RESERVES COACH KEEN TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY LINKS

Newly appointed head of youth and reserve team head coach Danny Barton is keen to use the opportunity of the relaunched reserves set up to strengthen links between the club and the local community.

Barton, who is also head coach of the development academy as part of his role with Salford Red Devils Foundation, believes that the formation of the reserves can benefit all parties.

“It’s really important we try our best to get out there in the local community and tie the links up as close as we can,” said Barton.

“We have always had links with the community clubs. There are ways we can work with them to ensure we are getting the best and giving them the best opportunities that we can.

“I’m recruiting from the schools to ensure we have the right strategies to help these clubs grow the game and grow their clubs, which ultimately helps us as a Super League club, because we want local kids playing for Salford.”

He added: “I think it’s important to tie all the universities up and give them a pathway.

“We need these people and to see what talent they’ve got, making sure that if there is talent in the universities that they’re coming to Salford Red Devils reserves and nowhere else.”

Ryan Lannon, who recently rejoined the Red Devils from Hull Kingston Rovers, was an academy player in the Salford set up and made his way into the first team, as was the case for the club’s 2019 top try-scorer, Niall Evalds.

Lannon said: “The reserves are massive. I think when I was playing for the academy you have people you look up too.

“I was in the academy and Niall was just breaking through to the first team, people want to do what other lads for the academy have done before.

“There are a few lads in the academy and in the reserves who will look up to me, Niall and (Josh) Johnson to come up to the the first team and do a job if they’re given a chance.”

Barton, who himself came through the Salford set up, recognises the importance of having graduates in the first team that his players can look up too.

“Certainly, I think they are the lads to aspire to become,” said Barton.

“They’ve come through the set up here and played for the first team numerous times now. It just shows you there is a possibility.

“If you work hard like the lads did, and you have the real commitment like they did, the opportunity is there for them now.

“If there is anyone good enough they’ll give them the opportunity, because the club is all on the same pathway. We want to give young kids an opportunity if they’re good enough.”