Brodie Croft arrived in Super League as a damaged soul after being battered in an unforgiving NRL, but the half-back is now shining in Salford’s play-off push.
That’s the view Paul Rowley. The Red Devils head coach has heaped praise on his spine of Ryan Brierley, Croft and Marc Sneyd.
Croft turned 25 last week, starting his career at Melbourne Storm before a tough season at Brisbane, finishing bottom of the league prior to arriving in Super League.
“Brodie came to us a little bit of a damaged soul, probably not high on any shopping list,” Rowley tells this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast.
“But he has rediscovered himself and has been allowed to grow as a leader. He leads by his actions, his words are becoming more accomplished and he is still on a journey. I think he will always be on a journey because he is so conscientious and willing to learn.
“I don’t think it is secret that in the NRL you get battered, if you are not winning then it is the pivot’s fault or the coach’s fault. He has been battered for a good couple of years over there press-wise. He started at Melbourne with the Goats of Cam Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, fitting into a regime and expecting to play a support role.
“At Brisbane the team was under-performing and Brodie was thrust into a leadership role as a young lad. I don’t think he has been allowed to breathe, allowed to grow. Just take the spotlight off him for a little bit and let him be himself.”
Brodie Croft always willing to learn
Rowley says he has been taken aback by Croft’s desire to learn. He added that he, Sneyd and Brierley are coaching the coaches, rather than the traditional way round.
Rowley said: “They have been fantastic for each other, for the group and for us as coaches. It is a tough environment, we give him loads of feedback and he gives us double the feedback back.
“He will come in and will have watched three games of our next opponents already. He will have had a conversation with Brierley and Sneyd on their “Spine” WhatsApp group; and they are already throwing ideas at us.”