Belconnen Scholars' Brent Crisp in action for the Bulldogs before his ban. Photo: Getty Images
Star recruit Brent Crisp has declared he's put his controversial past behind him and is ready to help Belconnen end its frustrating run of premiership near misses.
Crisp, who played seven NRL games for Canterbury, is serving a two-year ban from representative football for misbehaviour at a Queensland hotel in 2010.
After two years as captain-coach of Group Nine side Young, Crisp insists he has moved on and will play at fullback for the Scholars against his junior club West Belconnen today. The 25-year-old credits his young family - wife Nicole, one-year-old twins Millie and Evie and three-year-old son Levi - for helping him mature.
''The big thing is my wife has been great, and having kids has woken me up a little bit,'' Crisp said yesterday. ''I've moved on from that and you learn from your mistakes. Once that ban is lifted [at the end of this year] I'll be putting my hand up to play rep footy again.''
Crisp was born in Canberra, and played for the Raiders' under-16 Jersey Flegg side. He debuted for the Scholars in their 46-20 win over Woden last week, and hasn't given up hope of a return to the NRL.
''If the opportunity comes up, you're obviously going to take it,'' he said. ''I'm only 25, so I'm not going to hang my boots up about playing again in the top grade.
''At the moment I have to get myself right and perform for the Scholars, and you never know something may pop up.''
Belconnen coach John Hawke said Crisp had been the model professional since arriving at the club.
''They got a bit loose and played up, but he's matured so much I believe,'' Hawke said. ''I always judge the players on how they are with me rather than what they've done in the past, and he's been nothing but helpful.'' The Scholars were minor premiers last year but bowed out of the finals with two straight losses, and were thrashed by Queanbeyan Kangaroos in the 2010 grand final.
Canberra Raiders Cup Round 3: Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Woden Valley at Freebody Oval; Tuggeranong v Yass at Greenway Oval; West Belconnen v Belconnen United at West Belconnen Leagues Club; Goulburn v Queanbeyan Blues at Workers Arena, Goulburn. All games at 3pm.