Cooper Cronk ready to rip in with the Roosters
The Sydney Roosters are a club Cooper Cronk has "admired from afar" and now he's part of the Tricolours, the star recruit is ready to get down to business.
Cronk kicked off his much-anticipated arrival at the club on Wednesday with his first interview in the red, white and blue, revealing why he felt the Roosters were the best fit for him after deciding to leave the Melbourne Storm.
"It's very exciting. I've been fortunate enough to a part of some really cool things on the football field and I can honestly tell Roosters fans that this is right up there," Cronk told RoostersTV.
And while the thought of starting again at not only a new club but also a new city would be off-putting, for Cronk it was a decision that simply made sense.
"I've obviously been at one club for a long period but the chance to play at a club that I've admired from afar, I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and getting amongst it," the Kangaroos halfback said.
"I suppose people liken it to the first day of school but at the end of the day we all love football, we all play football, that's why we're here."
A new city. A new team. For Cronk, it now all comes down to building relationships.
"For the last 14 years, I've known everything [at the Storm], but now I'm the new kid on the block however I've been fortunate enough to play with most of the guys through different rep games, so I know the majority of them," he said.
And the guys on the team he isn't that familiar with just yet?
"If I don't know them, I guarantee I'll give them a call, we can get a coffee and I'll know them real quick."
With the Storm being one of the most dominant sides in the NRL, choosing to leave them can't have been the easiest decision for the 34-year old. So just how did Cronk decide the Roosters were the best fit?
"They've always been amongst the best teams and vying for trophies each and every year, they ticked a lot of boxes.
"Obviously their playing list and their roster is one of the best in the competition. Their coaching staff is going to make me a better player and to improve and continue to get better."
It's hard to imagine the two-time Dally M Medal winner's game needs much improving. But Cronk knows it's now a time to look further ahead along the horizon.
"There are also a few things I need to look at post-football; I'm not 21 anymore, I need to look at life after football and what that looks like," he said.
Still, 2018 is Cronk's focus and he's excited to play alongside Roosters captain Boyd Cordner on a more permanent basis.
"There's been a bit a bit of banter from some of the Australian players whenever Boyd and I get close, they think we're talking secret squirrel stuff about next year," he grins.
"I've known 'Corker' for a while now and to be honest, along with him and the rest of the senior players, he's one of the reasons why it was so inviting to sign at the Roosters."
With Sydney being a bigger market for rugby league, Cronk is aware of the pressure that will come with his signing.
"There's a little bit more pressure, a little bit more attention on me now as a player but it's part and parcel," he said.
"I think every player can play well when everything is going for them and everything is in the right position. You get to find out what your true colours and how much you can handle pressure and perform."
For Roosters fans, they'll be hoping to see Cronk's colours come finals time in September.