IF there is one man that took Super League 2022 by storm then it is Salford Red Devils star Brodie Croft.
The diminutive halfback joined Salford from NRL side Brisbane Broncos where he had struggled to nail down consistent form.
Instead, Croft came to England where he has excelled ever since, winning the Man of Steel last season with Salford chief executive Ian Blease revealing that the club has offered the Australian livewire an extended deal.
Whether or not the 25-year-old takes that offer up remains to be seen, so which four clubs could he potentially be at in 2024?
Salford Red Devils
There is no secret that the Red Devils want to keep their star man – after all, why wouldn’t they? Croft has lit up Super League like few other imports have done, having an impact on Salford akin to that of previous halfback Jackson Hastings. But, the Red Devils are now hoping that they will be able to keep hold of him longer than they did with Hastings. Fellow impressive star Tim Lafai has penned a new three-year deal whilst the likes of Marc Sneyd, Ryan Brierley and Andy Ackers complete a seriously impressive spine. If Croft stays at Salford, he will create a legacy that will etch him into the club’s folklore forever.
Leeds have two major halfbacks at the Super League club for 2023 with Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, but both are out of contract at the end of next season and it will be interesting to see if Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith will tie both down at Headingley. Bringing in Croft would be a sensational signing and would almost certainly keep Leeds at the top of the Super League table for a number of years. Still only 25, the future is still incredibly bright for Croft, but it would be even brighter for the Rhinos if they snapped up the Australian.
Catalans have just lost Josh Drinkwater to the Warrington Wolves whilst Tyrone May suffered a dislocated knee during the World Cup. Mitchell Pearce is also out of contract at the end of the 2023 Super League season which could tempt Steve McNamara to look elsewhere in the halves for 2024. Brodie Croft would be the answer to all of the French side’s prayers in terms of creating something out of nothing and weaving his little bit of magic to help the Dragons move forward. The Salford halfback would be someone to form McNamara’s squad around.
There is no secret that the Newcastle Knights need playmakers – and fast. The Hunter club has lost Tex Hoy and Jake Clifford to Hull FC whilst the likes of Adam Clune, Phoenix Crossland and Tyson Gamble will be expected to take on the mantle lost by the new Hull duo. That leaves a massive gap for someone of Brodie Croft’s calibre to swoop in and take the squad by storm after years being in the NRL wilderness. Newcastle will also perhaps be able to offer more than any other club considering their salary cap situation.
If both Mitchell Moses or Dylan Brown leave Parramatta – with both halfbacks linked with an exit to Wests Tigers and the Dolphins respectively – then it leaves a huge hole in Brad Arthur’s side that needs to be filled with genuine quality to replace two irreplaceable playmakers. Though the pressure on Brodie Croft would be incredible at the Eels if given that task for 2024, there is no reason as to why it isn’t doable. Of course, if both Moses and Brown are taken off Parramatta’s salary cap that would leave the club with copious amounts of money to throw at Croft if necessary.