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Salford Red Devils star left ‘devastated’ and lamenting “shit side of sport” after huge transfers

Leeds Rhinos have strengthened their 2024 side immensely by making the bold double move for Salford Red Devils pair Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers.

Just days after Wigan Warriors lifted the Grand Final and there’s already movements from their rivals with the intention of dethroning them, with Leeds set to boast an entirely new look spine in 2024.

The 2023 campaign ended with Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer free to leave and off contract whilst hooker Kruise Leeming left early in the year, but now the Rhinos have found their hooker in Ackers, halves in Matt Frawley and Croft, whilst Lachlan Miller has joined at full-back.

It’s a spine of a team that should be challenging for silverware and highlights the transformative off-season that the Rhinos are undertaking having already secured a new stadium sponsor in AMT on a 15-year contract.

Moreover it’s recruitment that has come at a cost, indicating the level of intent, with Chief Executive Gary Hetherington stating that the double swoop for Ackers and Croft represents the “biggest investment in one go since we signed Iestyn Harris in 1997”.

Whilst it’s undoubtedly brilliant news for Leeds fans to wake up to, it must be devasting for Salford seeing two stars leave just months after Tyler Dupree made the switch to Wigan as well.

One man who formed the notorious Salford spine alongside Croft and Ackers was full-back Ryan Brierley and he’s taken to social media to wish both men luck, whilst acknowledging the devastation it’s left upon him.

Sharing the club’s post confirming the departures, the Scotland international took to X, formerly Twitter, to say the following:

“Damn this is devastating. This is the shit side of sport, not just losing players but losing best mates, I know how hard this was for both of them so I hope they go on to achieve great things at an unbelievable club and I hope our fans share the same sentiments to both of them.”

Brierley has had another standout season at Salford and could well find himself on the radar of other clubs given his superb form, but for now he’ll anchor a backline that features new recruit Nene Macdonald who thus far has been Salford’s only signing.

However with reports down under from the Daily Telegraph claiming that the fee involved for Croft and Ackers was $300,000, then it would suggest that the Red Devils will be heading to market to replace their star players and form another solid spine anchored by Brierley.

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