Coach Stuart meets with Milford's

Written By Unknown on Senin, 23 September 2013 | 23.40

Raider Anthony Milford. Source: Kym Smith / News Limited

CANBERRA coach Ricky Stuart has upped the ante to keep Anthony Milford, meeting his family at Brisbane's Treasury Casino as part of a high stakes fight for the young Raider.

With Milford leaning towards a move to Brisbane, Stuart's hit-and-run trip north represents Canberra's final roll of the dice to secure their player of the year. 

The Courier-Mail can reveal Stuart met Milford and his parents Halo and Marietta last Friday night. 

The group convened at the casino, with Stuart keen to build a rapport with the Milford clan and understand the bouts of homesickness plaguing the 19-year-old. 

Milford is staying with his parents in the south Brisbane suburb of Inala and there is a possibility he has played his last game in a Raiders jumper. 


Stuart is aware of the Broncos' interest, but the teenager's manager Sam Ayoub insists the new Raiders coach is not pressuring Milford into staying at Canberra. 

"Ricky met his parents and he chatted generally about a lot of things," Ayoub said.

"Ricky said to Anthony he can understand how he feels and the issues concerning his family.

"The truth is Ricky was fantastic with him and made the point that he isn't there to convince him about doing anything right now. It was more a meeting to get to know Anthony and his family.'' 

Armed with a get-out clause, Milford asked for a release from the Raiders six weeks ago to return to Brisbane next year to care for Halo, who had a heart attack 18 months ago. 

Reports have suggested Milford may backflip on seeking a release, but Ayoub said his client had not indicated he wanted to remain in Canberra. 

"As it stands, Anthony has asked for a release and that has not changed," Ayoub said.

"Whether that changes or not is something we will all find out in the near future.

"The coach matters in nine out of 10 situations, so it was important for Anthony to meet Ricky. He now has a good appreciation for the type of person Ricky is and the care he has for his players. 

"But the clause was inserted there for a purpose. Anthony will make a decision sooner rather than later and it won't suit everybody."

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