GWS keen on Giant Cronk code switch
COOPER Cronk has made a career out of taking the right option. He won't lack for them in retirement.
Cronk, who will end his rugby league playing career once and for all after leading the Sydney Roosters in Sunday night's NRL grand final against Canberra at ANZ Stadium, already has offers on the table from the Roosters and his former club the Melbourne Storm to take on roles next year.
Beaten AFL grand finalists Greater Western Sydney are also understood to be keen to tap into the qualities that made Cronk one of the greatest players of his generation - just as former teammate Billy Slater has been recruited by St Kilda to help with their leadership and culture.
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His options won't end with the footballing codes, Cronk is likely to attract interest from the game's broadcasters, having impressed during cameo stints with Fox League this year.
However, the most intriguing option for the 35-year-old father of one could be in the business world. Cronk is reportedly ready to pursue an MBA, creating the very real prospect that he could enter administration either with a club or the NRL itself.
In the meantime, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is keen for Cronk to step up his work with the governing body in retirement.
The NRL used Cronk this year to help sell the game to their corporate partners but Greenberg would like to use him more next season given the Roosters No 7 will have free time on his hands.
Cronk has put off any talk of the future until after his rugby league commitments are over. However, no matter what the outcome on Sunday night, it looks to be paved with gold.
"Whatever the result on Sunday, Cooper will leave a lasting legacy," Greenberg said.
"To have played in nine grand finals is a remarkable achievement. In the professional era, it is a monumental feat and it is difficult to see it being replicated.
"Clearly Cooper has a role in the game in the future, whether that be in the media or possibly working with clubs as well. Cooper is a wonderful ambassador for the game. He is knowledgeable and insightful and he will have an important role to play in the game well after retirement."
Before then, Cronk has a grand final to win.
The Roosters playmaker has well and truly moved out of the shadow of long-time teammates Cameron Smith and Slater, leading the Bondi Junction club to successive grand finals and cementing his place in the pantheon of modern-day greats.
Roosters chair Nick Politis, one of the richest men in the country, compared Cronk's impact on the club to that of Sonny Bill Williams, a player who has been lauded for the way he transformed their culture during his short stint at the Roosters.
"He is brilliant," Politis said.
"He is very intelligent and he is a class act."
Asked about whether Cronk's influence compared to that of Williams, Politis said: "As much if not more because being a halfback, he runs the game.
"That has to be more influential. I am not taking anything away form Sonny but Cooper is the game manager. He is so talented and he hasn't got a big ego. Sometimes players are egomaniacs and arrogant. He is none of those. He clicked with the club straight away.
"It is about the team."