Langer offer to shrewd Broncos buy Croft

Brisbane's greatest halfback Allan Langer believes Brodie Croft will fire at the Broncos and has offered to mentor the Storm reject to help break the longest premiership drought in the club's history.

New recruit Croft will be unveiled in Broncos colours on Monday as coach Anthony Seibold welcomes back his entire full-time squad for the official start of one of the most important pre-seasons in Brisbane's 32-year existence.

Underfire senior players Darius Boyd, Andrew McCullough and Anthony Milford will report for duty at Red Hill but all eyes will be on Croft, the Broncos' new No.7 once groomed to be the next Cooper Cronk at Melbourne.

Brodie Croft will be unveil at Red Hill. Picture: AAP/Scott Barbour
Brodie Croft will be unveil at Red Hill. Picture: AAP/Scott Barbour

Despite steering the Storm to the 2018 grand final, Croft was dropped by coach Craig Bellamy last season and he now finds himself in Brisbane on a three-year deal tasked with delivering the Broncos' first title since 2006.

A string of playmakers, including Peter Wallace, Ben Hunt and Scott Prince, have struggled to emerge from the iconic shadow of Langer, the Origin legend who amassed 258 games at the Broncos scrumbase.

But Langer is adamant Croft has the skill set to drive Brisbane's offence next season and is so determined for the 22-year-old to succeed he has offered to work with him in a consultancy role.

"Brodie is a great signing," said Langer, who steered the Broncos to four of their six premierships.

"I've seen what he can do at Melbourne and he is just what the Broncos need. He will have a brilliant year.

"There's no better system than the Melbourne Storm so the Broncos will inherit a player with good habits. He will hit the ground running.

"I'm definitely keen to help Brodie. I'm planning to be there at training, I love popping my head in to help young Queensland kids and if Brodie wants my advice or ask me anything, I'm here to help him."

If anyone understands the burden of calling the shots at Queensland's flagship sporting club, it is Langer.

 

Alfie Langer with his statue outside Suncorp Stadium. Picture: Adam Head
Alfie Langer with his statue outside Suncorp Stadium. Picture: Adam Head

 

No man has worn the Broncos No.7 jumper with the class and composure of 'Alfie' but there was still the bombshell moment when Langer, out of form and shot for confidence, suddenly retired just eight rounds into the 1999 season.

Croft is still relatively raw: he has played just 39 top-grade games since his NRL debut in 2016 and has endured speculation he was released by Melbourne because he lost the support of skipper Cam Smith.

Langer accepts Croft will face searing scrutiny at Red Hill but says the Australian under-23s halfback possesses the mental toughness to become Brisbane's playmaking talisman.

"I have watched Brodie closely in the Queensland under-18s and 20s sides," Langer said.

 

Langer believes Croft is the perfect foil for Milford. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty
Langer believes Croft is the perfect foil for Milford. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty

 

"I just love the structure he plays with and the direction he can give to our forward pack. If Brodie calls the shots, that will allow Anthony Milford to go back to five-eighth and play a more relaxed style of football.

"I believe he will take the pressure off Anthony Milford. Brodie also has a very good kicking game so he ticks all the boxes.

"There is always pressure being halfback at the Broncos but the thing I tried to do was just be myself and play my style of game.

"Brodie can handle the pressure, he's got a very mature head on his shoulders. He is the right signing at the right time."

News Corp Australia

Mitchell ventures in to scouting

premium_icon Mitchell ventures in to scouting

For the first time in years, Mitchell will have its own scout troop, thanks to some...

Young gun Taylar recognised for hard work

Young gun Taylar recognised for hard work

Taylar Newman has been recognised by the peak rural retailers association, named a...

Pro tips to keep your furry friend safe this Summer

Pro tips to keep your furry friend safe this Summer

Get the lowdown on how you can better prepare pets for heat