Croft ready to step up as Broncos No.7

Brodie Croft says he will embrace the chance to ditch his "next Cooper Cronk" tag and make a name for himself as Brisbane's new halfback in 2020.

BRODIE CROFT
BRODIE CROFT Picture: Tony Feder/Getty Images

While keen to ditch the "next Cooper Cronk" tag, Brodie Croft admits he will still feel plenty of pressure to step up in 2020 thanks to his new role as Brisbane halfback.

But Croft plans to embrace the challenge of wearing the Broncos No.7 jersey after enduring a "rollercoaster" four season Melbourne Storm stint spent largely in Cronk's shadow.

Croft couldn't escape comparisons with Cronk after making his NRL debut for Melbourne in 2016, even after the veteran Storm playmaker left for Sydney Roosters two years ago.

But after leaving Melbourne and signing a three-year Brisbane deal from 2020, Croft believes he can now make a name for himself in a position the club have found hard to fill since the great Allan Langer retired for good in 2002.

"Hopefully I can ditch that (next Cooper Cronk) name tag," Croft said.

"(But) obviously it is a prestigious club and any time you wear the No.7 jersey there is going to be expectations and pressure.

"Hopefully I can stamp my mark. But obviously there is going to be that spotlight on me but ... I am not too concerned about external pressure."

Croft is clearly not too concerned about rumours either.

He laughed off speculation he had left Melbourne after falling out with Storm coach Craig Bellamy and skipper Cameron Smith last year.

Croft did appear on the outer at the Storm in 2019, playing 22 of his 39 career games last season before being snubbed for the finals.

But Croft said: "I don't know where any of that came from. I had a great relationship with all the boys down there.

"You create some really tight bonds so it was really tough to leave.

"When I reflect on my time in Melbourne, it was a rollercoaster I guess you could say but it certainly developed me as a player and a person.

"And having Craig Bellamy as a coach, you learn so much. I wouldn't change anything."

Croft will get a chance to catch up with his ex-Storm teammates sooner than he thought.

He couldn't help but laugh when reminded Brisbane were drawn in the same pool as Melbourne at next week's NRL Nines in Perth where the playmaker will make his Broncos debut.

"Yeah I noticed that the other day when I checked the draw. It's funny how things work out like that," he said.


AAP