Simply training with Cooper Cronk makes Melbourne young gun Brodie Croft want to pinch himself.
No wonder Croft’s head was spinning at the thought of playing alongside his idol in the Storm’s NRL season-opener next month.
Croft, 19, is one step closer to filling the five-eighth vacancy created by Blake Green’s Manly defection after inspiring Melbourne’s 30-18 trial win over New Zealand Warriors on Saturday.
Croft helped Melbourne pile on 30 unanswered points in front of more than 10,000 people at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Croft was signed by Melbourne as a long term replacement for halfback Cronk.
Now it seems Croft will learn his trade by Cronk’s side in the Storm halves this season after the teenager backed up from his Auckland Nines heroics.
But Croft said he was still getting his head around training with Cronk, let alone playing in the NRL with him.
Croft played his sole first-grade game last year while Queensland playmaker Cronk was on State of Origin duty.
“To be able to train with him every day sometimes I have to pinch myself,” Croft said.
“That was the biggest reason to move down to Melbourne, there’s no better halfback to learn under.
“He was someone I looked up to as a kid.
“It would be pretty special but that is a long, long way away yet.”
Still, Croft made no secret of his desire to wear the No.6 jersey in Melbourne’s round-one clash against the Bulldogs at Belmore on March 3.
“That’s been the pre-season goal. Since Blake Green left the No.6 jersey has been vacant,” he said.
“I want to get on the front foot, train hard and see what happens.”
Storm assistant Adam O’Brien said Croft would play in what loomed as a near full-strength Melbourne’s final trial against the Bulldogs in Hobart on February 18.
“He did a great job closing it out for us which is a great sign from a kid of his age,” he said.
“The most pleasing thing is that he has a strong head on his shoulders.
“He understands he has had a good couple of weeks but he needs to keep improving every day.”