Blake Ferguson will be at the Roosters in 2015; fans divided

Source: SMH.

Source: SMH.

It’s all but official (although we’ve known it here for a month or so now) that Blake Ferguson will be a Rooster in 2015.

The club has signed him to an off-field role for the remainder of the year in which he will do community work, largely with indigenous communities and with local clubs.

From reports, the Roosters have asked the NRL to register him before June 30 to allow him to play this year, but from those same reports Ferguson will remain de-registered as a player until next year at the earliest.

He has to undergo off-field rehabilitation before the NRL considers that final sign-off allowing him to play.

On paper the signing makes sense: the Roosters will instantly have the most talented backline in the premiership next year with Ferguson at right-side centre along with Jenko, Toops, SKD and RTS. In a vacuum his talent is transformative, but we don’t live in a vacuum.

As such, the signing has caused somewhat of a rift between fans. Admittedly this is only from 26 Rounds’ observations on Twitter and Facebook, but it seems a straight split down the middle regarding his signature. The opinions are pretty clear on both sides: on one hand, he’s a destructive influence and (at time of print) someone who has been convicted of indecent assault. On the other, he deserves the same second chance that everyone should be afforded.

The club is adamant they can reform him. They have cited their track record of turning lives around, including that of origin squad member Jake Friend and former Rooster Todd Carney who, despite having his contract torn up, was twice the man he was when he left than before he arrived, having left with a Grand Final appearance and a Dally M Medal.

Regardless of their record, we are about to find out what they can do to rehabilitate a unique case in Blake Ferguson as early as round one next year.

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9 responses to “Blake Ferguson will be at the Roosters in 2015; fans divided

  1. I hope they are able to help Ferguson if he plays for us or not. I am concerned about him spending time with Anthony Mundine was is a serial loud mouthed fool. But if he is given the Right Mentors around him and BC keeps him straight – he might not be a negitive influence on our time time will tell.

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    • very true. The deal is all but done, and it’s now up to Ferguson to prove people wrong and the club to help him do it. The only thing that will tell us is time.

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  2. He has been at the past few Henson Park games, and from all reports has been very approachable and a real gentleman. Rumours swirling around the Marrickville Astrodome were that he couldn’t play for the Roosters – but would be playing for the Bluebags later in the season and was there to check out the place. If the NRL hasn’t registered him can he still play NSW Cup? “The Betty Ford clinic of Rugby League” would be a great place for him to start!!!

    As for the supporters being divided…I’ve got just 3 words for you – or just 3 letters – SBW.

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    • SBW was always a different circumstance — he didn’t need reform, he’d proven in his time away that he’d grown up. And he was never tried and found guilty of a crime. I totally understand people being apprehensive here, it’s more than the Roosters have ever faced in terms of rehabilitating someone’s image and life. It’s a truly unique situation.

      I don’t think he will be allowed to play NSW CUP, but I’m not entirely sure.

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  3. Oh yes – I can totally see why they are apprehensive as well… but the way i look at it is everybody deserves a second chance, and for many just getting away from Canberra seems to be enough! LOL!

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    • That’s where I feel conflicted. I was vehemently against it — but he will never be able to get another job. He knows only one thing: rugby league.

      Does the game owe him anything? Not at all. But it’s the last avenue he has towards rehabilitating and reforming his life. He’s 24 years old, too young to completely write off.

      I have seriously oscillated strongly on either side of the fence on this. I honestly have no idea how to feel on it.

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      • Yes – totally with you. I am apprehensive as well and the game owes him nothing as you said. But wow – if we can rehabilitate him what a good news story… the transformative power of sport! I always feel sorry for our young league players – they are often not well educated and are thrown in to the deep end as regards the press, and living life in the spotlight. I’m just glad the media were not following me around at that age, and that there were not cameras everywhere I went!
        And finally – being the blindly loyal and optimistic Chook that I am I always think…well our club knows best, so if they are willing to take a risk on personel I will support them.

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        • I agree on that — they are taking a massive gamble here, and are trusting that fans by and large will accept it. They know it could go belly-up, and they have also offered him no guarantees with regards to him playing.

          I hope he can turn it around, just so his life isn’t wasted. You’re right, he’s a young kid, poorly educated with a shitty upbringing. If the Roosters can help him find his path, then more power to him and them.

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  4. How many more chances does Blake get in the game? His choice of club is interesting given the fact that Kings Cross is close by. Does he deserve another chance? When does the NRL say enough is enough? Very talented on the field but that means nothing when it comes to his off-field reputation.

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