Tag: Championship

Stuart Littler – “They’re a big strong outfit”

Following their 50-12 defeat at the hands of Salford former Red Devil and current Swinton Lions Head Coach was proud of his sides performance and feels his side now have something to build on.
Littler said: “We got through it and it gives us a good opportunity obviously to run against a competitive opposition and now we’ve got some footage to show our lads what we’re doing well and what we can work on over the next few weeks.
“We needed it and obviously we’ve got some stuff to work on they’re a big strong outfit and full respect to the way they play we were a bit low on troops in the second half we were bouncing a few people about here, there and everywhere but credit to our lads they didn’t give up.
“We faced a little bit of adversity today with the numbers we had we were already light on middles but we’ll have a couple back next week who weren’t ready for this week it’s only pre-season our battles the season and I’ve got to get people right for the first game of the season at Toulouse.”
Despite the scoreline Littler knows the difference between full-time and part-time is a difficult one to overcome but feels the game against Salford is crucial for his side to learn from.
Littler said: “We are where we are we’re building slowly and played a full-time outfit there and we’ve got some lads who’ve stepped up from amateur and academies and played for us today.
“Like I said to the boys some lads have impressed and some have got a bit to work on but it gives us chance to show them footage through the week rather than just training against ourselves.
“It was a challenge today they’re 27 big strong athletes who are built well.”

Salford in black – A look back

Ahead of the launch of our 2018 away kit we’re looking through some memorable away kits of yesteryear and today we’re focusing on Salford in black.
Last season the Red Devils donned a predominantly black away kit and it was worn with pride in the Club’s first Challenge Cup semi-final for twenty years. Despite losing to Wigan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium Ian Watson’s men wore the black strip in victory over the Warriors in Super League; their first win at Wigan since 1997.
The 2010 away jersey was black with a hint of pink and was a big hit amongst Salford fans. Sponsored by the Trafford Centre the kit saw Salford finish 12th above both Harlequins and Catalans Dragons.
Black was also worn on Salford’s travels back in 2008 as the Club won the Championship title and their Grand Final showdown with the Celtic Crusaders. Subsequently both sides were awarded Super League status via the newly implemented licensing system.
The mid-1990’s saw Salford in black and yellow on the road. Despite winning one third of their games that season the Red Devils suffered relegation in black and yellow as six teams suffered the drop in preparation for the formation of Super League.
Black and yellow was also the theme the season prior and again the Red Devils had a very similar record in the league sealing top flight Rugby League for another season. Both black and yellow kits were sponsored by Cebora.
Could we see Salford wearing a black away kit in 2018?
For a brief history of Salford in white click here.
 
While our 2018 away kit is only available from Friday our #FourStripes home shirt is available to purchase via our online store here. You can also purchase training gear by clicking here and leisurewear by clicking here.

Red Devils set to host Swinton in first pre-season friendly

Salford Red Devils are set to host local rivals Swinton Lions in a pre-season friendly on Sunday 14th January at the AJ Bell Stadium. 
The game will be the Red Devils opening friendly of the 2018 season as they pit themselves against former Salford player Stuart Littler’s Swinton Lions side.
Both Clubs have enjoyed a rivalry spanning almost 140 years which has seen them do battles for trophies such as the Salford Royal Hospital Cup, the Red Rose Cup and most recently the Agecroft Cup and January’s clash is set to renew that rivalry.
Salford Red Devils CEO, Ian Blease, said: “Myself and Andy Mazey have contacted each other over the past few weeks since Andy took on the role of Swinton Lions Chairman and we are now hoping to build a fruitful relationship as clubs going forward.
“The derbies against Swinton have long been the highlight of rugby league in the City. Despite the game being a pre-season friendly I’m definitely anticipating a hotly-contested game between the two flagship sides of the City.
“This game will be something for all the rugby league fans of Salford and the surrounding areas to get involved with supporting two sides who are embedded in the local community. It will be great way to get the 2018 season underway.”
Swinton Lions Chairman, Andy Mazey, said “We are extremely pleased to have agreed a local derby with Salford as part of our pre-season schedule. It is great to have respectful rivalries in sport and I’m sure both sets of supporters will look forward to renewing this one.
“The AJ Bell is a fantastic stadium with a quality playing surface so what better way to start our exciting “New Era” on the field than with a local derby against a quality Super League side as we prepare for our 2018 Championship campaign.
“I’d like to thank Salford’s CEO Ian Blease for facilitating this fixture. Ian and I have communicated regularly in recent months and I look forward to building the relationship further in the future for the benefit of not only our respective clubs but the sport of rugby league as a whole and with a view to adding value in our communities.”
Salford Red Devils Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “Swinton are a strong side who are heading into their third consecutive season in the Championship.
“With Stuart Littler as Coach they’ll continue to develop next season and will definitely cause a lot of the Championship sides issues in 2018.
“We know they’ll offer us a real stern test in preparation for our 2018 Super League season and it’ll be a great occasion for the City of Salford.”
Swinton Lions head coach, and former Red Devil, Stuart Littler said: “Delighted with the announcement of our opening 2018 friendly game at Salford. This is a massive game for the rugby league community and brings back the traditional derby game rivalry. Salford is a club that is special to me and somewhere that I made many special memories.
“We are looking forward to challenging ourselves against a top eight Super League team. Salford come off the back of a superb season in which Ian Watson has shown what a great coach he is.
“Can I personally thank the Salford fans who joined forces with our own fans in our hour of need last season. That is what is special about the Rugby League community and what separates our game from others.  The help will be forever remembered by all at our historic club.
“Personally, I am looking forward to my first pre-season in charge and the pre-season friendly programme gives us both an opportunity to look at our players as well as the chance to test out new systems and processes.”
Salford are set to announce at least one more pre-season friendly in the coming weeks. Ticket information for the game against Swinton will also be released in due course.

Salford capture young French forward Levy Nzoungou

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of young French prop-forward Levy Nzoungou.
Nzoungou spent last season at Championship Shield winners Toulouse Olympique following a short spell in the youth system with NRL giants Melbourne Storm.
The prop-forward came through the ranks at St Helens and helped their U19’s side win the Academy Grand Final against local rivals Wigan Warriors on the back of an unbeaten season in 2016.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “Levy is a big young athletic middle who impressed when playing for Toulouse.
“I watched Levy play at Toulouse once he came back from Melbourne and the impact he made coming off the bench in the Championship showed he’d developed and learned from his experiences in Australia and at St Helens which we hope to continue here at Salford.
“His strength and leg speed made him a standout performer and his attitude in defence is a clear reflection on his time with Melbourne.”
Salford Red Devils CEO, Ian Blease, added: “Levy is an exciting new capture who I know Coach Watson has had his eye for a while now. I was delighted when we agreed terms for such a talented athlete and I’m looking forward to seeing Levy challenge for a first team spot at the start of the new season.
“Levy is another addition from our new signings that the Club are currently finalising along with Coach Watson. We are strengthening the current squad as promised with talented and hungry individuals that will assist our club to build on last seasons Super League position and push towards another successful year.”
Nzoungou is now the Red Devils fifth addition for the 2018 season following the signings of Manu Vatuvei, Tyrone McCarthy, Derrell Olpherts and Gavin Bennion.
 
Remember if you want to see Levy Nzoungou in action you can purchase your 2018 Season Ticket now. A full breakdown of Season Ticket prices can be found here while a full Direct Debit breakdown per ticket can be found here.

Gavin Bennion – “Quite surprised and a bit giddy”

Salford Red Devils newest acquisition Gavin Bennion has spoken about his delight at signing for a Super League side.
The 23-year-old forward joins Derrell Olpherts, Tyrone McCarthy and Manu Vatuvei as the Red Devils latest 2018 recruit after a successful season with Rochdale Hornets in the Championship.
Bennion, speaking to Rochdale’s official website, said: “I know Watto [Ian Watson] from playing with him at Swinton Lions a couple of years ago, and initially he was thinking about signing me, and Alan Kilshaw got in touch and recommended me.
“Watto brought me down to the stadium for a chat about my ambitions and it went from there basically.
“Salford is one of the clubs in the past few years I’ve wanted to play for in a way, so when they got in touch I was quite surprised and a bit giddy.”
Bennion, who began his career with Warrington Wolves, has spent time in the Championship with Swinton and Halifax but really made a name for himself at the Crown Oil Arena in 2017.
“I’m massively proud to have earned myself a Super League contract,” Bennion said.
He added: “To have done it the way I have, after being at Halifax and joining Rochdale, to then have got myself a move to Salford within a year is a good achievement which I am proud of.
“At Halifax I was in and out of the team all year, but Alan knew me and put a lot of trust in me by giving me the opportunity to play week-in, week-out.
“I only missed a couple of games due to injury so it was good that Alan played me evert week and I thank him for that.”
 
Season Tickets are on sale for the 2018 season and are available from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. All the price details are here and a breakdown of Direct Debit payments available as part of the ‘early bird’ deal are here.

Salford Red Devils confirm the signing of Gavin Bennion

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Gavin Bennion from Championship side Rochdale Hornets.
The 23-year-old joins the Red Devils after a successful season with the Hornets which saw him become a regular in the first team helping Rochdale to Championship survival.
Hornets Coach Alan Kilshaw took Bennion to the Crown Oil Arena at the beginning of the 2017 season Where he became a pivotal forward for Rochdale.
Bennion enjoyed loan spells with Swinton Lions and Featherstone Rovers before signing for Halifax in 2016 from Warrington. The Red Devils newest acquisition has also played for Intrust Super Cup side Mackay Cutters in Australia.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “Through our good relationship with Alan Kilshaw, we’ve been keeping tabs on Gavin throughout the 2017 season and he’s put in some massively impressive performances for Rochdale.
“He’s a young, hungry forward with a great work ethic and excellent attitude and we believe he can grow into a quality Super League player.
“I first came across Gavin at Warrington where he showed plenty of potential. Gavin then choose to go across to Australia to help with his rugby education where he was selected for the Queensland residents team.
“Gavin has shown his development this year while working with Alan at Rochdale and hopefully he can continue that here at Salford Red Devils. I’m excited to work with him next season and I feel he’ll prove to be a good signing for Salford.”
Red Devils CEO Ian Blease said: “Gavin is the first of a few signings we’re hoping to announce in the coming weeks and months.
“We feel he’ll be a great addition to the squad, and under Coach Watson’s guidance I’m expecting Gavin to challenge for a first team position at the start of the new season.
“Gavin is the first of a new batch of Red Devils who we feel can help continue our growth on the field in 2018.”
 
Season Tickets are on sale for the 2018 season and are available from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. All the price details are here and a breakdown of Direct Debit payments available as part of the ‘early bird’ deal are here.

Chris Hesketh (1944-2017)

Salford Red Devils are deeply saddened to hear of the death of club, and Rugby League, legend Chris Hesketh.
The centre made 452 Salford appearances scoring 128 tries for the club in an illustrious career of which he spent twelve years with the Red Devils.
Salford signed Hesketh for a fee of £4000 from his hometown club of Wigan in June 1967 and he excelled in the Red Devils jersey.
Hesketh was part of the last Salford side to play at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final back in 1969 as the Red Devils lost to tonight’s opponents Castleford.
Despite losing the Challenge Cup final Hesketh helped the Red Devils win two Championship titles, a Lancashire Cup and a Floodlit Trophy.
The iconic Red Devil didn’t just impress for Salford but on the international stage, also. He was a member of the Great Britain side that won the World Cup in France in 1972. However, his career highlight came in 1974 as he was named as captain of the 1974 Touring Side alongside a handful of fellow Salford players.
His final match for Salford was on May 13th 1979 at St Helens. Hesketh was awarded with an M.B.E in the 1976 New Years Honours as a tribute to his tremendous service and dedication to Rugby League.
Hesketh defied the odds in his search to become a professional Rugby League player battling polio at the age of seven however by the age of 11 he was playing at Central Park, Wigan in the Schools Cup Final.
There will be a tribute to remember the life of one of Salford’s greatest ever players prior to tonight’s game against Castleford.
Hesketh will be missed by all at Salford Red Devils and the thoughts of everyone at the club are with his friends, family and associates.

Red Devils Education Academy celebrating fantastic results

The Salford Red Devils Education Academy is celebrating the fantastic results achieved by its class of 2017 graduates.
Another year of brilliant results have seen the Academy retain their record of accomplishment boasting a 100% pass rate with 66% receiving D*’s.
The Salford Red Devils Education Academy is the cities only RFL approved Category 3 Academy. If you have ambitions of becoming a professional rugby player or are interested in studying sport within a full-time environment then the Red Devils Education Academy is the perfect place.
Places are still available to become a student at the Salford Red Devils Education Academy ahead of the next academic year. A final open day for all perspective students who may be interested in applying for a position on the course will take place prior to our home game against Wakefield Trinity on the 1st September. Registration for the event is essential as free entry to the fixture is included.
Red Devils first team players will attend the open day which will also include a talk giving you all the details regarding the course and the opportunities available to you through this innovative programme.
The primary BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in sport is perfect for those who want to train and study in a full-time sports environment. The course is designed to help those who aspire to a career in professional sport gain valuable experience in this area however we can also offer a building multi-trade course which will enable students to still access the full-time training and playing opportunities.
Alongside the academic course, students will be based full-time at the AJ Bell Stadium. Students will use the first-class facilities used by the Red Devils first team and will receive a fully branded kit for free.
Previous alumni have gone on to play professional Rugby League at Super League, Championship and League 1 level while others have gone on to secure full-time work within the professional sports industry. Several students each year have also successfully gone on to higher education at top universities across the country after achieving high grades.
If you are interested in attending the open day or directly applying to the course then email neil.blackburn@salfordreddevils.net or call 0161 786 1591.