CONTRACT negotiations were a simple affair for Ryan Brierley – Salford Red Devils told him he was “not going anywhere” and he agreed!
The fullback recently penned a new three-year deal to stay with the club until the end of the 2025 season.
Brierley’s first campaign with Salford, who he supported growing up, in 2022 was a highly successful one, as he played a key role in their run to the Super League play-off semi-finals.
The 30-year-old – who had three spells at Leigh as well as stints with Huddersfield, Toronto and Hull KR in the space of six nomadic seasons before going to the AJ Bell Stadium – admits he had no reason to want to leave.
Not that head coach Paul Rowley gave Brierley, who also played for him at Leigh and Toronto, much choice in the matter.
“As soon as Paul Rowley said ‘you ain’t going anywhere, you’re staying with me’, it was kind of done,” the Scotland international told League Express.
“It was as simple as that. Between Rowls and Bleasey (Ian Blease, Salford’s director of rugby and operations) and myself, they knew how happy I was here and that this was the place I’d play my best rugby.
“They just said ‘you’re not going anywhere; we see you as a big part of our future’. That’s what I wanted to hear.
“Especially as I’ve gone from club to club, to be told ‘sit down, shut up, you’re not going anywhere’, it was nice. It’s nice to be wanted, so I’m happy to repay that faith.”
Brierley is hoping to kick on after a year which he believes was the best of his career to date, although he could miss the start of the 2023 campaign as he prepares for knee surgery.
“Last season was great, it was probably my best season individually,” he said.
“I moved to fullback (the previous season) at Leigh and really enjoyed it.
“Even though I played some decent stuff for Leigh I wanted to make sure my stats were better, especially my try contributions. I had 34 at Salford last season (with twelve tries and 22 assists), which was a massive difference.
“To come 80 minutes away from the Grand Final, from a team point of view, was pretty special, but we weren’t ready for our season to end.
“It’s certainly given us that hunger to hopefully go one better next season.”