Its a plan we should be looking to execute more often. Sometimes it pays off like the Knights with Ponga and us with Walsh. Theres is obvious risk but not as much as people think. I remember when we offered Dylan Brown something like $800k before he'd even played first grade (or maybe like a handful of games). At the time people were blown away by that move. Sure theres a chance he never reaches the level of an $800k player (he still hasn't imo) but even based on his U20's performances it was almost a sure thing that he would become a starting calibre player so at worst you're overpaying by 200-300k.
Agree fully. I’m happy taking a 2-300k calculated risk on someone like Sualii for 2 years. Worst case scenario is he fails, we overpaid and ship him off. Best case scenario is that he performs well, or even to expectations. We’d have a far better chance retaining someone after that 2 years if they were already here, good relationship with the team and coach etc.
I really feel we missed the boat on Sam Walker. Kid has basically looked like a star in the making from say one. Has a great relationship with Walsh - we should have thrown 800k at him and the chance to play with his best mate and both form a lethal combination for the next 5 years