In my post on Martin Gleeson earlier, I forgot to bring up one of the forgotten questions about his transfer: what does this mean for Darrell Goulding? Turns out that it means a loan out to Salford for the rest of the season.
Goulding has been seen as a talent ever since he burst onto the stage a few years ago, but since then he’s never really kicked on, partly due to the fact that there have been other players in the way at Wigan. Whether these players are truly worthy of starting in front of a talented, locally produced player is another matter entirely, but with Gleeson coming in it’s now quite clear that Goulding needed to move to get game time, which is quite frankly what he needs more than anything right now.
Salford should be a good fit for him. They’ve got a fair number of experienced heads from whom he will benefit being around (Willie Talau’s not a bad person to talk to about centre-play) as well as a few decent youngsters. He’s also heading to a club that appears to be on an upswing, so he won’t be like being dumped into a black-hole (which is what it would have seemed like a month ago). Indeed, he’s moving to a club that is closing in on his current employers. The experience of actual Super League play is what a player of Goulding’s calibre needs right now to develop his game, and if Salford either tear up Super League on a playoff run from here on in, or they revert to the mediocrity that had defined their season up until a few weeks ago, it will hold Goulding in good stead for the future either way.