Home town boys Josh Miller and Joel Thompson were clearly the crowd favourites at Forbes yesterday when the Canberra Raiders called in on their way to Dubbo.
Banners in the main street and at Spooner Oval welcomed the pair home - albiet for just a short time before hitting the road again to be here for a Group 11 function held at Dubbo RSL Club last night.
Miller was the first off the bus as the Raiders posed for photos and signed autographs for the throngs of young fans who flocked to the Forbes Magpies home ground.
“It was great to get out there and see all the kids and it was good to be back home,” Miller said.
Miller said the chance to watch live NRL football and meet their heroes can be a rare treat for country children and he welcomed the chance to bring his team mates back to Forbes.
Miller played his junior football with the Forbes Magpies and he said it was a good feeling to return to Spooner Oval.
“Yeah it was great, it was exactly the same as when I left it but I played some good footy there and hopefully will again in a few years,” he said
Miller said the reception from the children of Forbes was a warm one.
“... I think the boys really liked it,” he said.
Turning to tomorrow night’s trial against the Bulldogs, Miller predicted a great day of rugby league.
“They look real good,” he said of the Bulldogs.
Miller said he thought the Bulldogs of 2010 will be stronger than last year and he predicted a top four finish for the blue and whites.
“Every team’s goal is to make the finals,” he said when asked about the Raider’s aspirations for 2010.
Miller said improving their away record and coming home with the points in tight games will be key to their chances.
“My only goal is to stay injury free and enjoy my footy and the rest usually takes care of itself.”