Thompson Becomes A Long Term Raider

In a historic day for the Canberra Raiders, hardworking prop Troy Thompson has agreed to upgrade and extend his contract until the end of the 2010 season.

Thompson becomes the first Raider to sign up until 2010, and will hopefully be the start of many more upgraded Raiders in the upcoming few months.

A Canberra junior, Thompson said it is a great honour to become the first Raider to sign into the next decade, and looks forward to playing his career out with the club.

"I was already signed here for the next two years but the Raiders have given me an upgrade and two more years which is pretty good," Thompson said. "Don (Furner) come to me and told me they were going to give me an upgrade so I was pretty excited about that, and to sign for an extra two years was unbelievable and some security for me."

Thompson said it's great to remain loyal to a club that he loves playing for, despite some interest from outside of the Raiders.

"These days you don't here about blokes signing for four years, but the club has been good to me and hopefully I can repay them with some good form for the next four years," he said. "There was a bit of interest from a few Sydney clubs and overseas, but my family and friends are here and I'm happy to stay."

The 26-year-old Thompson said he is looking forward to becoming one of the team's leadership players, and help with the development of some of the clubs younger stars.

"There are heaps of young kids coming through and hopefully I can be part of bringing them into the side," he said. "We have some exciting young halves coming through and to play with them in a new club atmosphere and with a new coach will be exciting as well."

Raider's general manager Don Furner said the Raiders are all about rewarding good form and loyalty within their ranks, and Thompson fits perfectly into both categories.

"As we said before we're going to reward those players who are going really well for us, rather than bring guys in that aren't going any better than the ones we've got," Furner said. "Thommo has been outstanding. He's a local guy who never wanted to leave."

Furner said he had consulted incoming coach Neil Henry about the decision to upgrade Thompson, and hopefully there will be similar signings within the next few months.

"I've spoken with Neil and he's really happy with Troy's form and we're happy to have him into 2010," he said. "We've also spoken to a few of the young guys about upgrading as well, and will sit down with the likes of Michael Dobson and Marc Herbert and those type of guys, with our focus being keeping that core group of young guys together until 2009 and 2010 and that will give us the best hot of winning a grand final."

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