Cronk won’t let hero worship get in the way. Image: Phil Hillyard
Cronk won’t let hero worship get in the way. Image: Phil Hillyard

Cronk plans hard lessons for Dearden

MAROONS great Cooper Cronk has offered to mentor the Bronco he inspired, Tom Dearden, but warned there will be no favours on Friday night.

New Broncos half Dearden, 18, has revealed Cronk was his league idol and the duo will clash at Suncorp Stadium when the Roosters play the Broncos.

Dearden was just three when Cronk, 35, made his debut for the Storm.

Friday's match will be Dearden's third first-grade game and Cronk's 357th.

As Cronk's illustrious career winds to a close he has found satisfaction in passing on his wisdom to the next generation and offered to help Dearden in any way.

 

"Obviously I am getting to the stage of my career where people were not even in nappies when I was playing first grade,'' said Cronk, who was flattered that Dearden held him in such high regard.

"I remember thinking that way towards the Darren Lockyers and Allan Langers and Mal Meningas. I used to sit two metres away from the television and watch those guys play State of Origin and Tests.

"Now I am getting to the stage where I am playing guys who were born in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

If Dearden is going to pick one mentor, why not a great one? Image: AAP Image/Darren England
If Dearden is going to pick one mentor, why not a great one? Image: AAP Image/Darren England

"I suppose it is quite nice that guys have based a little bit of their game around I have played for quite a period of time.

"I have been happy to help out those guys because I was fortunate to be around some really good people who helped me out throughout my career.

"Without their input I would not be here today. I am more than happy to help Tom and any other young guy coming through the system though I won't help him too much on Friday night.

"I have been more open to that with the back end of my career. With guys at my club Melbourne I have liked to do that and I am still in contact with guys who have gone through the club.''

Segeyaro wasn’t disguising his glee at joining Brisbane. Image: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Segeyaro wasn’t disguising his glee at joining Brisbane. Image: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

Cronk said new Broncos recruit James Segeyaro had the potential to bring and X-factor to the team.

"I know Anthony Seibold from my days at the Storm and he is a good operator and obviously with Andrew McCullough going down they need to get some depth and strength there," he said.

"James adds that X-factor to most teams he plays for because he has that different type of style to a traditional dummy half. He has a bit of zip, a bit of pop so I am sure we will do our analysis on him and their other players to hopefully spot their strengths and come up with some of their weaknesses.

"We have a game plan we like to play against the Broncos and hopefully we can get it ready in a short time.''