Michael Gordon, also known as Flash Gordon, was set to retire from the National Rugby League at the end of the current campaign.
The 33-year-old who has enjoyed a career spanning 11 years felt that maybe it was time to return back to his native New South Wales to play country rugby league, with the physical demands of the NRL really beginning to take their toll. James Tedesco being signed for next season too, certainly seemed to spell the end for Gordon and the Sydney Roosters.
In fact, it was the signing of James Tedesco that has encouraged Flash Gordon to pen a one-year extension with the Roosters. The 24-year-old has been drafted in to play as fullback from the start of the 2018 season and this has been a welcome relief for the man he’s set to replace. Gordon described how physically demanding playing fullback actually is, and that he felt he possibly couldn’t have done himself justice there for another season. Tedesco’s arrival will allow Gordon to play elsewhere on the field, in a position that won’t be as demanding on him as playing fullback would have.
It’s a definitely a positive move for both the Roosters and Gordon. This sentiment has been echoed by bookmakers like Boylesports who specialise in Australian Rugby League. In James Tedesco, they’re acquiring the NSW Origin No. 1 and RLPA player of the year at a good age. At 24 he still has plenty of years left in him and will undoubtedly go on to make the full back slot his own, especially if he shows the same form as what he showed at the Wests Tigers. With Michael Gordon still around the place too, it will only help Teddy improve as a player going forward too.
Gordon himself was in high demand too, with other clubs in the National Rugby League interested in recruiting the experienced star. However, with a young family, he felt it was important to remain in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. He’d also been given the heads up that The Roosters and Coach Trent Robinson were extremely keen on retaining his services for a further year if they could manage to get a deal for Tedesco over the line. That was a huge confidence boost for the 33-year-old who was eager to remain at the club for the foreseeable future at least.
It will be interesting to see where Gordon does fit in over the course of the 2018 campaign and whether he will be used more sparingly than people think. His presence will certainly be a huge boost for his teammates, that’s for sure. For a man who has played the fullback role since 2013, it may take time to adjust to a new role but it will certainly be a welcome relief for the NRL veteran physically.