By STEVE MASCORD
CLUB stalwart Mitchell Aubusson has a message for Sydney Roosters fans who can smell a premiership: it’s not all about this year.
Aubusson has been at Bondi Junction for a decade and never wants to leave. He says the 2013 campaign under rookie coach Trent Robinson is as much about ended the dramatic fluctuations in the club’s fortunes from one year to the next as it is about winning the title.
“That’s what we’re trying to build, trying to be successful for a long period of time,” Aubusson, 26, tells League Week.
“We made the grand final in 2010 and ’08 we were top four. We’ve been at one end and at the other. There’s no in between for us.
“We’ve been at that stage where we’ve gone well for a year and then tapered off.
“There is a core group of us that really want to put a good culture in place and build for the future. All the guys who were here during those lean years were pretty keen to play some good footy.”
Coming up through the ranks, Aubusson has seen players come and go and now fees responsible for the legacy the current group leaves.
Having Anthony Minichiello as skipper and Craig Fitzgibbon as defensive coach helps set the tone, ‘Aubo’ says.
“I love the joint, to be honest,” he says.l “No matter what we’re going through, I love the people and I want to work really hard for this club. For me, it was never really an option to leave. I’ll continue to love the joint and keep going.
“It’s the people, it’s the club, it’s the history, it’s the boys. I was on a scholarship when I was 16 and now I’m 26. I’ve been here for a long, long time.
“I’ve played with the core guys, through the junior games, with Pearcy (Mitchell Pearce), Skidsy (Shaun Kenny Dowall) , Franky-Paul (Nuausala). All of us came through Flegg togther. Although we bring other guys in, there’s still a core that’s been here since we were 18. That’s pretty exciting and we look forward to a couple of years of success.
“A lot of it is being more professional, on and off the field – working really hard off the field. You just can’t take shortcuts. The competition’s so close that you have to make sure you’re right week-in and week-out. I think we’ve done well at that this year but there’s always room for improvement. There’s stuff we’re always looking at.
“I’m probably one of the older boys now in the team. It’s up to us to bring through more guys like Fitzy and Wingy (Craig Wing) and Mini. They’re still here, leading the way. We’re feeding off them.
“(Fitzgibbon is) massive. He’s the defensive coach and he works pretty hard and it’s good to know that you played with a guy who would pretty much die in a game for you. When he tells you to do something in defence, you’ve pretty much gotta say yes because he’s done it all and probably more.”
And then there’s the so called ‘Dream grand final’ – Sydney Roosters v South Sydney.
Aubusson admits: “From when I first got here – I was a kid from the country – the first thing you’re told is Rabbitohs, round one.
“They’re exciting games, they’re always pretty close and we’ve got one more game to get through and if the Rabbitohs do well, we’ll talk about it later.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK