Raiders star Anthony Milford. Photo: Getty Images
Raiders player of the year Anthony Milford wanted Andrew Dunemann as the new Canberra coach, but the Mal Meninga medallist believes his game can go to another level under Ricky Stuart.
Milford is yet to make contact with Stuart as the Raiders endeavour to convince the exciting 19-year-old to change his mind and remain in the national capital next season.
The Queensland under-20s captain could delay a decision about whether he exercises a get-out clause in his contract until after he represents Samoa at the World Cup at the end of the year.
''I haven't spoken to [Stuart] yet, but a few of the boys have spoken to me about him, he seems like a good guy,'' Milford said.
''He likes his defence and it's something the Raiders need to work on, I think he'll be good. I think he would improve my game if I was to stay.''
Stuart has identified retaining Milford as his No.1 priority after a wonderful rookie campaign where he won the club's highest honour.
Milford is in Brisbane on an end-of-season holiday with his family to wind down from a roller-coaster debut season.
His emergence as one of the brightest talents in the competition was coupled with the speculation he would leave the Raiders at the end of the season to be closer to his ill father, Halo.
Then there was a drinking incident with teammate and close friend Josh Papalii two days before the club's round-25 game against the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland.
''It was just a learning curve for me and that sort of mistake won't be made again, I can guarantee that,'' Milford said.
Milford had forged a close bond with interim coach Dunemann, admitting that he was disappointed when he missed out on the top job.
Dunemann was Milford's coach in the Raiders' under-20s team last year and played a pivotal role in his development into the NRL.
The Raiders parted ways with Dunemann on Friday, adding more doubt to Milford's future at the club.
''I wanted him as a coach,'' Milford said.
''He's one of those coaches you want to play for and gets the best out of the players. We didn't do him any favours those last three weeks he took over.''
Milford's manager Sam Ayoub had a meeting with Raiders chief executive Don Furner on Thursday before he confers with his client later this month.
''Hopefully we'll have it sorted out by Christmas. Just got to wait my time,'' Milford said.
''I just wanted to get out of the football environment, clear my head, represent Samoa and go from there.''
When Milford re-signed with the Raiders until the end of 2014 last year, he added a clause allowing him to be granted a release so he could return to Brisbane if his father's condition worsened.
''We weren't going to sign that deal, so I had to put that in my contract to be home with my family,'' Milford said.
''With what happened to my dad, I'm the sole provider of the family and I didn't want to see my mum struggling.
''One time he flew to Canberra [this year] to be with me because he knew the pressure was getting to me. I guess the support from him was massive for me and kept me going hard.''