Tag: Ian Watson

Ian Watson | “This will be a good benchmark for us”

Salford Red Devils got the 2019 Betfred Super League off to a winning start and we caught up with Head Coach Ian Watson ahead of the sides first home game of the season against London Broncos.
On recent encounters with the Broncos…
Our recent history with London is not that great, as they have won the last two matches we had against them in the Qualifiers. In the first one, here, three seasons ago, Jamie Soward kicked us to death, and then Jarrod Sammut did exactly the same at their ground last year, but I know that we will be better this time, because we are a better side now than we were then.
It isn’t only Salford wo have fallen victim to them, though. Wakefield were caught out last weekend, but I think that result tells you more about London than it does about Wakefield. They have a smaller pack than the majority of clubs and so they are very quick across the ground, and of course at home they are always playing on a 4G pitch, so I, for one, was not surprised as to how competitive they were, even though I thought Wakefield would have won.
As far as our game is concerned, we know that they will come and try to grind us down and we are just going to have to muscle up to that. They also have this habit of coming from behind from a point at which turning the game around would appear to be a vain hope, but somehow, they seem to manage it
That happened, not only last week, but also in their first visit to Toronto in the Qualifiers, and it all goes to show the truly competitive nature of their players. I know quite a lot of their team, and know that they are people who just love playing the game to win and are never put off by the reputation of whichever team they happen to be up against.  That makes them very difficult to play against.
On a winning start to the season…
It’s always good to get that first win, and although there were one or two things we could have improved upon, particularly the way we started, we did build our way into the game, and more of our systems started coming through.
From that point on we had the game under control, but in the first half we bombed a few chances because we weren’t clinical enough, and so errors prevented us from scoring.
Huddersfield, on the other hand started off really well, and in some respects should have come away with more than just the penalty goal they kicked, but credit to our lads for the way they defended and kept their line intact.
Even though it was the first game of the season, both teams had their injury problems but there were two really good, representative, sides out there last week, and we were good enough to come away with the points.
On the first home game of the season…
We took a really good away following to Huddersfield, so hopefully, on the back of that win, we will attract even more than might have turned up, otherwise. I thought our fans were absolutely outstanding. They made a considerable amount of noise – much louder than the home fans did.
This is going to be a really good benchmark for us, on Sunday. It will show me just how we compare with last season’s performance at London, as a group, and with mental steel. We will also be able to assess to what extent the players, who have come in, have added to us.
It would be great to get a packed house, because we do play an attractive brand of rugby, show physicality and determination in defence, and with the introduction of the shotclock, the game is taking a much more reasonable period of time than in recent seasons. We will endeavour to put on a great performance in order to attract them all back again the following week.
 

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Talking Points | Huddersfield Giants 14-34 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils opened their 2019 Betfred Super League season with an impressive victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium and there were plenty of talking points from the game.

Dangerous left-hand side

The Red Devils ran in seven tries in their 14-34 victory with five coming down the left-hand side. Two of Niall Evalds’ three tries were down the left-hand flank while Junior Sa’u opened the scoring and Ken Sio grabbed a brace on his debut on the same side.
Jackson Hastings and Evalds combined on numerous occasions throughout the game after quick ball from the likes of Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan and Joey Lussick. Evalds was the standout performer cutting through the Giants line on numerous occasions as well as setting up one of Sio’s two tries.


Sa’u had to leave the field midway through the first half with a rib injury with Jansin Turgut moving into the centres. The Turkish international looked just as comfortable as Sa’u as he set up the first of Sio’s double.

Mossop’s massive minutes

In his post-match press conference, Head Coach Ian Watson pointed to Captain Lee Mossop as a massive contributor to the victory as the prop-forward played sixty minutes for the Red Devils.

Mossop was a constant presence in the middle of the park. The former England international got through a lot of hard yards while keeping a powerful Giants pack quiet for the most part. 

Huddersfield – Happy hunting ground 

Last night’s victory marked the sixth consecutive victory at the John Smith’s Stadium for the Red Devils. It is also now the third consecutive season in which Salford’s first away victory of the Betfred Super League season has come at the John Smith’s Stadium.


It is also Salford’s first victory in Round One of the Betfred Super League since 2014 when the Red Devils overcame Wakefield Trinity 18-14 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The away following

The Salford Red Devils faithful turned out in strong numbers for the opening game of the 2019 Betfred Super League season with both Ian Watson and Niall Evalds praising the following from the supporters.


The away following was extremely similar to that of last season’s trip to Halifax and were loud and proud throughout. The Red Devils host London Broncos on Sunday 10th February and will be looking for some more terrific support.

Ian Watson | “There were large parts I was really pleased with”

Salford Red Devils got their 2019 Betfred Super League season off to the perfect start with a 14-34 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium. 
We got the thoughts of Head Coach Ian Watson on the performance, standout performers and the Red Devils fans.

On the victory…

“We looked a lot at ourselves in the week leading up to this game rather than looking at Huddersfield. We wanted to build on what we’ve been working on in pre-season and our pre-season friendlies to make sure that we were good and there were large parts of the game which I’m really pleased with. I thought if we had executed a little better in the first half, we could have put some more points on in that first period.”

On the fluidity in attack…

“Having a spine to work with for the full pre-season has been a big plus for us. They were all very keen to get back over after The Qualifiers last year – Rob Lui, Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick – everyone wanted to be back for the first day of pre-season. We are really happy with where we are, but we know we’ve got improvement in us as a group as well.”

On Junior Sa’u’s injury…

“He’s done his ribs. We’ll have to see where he is as we go throughout the week but at the moment it looks unlikely, he will play against London Broncos next week.”

On the left edge…

“I thought Niall Evalds was really good and then obviously Ken Sio attracts defenders. On the second to last try the defenders didn’t know whether to go for Niall or Ken. The directness of Jackson and the way he’s playing into the line as well stands defenders up and frees our guys up.”

On Lee Mossop…

“I don’t like to single individuals out, but I’d like to give a big shout to Lee Mossop who did sixty minutes in the front-row and probably could have gone a bit longer, but we felt the game was won at that point. There aren’t many front-rowers who can do that in the game. Last year was a big year for Lee Mossop in getting as much game time as possible following on from his surgery.”

On the Salford Red Devils fans…

“They were outstanding – we always seem to bring them to Huddersfield. Hopefully on the back of the win this week and the tries we scored they can come back to the AJ Bell Stadium next week against London Broncos to kick us on. There’s a really good feeling around the Club at the moment with the squad, supporters and community links we’re building so hopefully it’ll all fall into place for a strong crowd next week against London.”
The full press conference can be seen below:

 

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Ian Watson | “I can’t wait for the season to start”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has given his thoughts on a range of topics ahead of this year’s opening game of the Betfred Super League season against Huddersfield Giants.
On getting the season underway…
“I just can’t wait for it to get started, though it does seem a bit earlier these days. The most important thing is that the guys have had sufficient time to recover, mentally and physically, and then get back into pre-season to the work that needs to be done there.”
On the new players in the pack…
“Adam [Lawton] is bigger than the units we had last season, while Gil Dudson has come in and set some really standards. He is really standing out as a leader among our middles, alongside Mark Flanagan and Lee Mossop.
“Jansin Turgut will also provide some pace, aggression and ball handling skill to our outer edge.”
On Jake Bibby…
“They are no longer kids now. They are fully fledged first teamers, which is what we kept instilling into them last season and they did in fact grow into that tole as they showed through some really good performances.
“We have already seen a difference in Jake Bibby during this close season compared with last year’s and the players are now seeing him as a genuine contender to hold down a place in the team.
“That is a big positive for both him and the team and he deserves a lot of credit for the way he has conducted himself through this last twelve months.”
On Daniel Murray…
“We’ll be looking to him to be challenging the likes of Lee Mossop and Gil Dudson who, at the moment, have the advantage over him with their longstanding experience. But we shall be looking at Dan, along with Ben Nakubuwai, to be playing more games this coming year and stamping their authority on the team.”
On the transition from last season…
“We have got to kick on like we did that other time. It is all well and good performing in The Qualifiers but we now have to do it against the likes of St Helens, Wigan and Wakefield.
“We are a strong, capable group with the ability to do this, and if we manage each game carefully and get something out of each of them, that momentum will continue to be generated and will take us forward.
On the loop fixtures…
“We have to play all the teams in the league at some point, so we are not going to be worrying about which team is coming up when. We are just going to focus on ourselves and what we can deliver, and we are most confident within the group that we can do well.
“We know that we shall be facing certain additional challenges with having extra games against Wigan, Warrington and Leeds, to name just a few, together with an additional trip all the way down to London. Those are the fixtures and it is our job to go out there and compete in all of them.”
On the shot clock…
“Everything is going to take place in a lot shorter time period, and at a whole lot quicker pace than previously, particularly with the number of interchanges also being reduced even further, from ten to eight.
“It is absolutely great for us, because our middle men are athletic, and we also have a number of forwards who regularly play a large number of minutes anyway, so we are more than happy with these changes.”
 
Tickets for Friday’s game against Huddersfield Giants at John Smiths Stadium are available from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Ticket prices will rise on gameday so we advise supporters to purchase in advance. Salford Red Devils also retain 25% of any purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium.
Coach travel is also available to Friday’s game and can be booked at the AJ Bell Stadium or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. All ticket prices and coach details can be found HERE.

Ian Watson | “We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson spoke to the press following a 18-28 defeat to Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly. Here’s what he had to say on a range of topics post-match. 

On the game and facing Wigan…

Yeah it was brilliant. It was exactly what we wanted with the lift in intensity. We knew Wigan would bring that, having the game against Swinton last week got us back into gameplay with the fitness and contact elements and then against Wigan we knew it was about coming against the intensity we’ll have to face week in and week out in the Super League. It was perfect preparation for us.

On Jackson Hastings leaving the field early…

He just had a little twinge from the Swinton game, so we didn’t want to overwork him. To be fair, he did more than we expected today because he was feeling good, so we worked off him. We didn’t want to risk anybody we didn’t need to. Obviously, Jackson is an important part of our team.

On Ed Chamberlain’s injury…

Ed looks like he’s the one who may have sustained a syndesmosis or something like that, so we just need to get that checked out. A syndesmosis can be any length of time out depending on how bad the grade is. It could be up to twelve weeks, but we’ll see where he is and hopefully it’s not that bad.

On Rob Lui leaving the field early…

Robbie is fine. He just clashed with Jansin Turgut in a tackle. He had another minute to do, I think he just wanted to come off there. He knew how long he had left to do so he came off a little bit earlier than we wanted him to.

On knowing his starting side for Huddersfield….

I more or less know it. With our group we’ve been able to build it over a couple of years in what we want with the characters in our team and how we want to play. We’ve been able to recruit a little bit better this year in terms of the players who’ve we’ve had to choose from. We’ve brought players in who can play the way we want to, and we’re really pleased with the guys we’ve brought in.

On Niall Evalds’ versatility…

I thought Niall was outstanding. He was a little bit like a Darren Lockyer out there playing full-back and stand-off. He’s really developed again this year. We’re just covering bases a little bit and looking at a few things because we need to deal with it if we get an injury to a half or a nine throughout the season. I thought Niall and Rob linked up well and we even had Greg Burke at hooker with Joey Lussick in the halves at one point. We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about which is important for us at a Club that doesn’t have the biggest of squads.

On Connor Davies-Aspey…

Connor has been brilliant. His is a bit more of baby steps as he still has a lot of developing to do. I think the progression will be probably looking to play at Championship or maybe League One, if there’s a side who’ll take a shot on him. He just needs to develop. That’s the difference between the U19’s and Reserves now. Years ago, there were a lot of 16-year-olds who could come through and play first team because they’d played against men already. Connor’s first game against men was last weekend against Swinton. I had to be very careful as there were a few occasions I could have thrown him on but with the likes of Tony Clubb Joe Greenwood, Liam Farrell and Ben Flower who are physical and big specimens to have thrown Connor in front of those would have been a big ask. He just needs to develop his path the right way.
 

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Event | Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust to host annual meeting

The annual meeting of the Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust is set to take place tomorrow at Chandos Sports & Social Club at 7pm.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson and Assistant Coach Martin Gleeson will be in attendance as well as halfback duo Rob Lui and Jackson Hastings and Club Director Paul King.
They will all join for a Q & A from 8:30pm tomorrow evening. To attend the AGM, you must be a paid-up member of the Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust. There will be an opportunity for fans to join prior to the meeting.
Full address:
Chandos Sports & Social Club, Chandos Grove, Salford, M5 5LJ.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Following Salford Red Devils’ comfortable victory over Swinton Lions in their first game of 2019, we take a look at some of the talking points from the fixture.
Attacking threat
The Red Devils ran in eleven tries in a controlled performance against Swinton and the attacking skill Ian Watson’s men possess was on show throughout. Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all profited from the attacking display crossing for braces while there was also another five Red Devils on the scoresheet.
Sa’u and Johnson’s tries all came on the back of some quick hands out wide. However, there was a number of occasions when Salford broke from deep thanks to the likes of Mark Flanagan, Niall Evalds, Jackson Hastings and young debutant Connor Davies-Aspey.
Flanagan – who began at loose-forward but went on to operate as half – linked up well with Evalds on a number of occasions which led to some great Red Devils tries. Hastings went through the line in almost identical fashion to his debut against Leeds Rhinos last year to set up Sa’u’s second try.
If the Red Devils can continue to cause problems from all over the field, we could see some more excellent tries throughout 2019.
Connor Davies-Aspey
Salford Red Devils Academy player Connor Davies-Aspey was awarded a one-month trial earlier this week and he certainly made the most of his opportunity against Swinton with an impressive cameo in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Davies-Aspey came onto the field and managed to make three clean breaks. His break in the final ten minutes put winger Derrell Olpherts over in the corner and he was close to finishing the game with two try-assists however pulled the trigger a second too early on his pass to Jansin Turgut just minutes earlier.
Head Coach Ian Watson praised the young hooker in his post-match press conference saying it ‘was great for young kid to come in and do that’. Read more of Ian Watson’s reaction here.
Davies-Aspey has certainly put himself in contention for a place in the squad next weekend as the Red Devils face current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Versatility and depth
After the interval, Ian Watson made four changes to the starting side with Greg Johnson and Derrell Olpherts coming onto the field in place of Ed Chamberlain and Jake Bibby. Both Johnson and Olpherts would go on to score in the second half showing the quality of the Red Devils’ options on the wing this season.
In the pack, the likes of Tyrone McCarthy and Ben Nakubuwai entered the fray and made an impact following impressive forty-minute stints from Lee Mossop and new recruit Gil Dudson in the first half.
Half-back duo Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui both left the field midway through the second half with Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick and Niall Evalds jumping into the halves. Salford’s try-scoring form didn’t slow down, and the Red Devils continued to look smooth in the absence of a permanent half-back.
The crowd 
On a cold January afternoon fans of both Salford Red Devils and Swinton Lions braved the conditions to watch their sides putting together a solid showing for a pre-season friendly with 1798 people in attendance.
Salford vs Swinton is a fixture – that was Head Coach Ian Watson pointed out earlier in the week – doesn’t happen too often anymore so it has become somewhat of a sought-after attraction. Our Betfred Championship visitors brought a strong following down the road to the AJ Bell Stadium this weekend while our loyal Red Devils were in fine voice as always showing the passion for the game in the local area.
Next weekend, the Red Devils host another local side in Wigan Warriors, and we’ll be hoping for a similarly strong turnout.
 

Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils got 2019 off to a perfect start with an eleven-try rout over local rivals Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all grabbed braces on a rampant afternoon for Ian Watson’s men while Jackson Hastings, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Ed Chamberlain and Derrell Olpherts also got their names on the scoresheet.
It was Sa’u who opened the scoring powering over from close-range after collecting the ball at the second attempt. Hastings was the provider for the opener, but he soon turned try-scorer six minutes in pouncing on Lui’s neat kick under the posts.
The Red Devils fast start continued when Mark Flanagan found Evalds on his inside to cut open the Swinton defence for the third time in the opening fifteen minutes. However, the Lions did cross shortly after as Oscar Thomas’ low kick wasn’t dealt with by Salford and Mike Butt was quickest to react.
Swinton’s revival was short-lived however as Lui managed to fend off three Swinton defenders to force his way over after jinking inside. With around eight minutes of the half remaining Chamberlain benefitted from some quick hands out wide to further the lead going into the break.
Head Coach Ian Watson made five changes at the break and it was substitute Johnson who got the scoring for the second half underway. The winger went close a minute earlier but was held down by Lewis Hatton who was sent to the sin-bin. However, Johnson did get on the end of a well-timed Kris Welham pass moments later.
In similar fashion to the first half, Flanagan would again find an onrushing Evalds on the inside and the full-back found Lussick in support who notched his first of the afternoon. Evalds was causing all sorts of problems for Swinton and his quick play at first receiver followed by a sublime tip-on from Welham put Johnson in for his second in just six minutes.
A try-scoring run of four in nine minutes was rounded off when Lussick’s low kick was chased down by Welham with the centre then giving it back to the Australian for his second.
Swinton would be handed another yellow card when Butt held down Olpherts who had raced seventy metres from his own try-line. The man advantage again proved dividend for Salford as Academy player and triallist Connor Davies-Aspey cut through the Lions line before finding Olpherts in the corner to round off the scoring.
Salford welcome current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 20th January, 2pm kick-off, in their second pre-season friendly.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Bibby, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Griffin, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Johnson, Olpherts, Davies-Aspey, Wellington.
Swinton Lions: Hansen, Butt, Lloyd, Williams, Aaronson; Fairclough, Thomas; Bennion, Waterworth, Austin, Hope, Jones, Hatton.
Interchanges: Brickhill, Gray, Hall, Halton, Jones, Kenga, Ratu, Warne, Worrall, Ashton.
 
Salford Tries: Sa’u (3’, 35’), Hastings (6’), Evalds (13’), Lui (19), Chamberlain (33’), Johnson (54’ 60), Lussick (56, 63’), Olpherts (76’).
Salford Goals: Chamberlain (7’, 14’, 34’), Lussick (64’).
Swinton Tries: Butt (16’).
Swinton Goals: Thomas (17’).
 
Swinton Sin-bins: Hatton (52’), Butt (67’).
 
Referee: Liam Moore.
Attendance: 1798.

Ian Watson | “We’re definitely excited.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Swinton Lions, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson gave his thoughts on a variety of topics including pre-season, his squad and this weekend’s opponents.

On getting back underway…

“We’re really excited. We’ve got through all the tough stuff in pre-season and now it’s time to get started and now it’s about what we can do on the field and seeing where we are at particularly in regard to the start of the Betfred Super League season and fine tuning those last little details. But, we’re definitely excited.”

On the fixture…

“Salford vs Swinton doesn’t happen all that often anymore so it’s always good when we get to go head-to-head. It’s going to be a great occasion at the AJ Bell Stadium and I’m hoping we see a big crowd to support the lads for the first game of 2019.”

On squad selection…

“We’ll go strong. The lads who’ve impressed in pre-season will get first shot because you get rewarded and some of the lads have really put their hands up in pre-season. Jake Bibby has come on leaps and bounds while Ed Chamberlain has been outstanding since he joined. We will give the majority of them a game, but we may hold a few back for our second pre-season game against Wigan Warriors next weekend.”

On the two triallists…

“We’ve got young Connor Davies-Aspey who is 16 years old and is from our Salford Red Devils Education Academy team. It’s a big plus for the Salford Red Devils Foundation that he has come in and trained with us and he’s done really well. We’ve decided to give him a one-month trial and maybe hand him an appearance this weekend against Swinton.
“The other triallist is Calvin Wellington who came through the ranks at St Helens and has been away playing Rugby Union. Hgot a very good background. We’ll see how he goes against Swinton.”

On a few injuries…

“Both Josh Wood and Logan Tomkins picked up injuries at the backend of last season and are still recovering.
“Josh Wood has been in full-time training with the squad, but he needs to up his contact a little more before we can give him a game. He’s a little behind schedule for where we need him to be but in the next month, we’ll start to get him where we need him to be.
“Logan Tomkins has missed all of pre-season out on the field and his injury is just about us making sure we get him to the right stage so that he doesn’t struggle again on his return.”

On Swinton Lions…

“Swinton have rebuilt really well, and they’ve got a strong squad. Of course, they’ve signed Gavin Bennion who was with us last season, so he is going to want to have a big game and they’ve got a few other players with Salford links so it’s going to be interesting.”
Tickets for the game are still available to purchase and you can do so prior to the game from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office. You can also purchase over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE.
For a reminder of prices, click HERE.

Adam Walker joins Salford Red Devils

In today’s edition of the Manchester Evening News, it was exclusively revealed that prop-forward Adam Walker has joined Salford Red Devils.
Walker hasn’t played since testing positive for cocaine whist at Wakefield Trinity in 2017, but the now reformed character has the chance to make an impact once again; an opportunity that isn’t lost on him.
The 27-year-old said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have a club for the 2019 season and I’m extremely grateful to Salford Red Devils for giving me this opportunity.
“From day one speaking to Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease and Head Coach Ian Watson I could see that Salford – as a Club – have some real strong beliefs and values that centre around the community and doing good in the local area. I knew straight away that this was the kind of club I wanted to be at.
“I’ve not been perfect in the past. I don’t think anyone is. But you need to learn from your mistakes and develop as a person and player afterwards.
“It’s been a tough few years for myself not being able to play the sport I love on a regular basis. I was suffering from some mental health issues at the time which in turn led to me making a big mistake. I don’t want to use that as an excuse, I accepted and learnt from my punishment.
“In my time away from the game I feel like I’ve matured a lot. I honestly feel I’ve turned the corner, I’ve regained my love for the sport back and I’m ready for the next chapter.
“At a club like Salford, I’ve got the best opportunity to continue to grow as a person by going into the community, talking about the lessons I’ve learnt and promoting Rugby League in a positive manner.
“The sport of Rugby League has been very good to me. The support I received from the RFL, in particular Emma Rosewarne, was brilliant and really helped me on my road to recovery. I’ve now been offered a second chance and it’s up to me to make sure I grab it with both hands.”
Bradford-born Walker began his career with Huddersfield Giants but spent the majority on loan with Barrow Raiders and Swinton Lions. However, it was at Hull Kingston Rovers where the forward made his name while also being a regular for the Scottish National side.
Walker said: “I was playing at the highest and most consistent level I’ve ever competed at four or five years ago and I was loving every minute of it.
“During my time at Hull Kingston Rovers I managed to draw attention from Australia and even spoke to Melbourne Storm, but I decided to see out my contract at Hull. Chris Chester was very supportive of me and that helped massively. Of course, I got the move to St Helens and then eventually Wakefield, both of whom are great Super League clubs.
“I was also in the Scotland National side on a regular basis and for that to slip away because of a silly decision whilst at Wakefield was massively disappointing but it has only made me hungrier now to turn things around and strive to get back to where I want to be.”
Due to his suspension, Walker is yet to train with the Red Devils but has no concerns about catching up on pre-season and returning to the field in top condition.
Walker said: “I know I’ve a lot of work to do. I’ve not been able to train but once I’m allowed to get back on the field regularly.
“I know the Head Strength and Conditioning – Greg Brown – from my time with Swinton and I know he will get the best out of me physically. I’ll be pushing myself further than I have before to ensure I’m ready for my first game back whenever that may be.”
Adam Walker will be available to play for the Red Devils in March.
Salford Red Devils return to action for the first time in almost four months on Saturday as they clash with local rivals Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm kick-off. Tickets are available at the AJ Bell Stadium, over the phone and online HERE.