“Heaps of my friends are stoked as that I’m here at the Chooks,” Crichton told the Herald. “They have their own little gang – they call themselves the Tri-colours Syndicate – and they travel to away games and have t-shirts made up.
“Our gear guy, Rossco, was giving a heap of last year’s away jerseys and I grabbed a No.12 and a No.1 and gave them to two of my mates who are mad Chooks fans.
“They’ve been Chooks supporters since they were tiny and they were almost in tears – they were loving it.”
And Crichton is already loving his time at the Roosters. Having played his first match for Trent Robinson’s side in their triumphant World Club Challenge tilt, he was the only big gun to feature in the 38-20 loss to Manly.
And already he believes he will be able to produce his best football playing for the reigning premiers among countless other stars.
“When you make any decision in your life you have to weigh up pros and cons,” Crichton said. “For me, I thought I would be able to play my best footy here in 2019 onward. That was a big factor and then the squad that is here will obviously make me a better player.
“The club itself has a pretty proud heritage and me – as a kid growing up going for the club – that made it a bit of a drawcard. The coaching staff here as well was a massive drawcard as well.”
Robinson leads that coaching staff and he has taken an intriguing approach to Crichton’s arrival at the club.
Rather than critique or tweak the back-rower’s game purely off film after his three seasons at the Rabbitohs, the two-time premiership-winning coach wants to sit back, watch and analyse quietly before upping the ante.
“When I first came in Robbo said, ‘I’m not going to coach you, I’m just going to watch you train, see how you play, see how you operate and then I will start coaching off the back of that’,” Crichton said.
“That just shows how good of a coach he is to be able to say that and be that clear on what he wants to do. Now he is seeing what I’m doing, seeing my movements, both in attack and defence so he can see where I can improve.
“That will only continue to grow the more he watches me play, the more I play under him and train under him.”
The tweaks Robinson will make can only make Crichton a better player and that’s a daunting prospect for his opponents, the first of whom will be his old club in what shapes as a tantalising season-opener on Friday week.
“Obviously, I think they will come for my head and try to take me off the field but it works both ways,” he said. “They know my weaknesses but I know their weaknesses and I know where I think I will be able to make an impact for my new team.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.