Woods and Tedesco had to leave

At home: James Tedesco at his parents home in Menangle. Picture: Kirk Gilmour
At home: James Tedesco at his parents home in Menangle. Picture: Kirk Gilmour

To the 55-year-old man wearing a XXL Wests Tigers jersey, sulking about James Tedesco and Aaron Woods departing the club next year – grow up.

For you, rugby league is just a game.

You might ride the highs and lows of your team like a child on Wonderland’s Bush Beast.

And sure you splash some cash on merchandise and tickets. But your investment in the club compared to that of Woods and Tedesco – who are next year reportedly set to join the Bulldogs and Roosters respectively – pales into insignificance.

For the duo, it’s a livelihood – one the club juniors have invested the best part of their lives in.

But it’s a rare employee who would stay at a dilapidated workplace run by a group of people who constantly blame others for poor results.

With the ageing Concord Oval and dysfunctional board, that’s exactly what players at Wests Tigers face everyday when they roll into work. So why would the star duo stay put?

If players want contracts they have to perform.

If clubs want players to commit to the organisation, they have to make the workplace attractive. It’s a two-way street.

For anyone to brand Tedesco and Woods as “disloyal” is petulant and immature at best.

Do yourself a favour and watch the games from the last five years.

Departing: Aaron Woods has led the Wests Tigers pack valiantly for the last five years. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Departing: Aaron Woods has led the Wests Tigers pack valiantly for the last five years. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

If you do, you will notice Woods has been the lone battering ram in a forward pack that has been softer than triple-ply toilet paper.

He and Tedesco are part of small minority of players at the club who have worn their hearts on their jerseys every week.

Without Tedesco, a Camden Rams junior, the side’s winning percentage would have been much worse – think 2016 Newcastle Knights.

They have been two of the most loyal servants any organisation could possibly ask for.

It hurts to lose them, particularly to a club like the Roosters who are in the business of buying players rather than developing them.

Rather than berate Tedesco and Woods for leaving the club, supporters should ask the question: “why are they leaving?”

The short answer – blame the board.