General Dunneman Determined To Make Mark On NRL



If Andrew Dunneman was a rugby league supporter, he'd write himself off as a has-been who cannot make a return to the NRL at 30.

But the Canberra Raiders recruit, returning to the NRL after seven years in the English Super League, says he's going to use that perception to prove his critics wrong in 2007.

"I understand (why people are sceptical), if I was a spectator I would say the same thing," said Dunneman.

"It's up to me to prove them wrong."

Dunneman knows his recruitment by the Raiders has ruffled a few feathers amongst fans.

Two years ago the club were lambasted for recruiting Jason Smith and Matt Adamson from the UK. Both were older than 30 and considered past their prime.

Smith proved a valuable asset with two solid seasons at the Green Machine, but Adamson broke down and failed to fulfill his contract.

Aware his weary legs aren't what they once used to be, and the NRL has jumped in standard since he last played in Australia, Dunneman said he would have to lift his game to prove himself in the world's toughest league.

He is determined to replicate the success of Smith by bringing a steely competitive edge to the Raiders and set an example to the squad of young players.

"I'll bring probably a good competitive edge," he said.

"I have been trying to do that at training and I think I have made an impression there but obviously that's nothing if you don't get out on the field and perform.

"Hopefully I will stay injury free like I have for most of my career.

"At the end of the day I will be judged on how I perform on the field."

A Super League premiership player with Leeds in 2004, Dunneman now wants success in Australia after spending his earlier career at struggling clubs Gold Coast, South Sydney and North Queensland.

The Raiders - decimated by the departure of several key experienced players last season - will start wooden spoon favourites in 2007 but Dunneman has faith.

Last year his Salford City Reds side started underdogs but reached the Super League semi-finals on the back of a strong team ethic, a characteristic he sees building amongst the young Raiders.

"If everyone is working together and doing the same things and working and playing for each other you can do great things," Dunneman said.

"I think at the Raiders there's a lot of people like that, guys doing the work for each other.

"There are guys who are very confident and they'll step up to the plate and go to the next level this year."

Source: AAP


I had seen him play in the ESL in previous years and i think he is going to struggle to keep up with our game and struggle to compete with the skill levels shown in our competition