Stuart content with Raiders' progress
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has been buoyed by the attitude of his young stars upon their return to training for the 2016 pre-season.
Speaking at the announcement of fullback Jack Wighton's three-year contract extension on Tuesday, Stuart said his squad's attitude is making his life easier in the nation's capital.
Stuart also said that back-rower Josh Papalii was hopefully the next player to be re-signed by the club.
"The way these players have come back after their off-season break and the way they've looked after themselves and the attitude they have been displaying is just so comforting for me as a coach," Stuart said.
"They're very enthusiastic and they know we're building something really special here.
"Jack is one of the favourites amongst the boys and is a guy who will play upwards of 250 games. He is a big part of the plan moving forward. Jack's happy in regards to his own football and he has a big future. He'll be a representative player at some stage."
Of his own contract Wighton was pleased to re-sign for the sake of his family life and plans to build on his spine combination with Blake Austin, Josh Hodgson and recruit Aidan Sezer
"We have a great core group re-signing and one of the main reasons also for me sticking around is my little daughter. I'm very comfy with her here and that was another reason to sign here," Wighton said.
"I was able to play once with Sezer in All Stars and he's a great bloke. He's fit into the team unreal and it's going to be a great year. We'll have a lot to work with, with the whole lot of talent we have. It should be clicking pretty early."
Meanwhile Stuart said he has cleared with the air with reigning NSW Cup Player of the Year Mitchell Barnett.
Barnett, who is recovering from recent thumb surgery, requested a release from the club to sign a lucrative deal with the Titans a number of weeks ago.
Denying his request, Stuart said there aren't any ill-feelings between him and the 21-year-old rookie.
"These things happen," Stuart said.
"It's just a part of business, you have to be professional about it and just move forward."