Never in his wildest dreams did Radean Robinson believe he would one day be taking a phone call from former Queensland Maroons star Karmichael Hunt.
But now the pair talk almost daily after Hunt persuaded 24-year-old Robinson to move south and join Souths Logan Magpies for season 2023.
“It actually came about by Karmichael,” Radean said of his move and his new coach.
“He gave me a call and was talking about building something great at the club and he wanted me to be a part of it.
“It was a huge surprise. Speaking about Karmichael, he’s someone I grew up watching. I was just amazed that I was even talking to him. A bit starstruck.
“I wasn’t really a Broncos fan but just more a fan of the way he played the game and his attacking flair.”
Hunt, who is in his first season as Souths Logan’s Cup coach, was not the only person who got in Robinson’s ear about coming to the Magpies.
Born and bred in Rockhampton, he always viewed the Central Queensland Capras as the place that “felt like home”, but was also ready to challenge himself in a new environment.
With Central Queensland second rower Jesse Jennings signing with Souths Logan, plus Robinson’s Italian World Cup teammate Jack Campagnolo also joining the club, there was plenty of noise around him.
“It was partly influenced by another Capras player, Jesse Jennings,” Robinson said.
“A few of the boys like (Souths Logan fullback) Tristan Sailor and Jack Campagnolo, they got in my ear as well. I was in the halves with Campo for the World Cup and he was in my ear over there. Tristan really wanted me on board as well.
“I had a few other opportunities but I just thought winning a championship was my number one priority.
“My goals this year are to just play consistent footy and to win the big one, the big championship with Souths.”
Robinson comes to the Magpies on the back of a career-best year in 2022.
Not only did he represent his mother’s Italian heritage on the world stage, but he also had somewhat of a breakout year at the Capras, helping to steer them to a top five finish.
He said both his Capras season and the World Cup experience had put him in good stead.
“It was kind of like a breakout (year) for me last year… just more that I learnt a lot within myself while I was at the club, and about the identity and culture of a club,” Robinson said.
“For me, it was about having belief and confidence in my ability, to know that I can play at any level. I just grew about the game more.
“The coaching staff really helped, the team and the environment around me, it was just that feeling of ‘we’re in it together’.
“Then the World Cup showed me what it takes to do fulltime footy. I learned a lot there. I have that ability, confidence and belief that I know what it takes now.
“At Souths, I’ve learnt so much already so it’s more a learning curve for my game. With the coaching staff around with (Justin) Hodges, Karmichael and Issac Luke, my game has just gone up.”
As well as Robinson, Jennings and Campagnolo, Souths Logan have signed a number of players, including Tyler Coburn from the Ipswich Jets and Jack Svendsen from Brisbane Tigers, as well as rugby union forward Alex Fidow from the Hurricanes in New Zealand.
For Robinson, his biggest focus at the moment is his first year with Souths Logan.
While he aspires to play in the NRL one day, he said he was not one who liked to look too far forward and had all his sights set on self improvement and a potential premiership.
“I’m not looking towards anything future-wise,” he said.
“I like to stay in the moment, stay present with everything around me, take it day by day. Wherever it leads, that’s where it leads.
“I’m a big believer in what will come to me will come. If I’m working hard, I’ll attract those things.”
Souths Logan Magpies 2023 gains and losses
Jack Campagnolo (Souths Sydney Rabbitohs), Tyler Coburn (Ipswich Jets), Caleb Daunt (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Alex Fidow (Hurricanes – rugby union), Chris Humphris (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Brandon Jackonia (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Jesse Jennings (Central Queensland Capras), Te Rangiatea McDonald (Mudgeeraba Redbacks), Kingstimer Paraia (PNG Hunters), Radean Robinson (Central Queensland Capras), Jack Svendsen (Brisbane Tigers), Leonard Thomas (Norths Devils), Braden Whittaker (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)
Cameron Booth (retired), Benaiah Bowie (retired), Raiden Fonoti (retired), Bradley Frith (West Brisbane Panthers), Christian Hazard (Taree Bulls), Jack Hickson (released), Josh Johnson (released), Richard Pandia (West Brisbane Panthers), Lachlan Perry (Western Clydesdales), Kelly Tate (retired), Cole Waaka (Western Clydesdales), Harradyn Wilson (Manly Sea Eagles)