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James Tedesco walked into a city café last year to talk about joining the Sydney Roosters.

Waiting there was Roosters coach Trent Robinson and a man he didn't recognise.

"I just rocked up and saw a bloke in a suit with Robbo," Tedesco said.

"He looked important so I thought that had to be Nick Politis. I didn't know him. Didn't even know what he looked like to be honest. But he's got this aura about him. Whatever he says everyone listens and he's obviously a very important person. Having him there saying he wanted me at the club, it was pretty exciting. I wanted to be a part of it."

Politis has had several meetings just like that over the years. The ones like he had with Tedesco and Cooper Cronk last year.

Like he had with Sonny Bill Williams six years ago. Like he's had with several of the game's biggest names over the years.

So what's the secret?

"There's no secret," Politis says.

"They either want to come or they don't."

Roosters fullback James Tedesco.
Roosters fullback James Tedesco. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Most, like Tedesco, want to come.

It's not as if the Roosters are blessed with the best facilities in the NRL. It's quite the opposite actually. The game's glamour club.

But there are very few players the Roosters want that they don't get.

When Tedesco met with the Roosters last year, he had the opportunity to go to the Bulldogs with good friend Aaron Woods.

But Politis and Robinson put forward a case he couldn't ignore.

"Robbo went into a lot of detail, a lot of football detail," Tedesco said.

"He explained how he watched me over the years and what's good about my game and how he can help me improve my game. It was something I never really heard before. It was pretty detailed. He talked about defence massively.

"He said it was pretty clear that I could attack but he could help me in ways in defence that would be beneficial for the Roosters and that's shown that they've been a top defensive team for so long. It's the detail he puts into preparing for a team and reviewing. That's the detail you don't really see but it definitely helps."

The other major factor in Tedesco's departure from Tiger town was the fact he grew up supporting the Roosters and played in the tri-colour jersey in Camden as a junior.

As much as the Canterbury offer appealed to him, joining the Roosters was always the standout option.

"I wasn't signed, sealed and delivered at the Dogs despite what has been said," he said.

"I went and met the Dogs with Woodsy. I met them once. Then I met the Roosters as well. I tossed up my options and then I spoke to Mini (Anthony Minichiello). He told me how good it was and how good of a coach Robbo is. You hear it from other people but it's not until you meet Robbo that you realise how good he is.

"I think I thought I could excel more here. Knowing they had a lot of success over the years, and don't forget I supported the Roosters as a kid. I've always loved the jersey – it was my junior jersey. I always told myself I would play for the Roosters one day. I thought it would be a better option."

There were plenty of questions raised of Tedesco after a slow start to the year by his lofty standards.

However after a breakout performance in Origin I, he found his feet at his new club.

"The external stuff does get to you sometimes," he said.

"There wasn't any doubts over myself or my decision, but definitely there was that pressure to deliver. I gained a lot of confidence from that Origin series. I felt I brought that back here. There was some talk about the move. A lot of talk about the move. But the way it has all turned out, I'm in a grand final. I'm pretty happy with that.

"I was always confident with our team and this club that we'd play good footy. Everyone thought it would happen straight away. But Cooper's talk was 'let's not change too much, just practice, get to know each other on the field and it'll be okay'. The more we did, that's when our footy started to click."

"All of us probably expected more. You look around at our team and you think we should be playing better with the calibre of players in the team. But it wasn't happening. Cooper's reassurance to everyone made us all feel more comfortable and it started to show in our results."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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