David Furner knew he was introducing a special player to the football world in Jarrod Croker when he debuted him in 2009. Furner believes that Croker’s character, alongside his discipline and hard work, have been crucial in his becoming just the second Raider to play in 300 games.
Furner recalls the Parramatta game as Croker’s standout performance from his early days. Although the team lost, Croker showed determination and disappointment at the loss, which resonated with Furner as a trait indicative of a player who would bring success to the Raiders.
Croker’s development into one of the competition’s premier centres has not come easy. His exceptional goal-kicking ability is a testament to his hard work and dedication to perfecting his craft, setting an excellent example for young players. Playing all his club rugby league for the Green Machine, Croker’s loyalty will be celebrated as he takes the NRL field for the 300th time, alongside his family, friends and former coach Furner.
Hoping to be a role model for the next aspiring Canberra kid, Croker sees himself as the green jersey custodian, encouraging players to do what is best for Canberra and help young players realise their dreams. The ACT will turn lime green as the stadium anticipates a full house for a milestone match that has been a long time in the making. Croker’s goal is to be remembered as a special player, like his former coach Furner remembers him, as someone with great values both on and off the field. With the drive and character that have carried him so far, there is no doubt he will continue to make a significant contribution to the NRL for years to come.