It’s game day. The players run onto the field to warm up. Focused, ready and with history on their shoulders.
In 2021, each of the Raiders players and staff members has a number on the sleeve of their Captain’s Run shirt. The number of a past player who inspires and drives the current group to success.
Every player has a number on their sleeve which represents a former Raider Raiders Football Assistant Brett Dickson created the concept and has helped the players and staff learn more about the club’s history and the people who helped make it.
At the start of the season, each of the players selected a former player they’d like to represent, whether it be due to playing the same position or it being someone they know personally. The number not only appears on their Captain’s Shirt but also their notepads, folders and locker rooms on matchdays.
“The last couple of years we’ve had themes – such as the 1989 and 1990 Premierships,” Dickson said. “This year I had an idea where you’d select a player who has done a bit for the club – they must have played over 100 games or played in grand finals.
“Players who have achieved something that you’d want to achieve as a player.”
Understanding the history of the club and past achievements plays an important role as the current playing group strive to make their own history.
“I think it’s important the players know where they come from,” Dickson said. “You’ve only got to see the ex-players that come back and all they love is getting their Raider number on a shirt and knowing that the boys remember them.
“Jarrod Croker has broken records, so he’s changing the history. You’ve got seven or eight blokes who’ve played over 100 games for us creating their own history.
“You’ve got Jack Wighton, he’s changed history by winning the Clive Churchill and Dally M Medals. Then you also have Josh Papalii, hopefully, he’ll catch up to Laurie Daley and get five Mal Meninga Medals. He’s on four now, so he’s got one more to go.”