Canberra CEO Don Furner says securing star fullback Anthony Milford before the round 13 deadline remains the NRL club’s top priority.
But he admits they’ll first need to start winning if they’re to win the tug-of-war against Brisbane.
The 14th-placed Raiders have lost their past two matches and this Sunday face a Melbourne Storm team that’s riding high following their after-the-siren win against the Dragons.
Milford has signed with the Broncos for the 2015 season, but wiggle room in the contract means the Raiders can keep him if they change his mind within the next seven weeks.
“Absolutely (he’s a top priority). He was last year. He was at the start of this year,” Furner said.
Furner said while the club wasn’t necessarily putting together a third-party sponsorship package to entice Milford to stay, there were other ways to keep the 19-year-old fullback in the nation’s capital.
Earlier this year the Raiders assisted in moving Milford’s family down to Canberra from Brisbane to help him cope with his homesickness.
“The salary cap rules are a minefield in themselves. So there’s a lot that’s got to be worked through there,” he said.
“We just have to make sure we win some games, keep him happy, and see how we go. Hopefully he’ll change his mind.”
Coach Ricky Stuart echoed Furner’s comments about the importance of winning, adding that players with x-factor like Milford were always highly sort after by rival clubs.
“It’s an area that every club goes through in regards to recruitment, they’re all looking for that X-factor, that’s what wins the tight games,” he said.