-season and certainly the plans are for Mitch to be in the top squad at the end of this season. It’s great to re-sign these talented juniors and it’s great that they want to stay at the club.”

“He’s a natural leader and the Captain of his side a year younger. There’s a lot to like about him and the coaching staff were certainly keen to have his future wrapped up with the Raiders.”

With Cornish continually improving as a young footballer, Furner says that both he and the club are looking forward to seeing the 19-year old develop, over the next few years.

“There’s a lot of talk about him at the moment. He’s leading all the statistics in the 20s a year younger and he would’ve been in big demand next year. The fact that he extends with us gives us the chance to take him into the top squad and put more resources into him to develop him further.”

The club’s intent is to also focus on bringing up their youth, through their junior systems, with Furner adamant that the Raiders will continue down the path of blooding youngsters and juniors, when the time calls for it.

“We’re second only to the Warriors in bringing NYC players through to first grade. We show a clear pathway and we have always developed our own juniors and pushed them through well,” he said.

“There’s always a lot of debate about NYC as to whether it’s a good stepping stone but at our club, everyone that we’ve pushed up has handled it. I’m sure Mitch will be next.”

By ricky

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