Former Knights hooker Adam Clydsdale says he won’t be walking away from rugby league altogether despite his shock decision to quit the Canberra Raiders and bring down the curtain on his NRL career.
Little more than a week after the Raiders announced a mutual parting of the ways between player and club so that Clydsdale could “pursue business interests”, the 24-year-old Scone junior said he was open to offers from local clubs after moving back to the area.
“I just sort of decided that I’d had enough [of the NRL],”Clydsdale told the Newcastle Herald.
“I don’t have any plans yet. I haven’t thought too much about footy but I know when the season comes around, that I’ll be keen to play so I’m open to anything to be honest.”
After joining the Raiders from the Knights in 2016, Clydsdale struggled for regular game-time behind Englishman Josh Hodgson and Kurt Baptiste, featuring in 15 NRL games for the club.
He finished last season at the Sharks after a mid-year exit but with Baptiste departing Canberra for salary cap reasons, Clydsdale was re-signed by the Raiders on a one year deal for 2018.
He started pre-season training but had been seriously contemplating his future before a heart to heart with coaches Ricky Stuart and Mick Crawley and a number of other people close to him resulted in his surprise decision.
“I mulled over it for a fair while,” he said. “I talked to Mick about it to get his honest opinion. Ricky was away the first few weeks of training but I had a good chat to him when he came back.
“We got on really good and he gave me his honest opinion from a coach’s perspective. He didn’t pull any punches but said it was a big decision and one that only I could make.
“I just wanted to pick his brain and after I did, it made things a bit clearer for me.”
Clydsdale said all the moving around over the past few years after he didn’t feature in coach Nathan Brown’s plans at the Knights, was a big contributor to his decision.
“I think I’m just ready to set my life up now, get back to work and move on to the next part,’he said.
“I’ve nearly finished my carpentry apprenticeship so I will be doing that and my brother Luke has a flooring business so I might get into that as well.”
A few weeks after making the decision, Clydsdale says there are no regrets – even after the news Hodgson had been ruled out for nine months after suffering a serious knee injury during England’s World Cup semifinal win over Tonga.
“That’s football, isn’t it? You could put money on that something like that would happen,” he said.
“But I don’t know if it would have changed my decision. This has been on my mind now for a few months and I probably just thought my time in the NRL was up.”
With his brother Luke coaching Maitland’s reserve-grade side, the Pickers appear to have the inside running for Clydsdale’s signature.
“We haven’t talked about it yet,” he said.