By Jack Brady
It’s the 2nd of July.
June 30 is behind us.
Sure it means that the financial year has ended and sure it means that the Carbon tax in Australia has begun but for NRL coaches, club administrations, the players and even fans of all 16 NRL club, they are simply relieved.
The June 30 deadline will now come into play, the mid season signings of players is over for another year as each team can now knuckle down and concentrate on their final charge towards September football.
This season alone saw 18 players switch their club colours midway through the year.
Out of the 16 clubs in the National Rugby League, only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans remained unaffected by the mid-season signing rollercoaster, however, if the June 30 deadline of mid-season player movement failed to exist, the rumoured departure of Knights player Junior Sau to the Rabbits just may’ve come to fruition.
Many fans of rugby league are critical of mid season transfers. It is just another example that loyalty in the sport nowadays is wavering. However, is it the players who want to leave or is it the coach and/or administration of the club pushing the player out the door?
Of course there are many different reasons as to why a player leaves one team for another, for example, this season such transfers have occurred because of disciplinary reasons, salary cap pressures and the better opportunities that a player may gain through their switch albeit for financial, footballing and family reasons.
These latter reasons demonstrate the necessity of the June 30 deadline.
It gives these players another chance before the season ends to strike a deal with another club for whatever reason whilst also preventing coaches and clubs alike to release all their unwanted players after the deadline comes into play.
I’m sure Wayne Bennett would’ve loved to free up some space in the salary cap for next season by releasing Sau and Wes Naiqama elsewhere but alas the deadline now prevents this. The same thing goes for players as well. Eels front-rower Justin Poore, for example, was prevented leaving the club before June 30. With the deadlines existence, Poore must stick it out with the Eels for at least the rest of the season.
Sure it has been a bit of a merry-go-round of player movements in the last week or so with all the different signings, but it is what makes this game unique. With the deadline intact, these signings shall never get out of hand and in that, they allow for another exciting niche of the game to exist, for fans to enjoy, and even mourn, the signing of a new addition to their club, controversially or not.
List of the 2012 Mid-Season Signings
Mitch Brown: Wests Tigers to Bulldogs
Ray Cashmere: St George-Illawarra to Wests Tigers
Masada Iosefa: Penrith to Wests Tigers
Shane Shackleton: Parramatta to Penrith
Sandor Earl: Penrith to Raiders
Drury Low: Raiders to Bulldogs
Samisoni Langi: Bulldogs to Roosters
Sam Perrett: Roosters to Bulldogs
Michael Lett: Bulldogs to St George Illawarra
Nafe Seluini: Penrith to Roosters
Lloyd Perrett: Roosters to Bulldogs
Dane Gagai: Broncos to Newcastle
Richie Fa’aoso: Newcastle to Melbourne
Luke Kelly: Melbourne to Parramatta
Krisnan Inu: Warriors to Bulldogs
Albert Kelly: Sharks to Newcastle
Willie Mason: Unattached to Newcastle
Anthony Mitchell: Roosters to Cowboys