Raiders' ambitions can't wait: Williams
In-form Raiders halfback Sam Williams has overlooked Canberra's 2016 prospects by pointing out his team are focused on achieving this season.
With Titans half Aidan Sezer and Catalans back-rower Elliot Whitehead coming to the club next season, Joey Leilua's arrival and others such as James Tamou linked to the club, the future is looking bright for the Green Machine – not that Williams is worried.
Coming off their first bye of the season last weekend, the Raiders are sitting seventh atop the logjam of teams on 14 competition points and the Green Machine is looking to improve their standing by beating a Cowboys team who have won their past 10 games.
"The group we have at the moment is a really focused group and we have ambitions for this year and we're just really concentrating on what we can try and achieve. The playing group here is really close," Williams told NRL.com.
"To look into next year would be really silly. We're focused on getting as much out of this season as we can. Everyone is putting in at the moment and everyone is playing their part and it's just really enjoyable to be a part of this group.
"We have been building for the first half of the season but now it's time to really find some consistency and we need to make sure we do that against the Cowboys. They're definitely a team – if we play well – we can beat at home. The challenge is matching what they have."
Williams himself isn't content with his own form despite his starring performance against the Knights a fortnight ago when he produced four try assists.
Remaining realistic about his immediate goals despite Sezer's imminent arrival which is sure to shake things up for the 24-year-old, Williams said coach Ricky Stuart clarification of his role has made life easier for him.
"I don't think you can ever sit back and look at previous weeks or previous games. It's all about going forward and I think the biggest thing is feeling comfortable within the group and in my role," Williams said.
"I'm happy with my game at the moment but I know that to be a consistent first-grader you need to be producing throughout the season. I know the way it works. I know it's a pretty important position in a football side.
"Obviously Aidan is a pretty big recruit for us next year and it's good for the club but it's not something I need to be thinking about. I won't be worried about it until we're here going up against one another at training."
After ending their four-game losing streak against Newcastle, Williams said the bye was timely in terms of taking stock of the first half of the season.
"We had a couple of losses in between the previous bye [representative round] and the one we had on the weekend," Williams said. "I guess the [Knights] win put us on the right foot and just gave us a little bit of a chance to get away, regroup and come back really focused with a bit of confidence."