Topic: Here’s why the Canberra Raiders will compete for the spoon next season  

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  • Jason Croker
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Look away Raiders fans.

It was only last year when the Viking clap was booming around the Nation’s Capital as a sniff of a premiership was in the brisk Canberra air. Crucial Edrick Lee mistakes all but cost them their first grand final appearance since 1994.

Fast forward to the end of 2017 and the future is bleak in the Nation’s Capital. Many ‘experts’ gazed into their crystal ball for 2017 and saw the Raiders painting ANZ stadium green come October first.

This was not the outcome as Ricky Stuart’s men failed to make the top eight in a very lacklustre season. With a very similar team line-up to their 2016 squad, you wouldn’t raise many eye-brows in saying that the Raiders can compete for the title in 2018, however I believe the decline will only continue and here’s why.

As the competition becomes closer each year the need to have the best players in key positions has been more crucial than ever. The Raiders have made no notable signings for the second year in a row, exposing them to the risk of becoming even more predictable. Maintaining the same line-up for consecutive seasons is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are a Melbourne Storm fan.

Nevertheless, the Storm try to resist change based on their continued success over the years. 2017 was not a prosperous year for the Raiders so player turnover may be needed.

Unfortunately, if you are a Raiders fan, this trend won’t change in the immediate future as it has been published that the club is under pressure to shed players due to salary cap pressures.