YOUNG Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton claims his Facebook account was hacked in the club’s post-season celebrations, but the 20-year-old admits his long term future at the club remains unclear.
Raiders fans - and even Wighton’s mum - were asking questions when confronted by a recent status on Wighton’s Facebook account which read: “One more year in Canberra then the journey begins.’’
The NSW Country representative is expected to be in huge-demand when he comes off contract at the Raiders at the end of 2014, with speculation NRL clubs are already courting the Orange junior.
The Raiders are already fighting to retain teenage sensation Anthony Milford, while Wighton is considered another cornerstone of their future.
Wighton, recovering from a badly broken leg, dismissed the Facebook post - which was later removed - as a Mad Monday prank.
“I think I just got hacked the other day, I woke up and the status was gone ... mum even rang and asked me about it.’’
But questioned if he wanted a long-term future in Canberra, Wighton said: “I haven’t heard anything from the Raiders.
“Anything can go really, I’ve just got to see what the future will bring and how it turns out. I’m not too fussed and thinking about it too much.
“I’m still signed for next year so they’ve got plenty of time to talk to me.’’
Raiders recruitment and development manager David Hamilton said the club had initiated talks with Wighton’s manager, Paul Sutton and Wighton was a priority re-signing for the club.
Even one of game’s greatest centres, Mal Meninga, has declared Wighton an important part of Canberra’s future and a ready-made replacement for sacked Raiders centre Blake Ferguson next year.
“Jack obviously a high priority, we’ve definitely spoken to his manager and we don’t want to lose him,’’ Hamilton said.
“We definitely will not be losing Jack Wighton.’’
Wighton admitted he had been rattled this season by injury and the controversy surrounding his two housemates this season, Blake Ferguson and Sandor Earl.
Both players have left the club, Earl the first player issued an infraction notice during the ASADA doping investigation, and Ferguson sacked for repeated off-field incidents.
Wighton, who is five weeks into a 12-week recovery from a broken leg, has since moved in with Raiders hooker Glen Buttriss.
“It’s always hard seeing your mates go through hard times,’’ Wighton said of Earl and Ferguson.
“They’ve been my mates for the last couple of years and I definitely think he [Ferguson] can turn it around.’’
Wighton broke his leg in the Round 23 loss to the Bulldogs and will be in a recovery boot for another three weeks before he begins walking.
Having initially feared the injury could set his career well back, Wighton is targeting an early return to pre-season and being fit for Canberra’s 2014 season-opener.