South Sydney’s Roy Asotasi talks about how Russell Crowe’s dream for the club is taking shape
- Paul Crawley
- The Daily Telegraph
- May 14, 2013
IF it wasn’t for Roy Asotasi’s brave decision to quit the Bulldogs and gamble on Russell Crowe’s dream, this entire story may never have made it to where it is today.
“It was a meeting with Russell and Peter Holmes a Court and they just talked to me about the vision they had for the club and the future,” Asotasi said. “The vision that we had was pretty much what we have right now.At the time Asotasi was rated the world’s best prop – and his decision to sign was a key move forward for a club that had previously struggled to get any big-name stars.
“It probably took longer than I expected but I’m glad everything is happening right now and I’m still a part of it.”
Souths’ other star recruits at the time included the likes of David Peachey, Nigel Vagana, Dean Widders and David Kidwell.
Today Asotasi is the last man standing in that line-up as a new generation emerges.
It appeared as though the now 31-year-old’s time in first grade was also coming to an end earlier this season when Michael Maguire dropped him to NSW Cup.
But the veteran prop won even more respect for the way he handled the demotion – and fought his way back into the NRL team in a week.
“I kind of knew it was coming. I probably would have been upset if I knew I was doing the right stuff but there was a lot of stuff in my game that I needed to work on.
“That probably was a wake-up call for myself.
“It is how you handle it as a player and Maguire spoke to me about the way I handled it.
“He said I trained the best I ever have throughout that week.
“I see it as a positive. I got rewarded and I am still here.”
In 2006 Asotasi said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that he was “in awe” of Crowe. Yesterday he said seven years on they still have a strong relationship.
“He sends me texts all the time and we spoke probably a week ago,” Asotasi said.
“He is in a good mood. He is happy where the club is going and the boys enjoy his company.”
He also said the fact Maguire ignores reputations and picks his team on form was one of the major reasons Souths are again a premiership force.
“You have got to do your job,” Asotasi said. “That is one thing with Maguire. If you are not going to do the job, he will find someone who will.”No one is complacent just because you are doing well.
“You are always on the edge if you are going to be in the team the following week.
“It has been a tough ride since Maguire took over but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We were a game short of the grand final last year and we are happy with where we are right now.
“It is a long season but it shows how much everyone enjoys having Michael Maguire around.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph