Will Chambers says Melbourne will do their best to ensure they give departing halfback Cooper Cronk a fitting farewell in his last regular-season NRL match at AAMI Park.
The Storm host Canberra on Saturday night with the club preparing for a massive occasion. It will be Cronk’s final home-and-away game and captain Cameron Smith will equal Darren Lockyer’s record of 355 games.
Smith will also accept the JJ Giltinan Shield for the Storm winning the minor premiership.
After 14 seasons with Melbourne, Cronk remains undecided on his playing future but is moving to Sydney for personal reasons and Chambers says the team want to perform well in honour of him.
They are set to host a finals match in week one but want this last regular match to be one to remember.
“I don’t think he wants much done – Cooper shies away from it and he just wants play good footy and wants everyone to perform,” Chambers said.
“I know that the boys will give it their best for Cooper this weekend because he’s been a big part of this club for a long time.
“Everyone always talks about the big three. Well, he’s the first of them to go.”
While Cronk’s on-field contribution speaks for itself, Chambers says the Test halfback has given so much to the club and to him.
“He’s been a big mentor to me; he’s the ultimate professional and he’s got an open heart,” Chambers said.
“Any new players who come here, he takes them out to dinner and he gets to know everyone.”
Chambers moved in with Cronk when he arrived in Melbourne as an 18-year-old and said he had taught him about professionalism and having a positive outlook.
“Cooper turned up every day with a smile and that’s what I took away and tried to keep.”