Canterbury players Aiden Tolman and Kerrod Holland have expressed their disappointment at finding out long-serving centre Josh Morris would depart the club at the end of 2018.
With Aaron Woods and Moses Mbye having already departed mid-season, Morris – who will finish with more than 100 tries and over 200 games in blue and white over 10 seasons at Belmore – told teammates on Monday night he would be taking up a two-year deal with the Sharks from next year.
The triple departures at least help alleviate the club's salary cap crisis, although that doesn't make it much easier to see your mates leave the club, according to Tolman.
"It is a shock when it happens," Tolman said on Tuesday morning.
"It's happened all too often this year. That's just the way it is over the past month we have lost three players. Whilst it doesn't get any easier to take it is difficult, it probably need to happen."
The players accepted Morris could not keep waiting to see what happened with the club's cap position and had to make the move that was best for his family.
"He couldn't wait any longer and the Sharks want to get their roster finalised as well. It'll be a good move or him and I wish him all the best," he said.
Match: Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Round 18 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Tolman said the playing group accepted the club's management were executing a plan that would allow the club to move past the current cap constrictions and get to a point where they could be active in the player market again.
"This year has been tough but if they execute it right next year we can buy some players and be on the improve," he said.
"You don't want it to happen. You don't want to see players like Aaron Woods and Moses – who has been here a long time – or JMoz who has been here for 10 years, you don't want to see those players go.
"But that's professional sport. He had an opportunity at another club and he's got a young family so he took that up. It's disappointing because he is such a quality player and he's a good person so to lose a player like that [is sad].
"But he had to do what's best for himself so he is going to a great club. So I'm sure it's good for him."
Kerrod Holland said the chance to play with Morris was part of the reason he joined the club from Newcastle.
"To learn off a bloke like that, he's been tremendous," Holland said.
"When I got here he was one bloke I really looked up to because of his work ethic, his experience and what he's done.
"He's renowned as one of the best defensive centres in the game and he's obviously got the attack there too with over 100 tries."