The 2022 Steve Prescott Man of Steel, Salford Red Devils stand-off Brodie Croft, says that a key reason for his good form during the season was the welcome he received when he arrived at the club at the end of last year.
Croft was presented with the award last Tuesday night at the Man of Steel function at Headingley.
“It’s always the unknown when you come to the other side of the world to start a new journey. So to come over here and not know anyone in the team was potentially difficult,” Croft told League Express.
“But when I arrived, I just felt so welcomed by everyone from the very first day. It’s really special to be a part of the vibe and the culture that has been built around Salford.
“The boys are genuine and sincere and they made me feel part of the club from day one. It’s been a really enjoyable club to be a part of.”
Croft admits, however, that the British autumn and winter took some getting used to.
“I got here at the end of October and was surprised by the dark days,” he added.
“I was really amazed when the darkness came by 4.00pm. I’m not used to that in Australia, but I kept getting told how good the summer was, so I kept hoping it would be.”
In media interviews, Croft has made an impression with his enthusiasm about Rugby League and life in general.
“I like to look at the positive things in life and when things are tough, I always try to flip it on its head and make it positive,” he said.
“I’m the best version of myself when I’m being positive, energetic and enthusiastic. And when I’m in an environment that can bring those qualities out in me, it can help me play some good football on the field as well.
“I just tried to buy into what the club was about and to have some impact myself on its culture. The more people who have that buzz around them, the more it can help send things in the right direction.”
And Croft was keen to pay tribute to his team-mates, especially those who play in the spine of the team.
“Our spine has a real good connection together. We like to pick each other’s brains and what we think in certain situations and how we want to play in scenarios here and there.
“We complement each other well. Put that all together and we had some really good ingredients this year to set the direction we wanted to go in.
“It also helped me that those guys are a bit older than me. They have helped me with their experience. Marc Sneyd has one a couple of Challenge Cups and nothing ever worries him. Sometimes I can get a bit flustered if things don’t go as I want them to, but he is a calming influence.
“Then you have Andy Ackers, who opens up my game so much. The three of them all help open up my game so I get to flourish on the back of what they are doing. A lot of the time, they don’t get the accolades they deserve and that I’ve been fortunate to get.”
Other Man of Steel awards:
Top Tackler – Danny Houghton (Hull FC)
Top Try Scorer – Bevan French (Wigan Warriors)
Loch Lomond Spirit of Super League Award – Peter Mata’utia
Young Player of the Year – Jack Welsby (St Helens)
Coach of the Year – Matt Peet (Wigan Warriors)
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