This weekend, Canberra Captain Jarrod Croker will continue to cement himself in Raiders folklore when he becomes the second ever player to make 250 appearances in the lime green jersey.
He becomes the second youngest of all-time to reach the milestone - after Brett Finch, who was 28 and 303 days old in 2010 when he was playing for the Melbourne Storm. Jarrod will be 28 and 334 days on Sunday.
“If you told me I’d ever play 250 games for this club all that time ago, I would’ve laughed at you!” Said Croker. “It’s something I’m very proud of.”
Croker lined-up ten years ago for the Green Machine, starting on the wing against the same opposition as he’ll face this weekend.
“It feels like only yesterday I was talking about my first game, which was actually against the Roosters,” said Croker. “It’s gone very quick but has been very enjoyable.”
Fellow co-captain Josh Hodgson believes there isn’t any other Raider who deserves the respect and accolades Croker has been given.
“It’s a massive achievement, there isn’t many people at this club who have managed to do that, and I’m sure he’ll go on to break the 300 record and hopefully even push for the 400,” said Hodgson.
Hodgson agreed with Josh Papalii’s comment of Croker being like a “fine wine”, acknowledging how consistent his co-captain is.
“He’s Canberra through and through,” said Hodgson. “He has been getting better with age, and he has been recognised throughout the years as such a good club member.”
Fellow long-time Raider Jack Wighton couldn’t be prouder of what ‘Toots’ has achieved in his ten years at the Green Machine.
“He means a lot to the club, and he’s always been a role model in my eyes,” said Wighton. “I can’t wait to take to the park with him… for him to get to 250 games at such a young age is a massive achievement.”
Captain Croker is already a mainstay in the Raiders’ history books, recently passing Jason Croker to become the club’s all-time leading try-scorer.
He's also the clubs leading point scorer and needs just six points to reach 1000 points at GIO Stadium.
Croker isn’t shy of winning awards either, being awarded the club’s Meninga Medal in 2014, as well being awarded the Provan Summons medal and being named Dally M Captain of the Year in 2016.
Raiders’ forward Elliott Whitehead hopes to help inspire the team to victory in the weekend’s game to help celebrate Croker’s massive milestone.
“We’re going to do as much as we can to get the win for Jarrod,” said Whitehead. “[Croker] can keep getting those appearances and will one day get to the top, but this week we need that win.”
After two weeks on the road, Croker couldn’t be happier to his 250th game in the Nation’s Capital.
“When you do get an opportunity to celebrate a milestone like that, there’s no other place you’d want to play it then at home,” said Croker.
In his ten years at the club, Croker has gone on to score 121 for the Green Machine, kicked 725 goals at an accurate percentage rate of 80%, and become one of the Raiders’ all-time greats.
Raider Number: #284
Club Awards: 2014 Meninga Medallist
NRL Awards: 2016 Dally M Captain of the Year & 2016 Provan Summons Medallist
Club Appearances: 249
Club Tries: 121
Club Goals: 725
Club Points: 1,934