Canberra captain Terry Campese knows from first-hand experience why numerous NRL stars have rejected lucrative offers from the Raiders. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
One-club Canberra captain Terry Campese knows from first-hand experience why numerous NRL stars have rejected lucrative offers from the Raiders.
He struggled through a similar dilemma himself.
"Players like to stay at their clubs. That's what everyone's done. It's just what players like to do," he said.
James Tedesco, Josh Mansour and Kevin Proctor have all recently spurned big bucks from the Raiders in favour of mateship and loyalty at the club that gave them their NRL breaks.
Bulldogs skipper Michael Ennis, on the otherhand, is leaning towards fellow Sydney club Cronulla, while Anthony Milford is returning home to Brisbane.
The spate of rejections has kicked off water-cooler discussions as to what's wrong with the Raiders - be it Canberra's chilly weather, the dull location, the lack of Nine Network exposure, the team's ladder position, or the organisation itself.
But according to Campese, the answer is far more simple.
He was faced with a similarly tempting offer from Japanese rugby and a rival NRL club when he was last coming off contract.
He turned down those offers to stay at the Raiders, where he started as a junior, and has played all 124 of his NRL games.
"I can only speak for myself and what happened," he said.
"But you build relationships and you love playing for the club that you're at."
He said ultimately, as players, the issue was out of their hands.
"It's football. It happens each and every week - players leaving, coming," he said.
"We've just got to worry about Monday night because it's a crucial match for us against the Broncos."