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Salford’s chances and gameday fashion: Brierley on The Bench

Ryan Brierley admits Salford are keeping their ambitions for the 2024 Betfred Super League season grounded.

The Red Devils, who opened the campaign with a seesaw 22-16 defeat at Leeds Rhinos last Friday, are operating with one of the lowest playing budgets in the competition and saw several key players like Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers depart during the off-season.

Appearing as a guest on The Bench podcast, Brierley made no secret of the fact Salford are setting some initial modest targets for the year, but with one eye on slowly climbing the table to challenge for a top-six finish and a play-off place again.

“There is a realism to be made from the whole situation, when you lose that quality,” Brierley told Sky Sports. “You get away with one or two.

“I think when you lose five full-on starters from your starting 13 it becomes very difficult. There is only so long you can hold onto a narrative of playing the underdog and emotionally getting invested into games.

“We’re controlling our expectations as well as we can at the moment.

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Brierley says finishing 11th in Super League this season should be considered a success for the Red Devils

“The budget says 11th, so we’ll start there and keep chipping away at it.”

The 2024 season marks the start of a new era for Super League, with international marketing agency IMG playing a significant role in revolutionising rugby league.

Brierley has his own ideas for increasing the profiles of individual players, including taking a leaf out of the NFL’s book when it comes to players wearing their own gameday styles to express their personalities when arriving at the stadium for games.

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Brierley is put on the spot with some quickfire questions by Jenna and Jon in this week’s ‘Set of Six’

“Naturally, players wear tracksuits to games, but I think players should individualise what they wear for games,” Brierley said. “We all wear suits [at Salford] for home games, but I think we should go even further.

“When you look at American sport, as much as an NFL team is a team, they’ve all got their individual brands and how they dress.

“I think the social media output can be elevated with that because if you’re all wearing the same thing, you’re just a Wigan Warriors player, but if you’re Jai Field and you’ve got a suit on you’re a bit different, aren’t you?”

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