Young Raiders star Anthony Milford is yet to commit to the club. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra Raiders rookie Anthony Milford admits his future at the club hinges heavily on who coaches the side next year as the club tries desperately to thwart his return to Queensland.
Milford's star showing against Cronulla on Sunday may have been his last game for Canberra after he requested a release from the final year of his contract to be closer to his sick father Halo in Brisbane.
Canberra has publicly declared they have no intention of granting the release, and Milford's manager Sam Ayoub will meet with Raiders boss Don Furner on Thursday.
Milford has been linked to the Broncos, but Brisbane's recent signing of Canterbury superstar Ben Barba for the next three years has further clouded the situation.
The sacking of Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan has improved the Raiders' hopes of retaining Milford with a big money bid.
The 20-year-old was non-committal when asked after the Sharks match whether he'd be at the Raiders next season.
''That's still getting decided, I'll just wait for the pre-season and wait for the coach to be announced later this week,'' Milford said.
''I'll just leave it to all the managers and I'll just handle the football side.''
The Souths Logan junior has a compassionate get-out clause in his contract, and Ayoub has always maintained the Raiders have no grounds to stand in his way.
He was more circumspect on Monday when asked about Milford's chances of staying.
''I honestly don't want to make assumptions about what he may or may not do at the moment,'' Ayoub said.
''We've got time now they're out of the running, we've got time to have a good look at that situation.''
Milford was embroiled in an off-field incident this week after he and teammate Josh Papalii were caught drinking two days before Canberra's round 25 clash with New Zealand Warriors in Auckland.
He received happy news on Tuesday when he was named as a finalist for the Rugby League Players Association rookie of the year award alongside South Sydney forward George Burgess and Penrith fullback Matt Moylan.
Raiders playmaker Mitch Cornish believes Milford would stay should interim coach Andrew Dunemann get the full-time role.
Dunemann has a close relationship with Milford after they joined forces to steer Canberra to last year's under-20 grand final.
Cornish, who partnered Milford in the halves in the decider last year, insists Dunemann could be the key to Milford staying put.
''Personally, I reckon he would stay,'' Cornish said.
''He [Dunemann] is a bloke who understands the player, and we want to play for him.''
with Angus Pagett