Raiders return a matter of when for Michael Gordon
MICHAEL Gordon hasn't ruled out playing with the Sydney Roosters or another NRL club in 2018, but his return to Tweed Coast Raiders isn't a matter of if, but when.
While the veteran fullback's future with the Roosters is up in-the-air after the signing of NSW No.1 James Tedesco on a four-year contract from Wests Tigers, the 33-year-old confirmed he'd be suiting up for the Raiders at some point in the future.
While he's held talks with Roosters' coach Trent Robinson about playing on with the club beyond 2017, Gordon revealed that he was in no rush to decide his playing future.
"There's some interest around, but I want to see a few things first before I make any decisions," Gordon told Tweed Daily News.
Gordon said he'd also be willing to look at options with the Gold Coast Titans if any offer was forthcoming
"My preference would be to stay at Roosters, but if the Titans offered me something, I'd be happy to move home with them, but I'm happy to weight up all options," he said.
"At the moment I'm in no rush, but in the next month or two I'll have to make a decision and go from there."
Gordon started his NRL career with Penrith, scoring 798 points across 108 games with the Panthers from 2006-2012.
Gordon also represented NSW in State of Origin in 2010, and played 71 games for Cronulla (2013-15), and 24 for Parramatta (2016), before arriving at the Roosters for the 2017 season.
With two young children, Gordon has already made preparations to return home to the Tweed Coast and finished building his Casuarina home at the end of 2016, where he'll set up permanently post retirement.
His history and connection with his junior club the Tweed Coast Raiders - who returned to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) in 2016 - runs deeply.
While most Raiders' teammates he grew up playing with have retired, Gordon said he'd make good on his pledge to his childhood mates to one day return to the green machine.
"They've done such a great job of coming back in, getting sponsors, and trying to run things properly, I thought the least I could do was have a year back with the boys," he said.
"Hopefully I can bring some experience and if I can come back and pass on any knowledge, I'll be happy to.
"Everything up in the air, but when it's sorted, I'll be giving 100% when I get back to Raiders.
"It's definitely going to happen, it's just a matter of when. The way I'm going I might be 40 by the time I get back."
Tweed Coast president Josh Sattler said the opportunity of having a player of Gordon's standing in Raiders' colours was an honour that wouldn't be lost on the club.
He said the decision to return to Raiders to play with mates and give back to his junior club and community was a testament to Gordon's integrity.
"If the opportunity arises that he does find his way back to Les Burger field and pulls the number 1 jersey on for a beer and a pie, I am sure he will bring a whole lot more than his footy prowess and his rugby league experience, he will bring the quality person and all round great human being he is," Sattler said.
"That is what our club and community will cherish."
While Gordon hopes to extend his NRL career beyond 2017, he said if it ended tomorrow, he'd make his way back to the Tweed content with a career that's delivered over 200 first grade games.
"If my career ended tomorrow, I'd be a very happy man. I've had a great ride and met a lot of great people," Gordon said.
"I've always wanted to go home, but hopefully I can stretch the career out a bit more. We'll see how we go."