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Croker entering Raiders immortal territory after inking new deal

Jarrod Croker is set to down as one of the greatest players in Canberra Raiders history, after re-signing with the club for another four years until the end of 2024.

Croker has become the heart and soul of the club after he made his debut in 2009 on his way to breaking nearly all of the club’s point-scoring records.

The 29-year-old centre will also go into the history books for most games played for the club with Jason Croker’s record of 318 matches set to be eclipsed in the new deal.

However, the elusive and ultimate goal of a premiership is still what drives Croker in leading the Raiders into his 11th NRL season.

"I’m just very lucky the time we have now we have a strong squad, we’re coming off the back a strong season last year," Croker said.

"That doesn’t guarantee anything we know that and if anything, it’s going to be a lot harder this year.

"It’s definitely a challenge knowing sides are going to be coming after us and it’s going to start tomorrow night when the Gold Coast will try and sneak down here and do a job on us.

Raiders v Titans - Round 1

"But it’s an exciting time for the club and it’s also going to be a very tough one but it’s something I am looking forward to."

The chance to wear only lime green for his entire career is also a goal for the Goulburn junior, saying he has never attracted interest from other clubs having always re-upped his current deal for much of his career until now.  

"I don’t want to play anywhere else and hopefully I don’t have to," Croker said.

"So, to have the chance to be a one club player, you don’t see it very often and it’ll be something I’m very proud of.

"But it’s a long way away. It’s not something I have to worry about so hopefully that’s the case."

Co-captain Josh Hodgson said how Croker carries himself as an ambassador for the club and the game is an inspiration even to him as he enters his sixth season in the NRL.

"I think he’ll be 40 by the time that deal runs out," Hodgson joked.

"No, it’s great news and he’s always going to be a one-club player, he’s broken nearly all of the records so far.

"He typifies the culture we are trying to build here and how he lives his life on and off the field.

"We’ve got a fair few us tied down for the next few years and you need that kind of continuity."

Croker confirmed he was still chasing the elusive NSW Origin jersey, one of the few accolades yet to be achieved in his already illustrious career.

However, the bid to go one step further in the Telstra Premiership starts on Friday night, when the Raiders host Gold Coast at GIO Stadium.

Hodgson: We will have a target on our backs

"It’s a fresh start, they’ve got a new coach and they’re coming into round one fit and ready to go," Croker said.

All eyes will be on English half George Williams in his NRL debut, with Hodgson admitting he and Jack Wighton will take on more of a leadership role early in the season.

"Jack is one of the main talkers of the group so I think me and him will try and steer the group around as much as we can until George finds his grove and he gets used to his role I the team," he said.

"That role comes pretty natural for Jack."

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