Remember when I said we’d be in for a lot of comedy value as Super League clubs started talking contracts with players, well, its under way!
Some interesting things going on this week with young (Under 35) English halfback Richie Myler telling Salford to show him the money.
Myler is a very average player, he has achieved nothing and hey, being selected at halfback for England just confirms he can’t play for shit. None of that matters though as he looks to squeeze every last cent out of Salford, who obviously can’t match money on offer at other clubs.
Then we have Leed Smith of the Leeds Rhinos. There has never been a more average, middle of the road, not really that good at anything player in the history of the game than Lee Smith. However, Smith has decided to leave Leeds, and Rugby League and join up with some union club.
So here you have two young players that have shown nothing, have done nothing, but they want everything in return.
I’ve said for some time that the English game is run on ego. Its about appearing to be the greatest, having enough back slappers to convince you of that fact, and then getting off walking around your little northern town being a hero.
That is what drives English players these days.
Its not money, they get paid no matter how they perform. The fact that the likes of Paul Sculthorpe, Andrew Farrell and Keiron Cunningham have earned millions more over their careers than the likes of Lockyer, Fittler and Buderus says it all.
And its not achievement. That would involve working hard and building towards something, that goes against the tradition of just moving to St Helens, Wigan or Leeds and waiting for a trophy to fall in your lap!
Hell you can’t even point at an all consuming desire to finally do SOMETHING at International level, after all, England were the 9th best team at last years World Cup!
Its all run on ego, players getting off on the groupie culture, the local hero status and a fan base that doesn’t know, or care about their real standing in the game.
I’ve always said that a player should get the most amount of money he can possibly earn and do it as quickly as possible. No one gives you a golden handshake when your career is over (Unless you are an Aussie or a Kiwi, then Super League clubs do give you a golden handshake!) and now one admires a player because he earned less money during his career.
However, you can’t help but be left bewildered when two players that would struggle at local A grade level in any football competition in Australia or New Zealand are going around dictating to others what they are worth and how good they are.
If English players of this “Caliber” are the ones able to call the shots, what does that say about the greater English game?
Once the likes of Offiah and Hanley were the stars picking and choosing where they would go and how much they were worth. Now its Myler and Smith?
I think it says a lot about the English game and the standards it now holds for itself.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Feb 21, 2020 0