Minichello tips great Roosters future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minichello tips great Roosters future

By Adrian Warren 26/09/2010 03:44:58 PM Comments (0)

Four-time NRL grand finalist Anthony Minichello believes the current Sydney Roosters team has the potential to be a great force for many years to come.

Minichello and the Roosters can cap off a remarkable turnaround in their individual and collective fortunes by winning next Sunday's grand final against St George Illawarra.

The former NSW and Australia fullback's return to full fitness after several injury-plagued years has coincided with the club's resurgence.

Following a horrendous 2009 season in which the team finished bottom of the ladder for the first time since 1966, and had several players involved in unsavoury off-field incidents, the Roosters are now the talk of the town for the right reasons.

Brian Smith's side are looking to become the first team since Western Suburbs in 1934 to go from wooden spoon winners to premiers, with Minichiello, who managed just four games last year, in fine form.

The 30-year-old believes the acquisitions of playmaker Todd Carney, veteran prop Jason Ryles and the arrival of Smith have helped transform the side from easybeats to credible title contenders.

"It's definitely an exciting group," Minichiello said.

"We had a great side in the early 2000s. This side has got a great potential to be a great force for many years to come.

"The players that we have got here and especially the young guys, are really exciting to watch."

Minichello recently notched up his 200th first grade appearance for the Roosters after making his debut 10 years ago.

And in that time he played in four grand finals by the age of 24, winning the premiership in 2002.

However, a host of injuries, including a career-threatening back problem, sidelined him for almost four years, while the team's fortunes also declined.

"Everyone was going through a tough period at the club and me personally as well," said Minichello, who played just eight games last season.

"A grand final you think, 'I'd love to get back up there again.' Now that it's happened, it feels a bit surreal, it feels great.

"This time I'm a bit older and I'm going to enjoy it a bit more and take it all in."

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