Roosters sticking by youth policy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters sticking by youth policy

David Beniuk 25/07/2011 07:16:06 PM Comments (0)

While fellow NRL strugglers Gold Coast, Cronulla and Parramatta trumpet their big name recruits for 2012, the Sydney Roosters are staunchly sticking to a youth policy.

The Sharks remain a mathematical hope of playing finals football this year, but the Titans, Eels and 2010 grand finalists the Roosters are well advanced in planning for next season.

Gold Coast have lured big names Jamal Idris, Nate Myles, Luke Douglas and Beau Champion is an attempt to lift themselves off the bottom of the ladder.

Parramatta have signed Chris Sandow, Ben Roberts, Esi Tonga and, reports suggest, his brother Willie to boost their squad.

Cronulla lose Douglas and Kade Snowden (Newcastle), but have Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita, Isaac De Gois, Jon Green, Mark Taufua and Jeff Robson coming to the club.

The Roosters have probably been the NRL's biggest disappointment this year, along with a Canberra side that was bolstered by several impressive signings.

But Roosters recruitment boss Peter O'Sullivan says there will be no panic buying at the club, which has been hit by injury and off-field disruptions.

"Our plans were set in concrete years ago so there's no change to our plans," O'Sullivan told AAP on Monday.

"The plan going forward is to keep generating the youth we have and our succession planning's in place and we're very happy with it."

With salary cap pressure forcing Myles out, the Roosters are banking on the development of youngsters Martin Kennedy, Tom Symonds, Boyd Cordner and Lama Tasi.

"We've got players coming through who've stepped up in market value and football value," O'Sullivan said.

"We've got a number of players in our (under-) 20s squad that we've got a very high opinion of so we'll develop those fellas into our top squad and pick up a few second-tier players from other clubs."

The Roosters have already signed utility back Adam Henry from the Warriors and say they are hopeful of unveiling another player in coming days.

"The nucleus of our team's entrenched," O'Sullivan said.

"We've just got to build around that nucleus."

O'Sullivan said injuries to Mitch Aubusson, Anthony Cherrington, Daniel Conn, Cordner, Kennedy, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Sam Perrett at various stages of the season had crippled the 15th-placed club's chances of equalling their stunning 2010 campaign.

Off-field dramas involving Dally M medallist Todd Carney and 2011 signing Anthony Watts also didn't help.

"The gods haven't smiled on us," O'Sullivan said. "They smiled on us last year, didn't smile on us this year.

"We haven't had our right side together all year - that's Carney and (Mitchell) Pearce and Aubusson and Kenny-Dowall that created so much of our strike last year.

"They haven't been on the field once. It's hard to get any continuity.

"Your strike forwards are missing, your skilful players are missing.

"The boys have ripped in and tried hard and all the games the young players are getting under their belts this year, that augurs well for next year."

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