Forever Green: Where are they now? - Adrian Purtell
This week we catch up with our former centre Adrian Purtell who played for the club for four seasons between 2006 and 2009.
During his time at the club, Purtell scored 30 tries before moving to the Penrith Panthers. After two years there, he made close to 100 appearances in England where he plied his trade for the Bradford Bulls and London Broncos.
Canberra Raider #258
What do you do for work now?
I am currently a teacher's aide at a high school in Albury. I've just recently moved back here six months ago, so I'm currently doing this role while I study a Business and Sports Management degree part-time.
I've been studying the degree for the past six years while I've been playing footy and hopefully I should graduate this October. I just hope that it opens up a few opportunities within the sports industry. There's always a lot of jobs within sports management so I'm hoping I can get my foot in the door somewhere once I get this degree.
What's your favourite memory as a Raider?
Probably my debut game to be honest. We played Manly on a Saturday night at Brookvale Oval, we were massive outsiders and we went up there and got the win so that was a great occasion.
Canberra was a great place for me. I moved up there as a 17 year old and I spent a majority of my time growing up there. It was a great place to play footy and I made some really good friends.
What did it mean to you to wear the Raiders jersey?
Yeah, it was massive for me. I moved up to Canberra straight out of high school and I played Under 20's for a couple of years, Reserve Grade for a couple of years and then finally got my debut. I got a sense of worth for the jersey and the legends that wore it before me.
To get the opportunity to wear the jersey was one that I feel very privileged by and it was great because I got to do it with guys that came through the grades with me. They were all really good mates so it made it even more special.
Who was your favourite teammate?
We had an awesome crew when I was there and I think that's what made my time at the Raiders so enjoyable. We had so many good blokes there.
Terry Campese turned up at pre-season on the same day as me so we formed a pretty good friendship over the years. Glen Buttriss was a good fella who I played against in Group 9. I've kept good relationships with Troy Thompson and Joel Monaghan. Joel is actually playing with me this year for the Albury Thunder as well.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Yeah, I do. Facebook has been great in keeping us connected, especially with the guys you don't get the opportunity to see too much.
All the guys I mentioned before, we're all in pretty constant contact. I'm playing against Buttsy because he's playing for Cootamundra in Group 9, also Joel is living in Melbourne and playing for Albury every other weekend. I caught up with Campo when he was living over in England too.
I try and keep in contact with as many guys as possible as they are good fellas and really good friends too.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
The whole time I was down in Canberra everyone was having a laugh and taking the piss out of each other. Troy Thompson and Joel Monaghan were probably up there with the funniest blokes.
Do you have any advice for younger players?
A lot of times when you get to those higher levels, it's the guys that want to work hard for the team and do all the right things that make it.
Also, be humble. Take on any advice you get from senior players and coaches. The majority of the time they've been there and done it before and want to help you out.
Also, enjoy it. You get to train and play footy with your mates and those days don't last forever so just enjoy every moment.