The Salford Red Devils can confirm that seven players have departed the club following the end of the 2017 season.
Michael Dobson, Todd Carney, Olsi Krasniqi, Adam Walne, Jordan Walne, Liam Bent and Connor Williams will not be part of the squad heading into 2018.
Dobson, who has spent three seasons with Salford, confirmed he would return home to Australia last month in search of new avenues in coaching and development and to take his family home.
Head Coach Ian Watson confirmed – following the Red Devils Super 8s fixture with Leeds – that Carney would no longer be a part of the squad heading into 2018. Carney arrived at the club from Catalans Dragons earlier this season.
Krasniqi also confirmed his departure last month with the Albanian-born forward set for a move to newly promoted Championship side Toronto Wolfpack.
Long-serving brothers Adam and Jordan Walne have both also left the club having made 75 and 55 appearances for the club, respectively.
Youngsters Connor Williams and Liam Bent will also not be a part of the 2018 roster.
CEO Ian Blease said: “We’d like to thank all seven players for their services to the club.
He added: “As a club, we’d like to wish each of them all the very best for the future.”
2018 Season Ticket details are coming up this week.
Salford Red Devils Ian Watson was ‘proud’ of his sides efforts against St Helens in the final game of the season after spending 45 minutes with twelve men.
Watson said: “I’m proud of our effort and I thought we had a really good dig – I thought in the opening exchanges we were absolutely outstanding.
“We’ve spoken over the past few weeks about getting our swagger back and we did with how we played moving the ball and being a footballing team. We did it against Huddersfield and last night in the first half particularly.
“We looked a really good team but overall I think today typified what we spoke about as a group that real grit how they backed each other up, how they worked for each other especially when we went down to 12 men.
“The grit in our defence was unbelievable we had to do about seven defensive goal-line shots to do and managed them really well. That typifies the spirit we’ve got in these players.
“We went down to 12, we didn’t panic and we worked really well together as one defensive line where you thought they’d be able to put more points on us – that’s a credit to our resilience.
Watson also spoke about the big decisions regarding Jordan Walne’s injury at the hands of Alex Walmsley and Ryan Lannon’s red card.
“If Liam Watts’ the other week is a sending off Alex Walmsley’s is probably a sending off but I don’t think he’s maliciously gone at it. I only got one glimpse of it on the big scree and I know he gets him flush because Jordan Walne couldn’t come back on and that made it more difficult for us with one less substitution.
“Ryan Lannon’s red is an example of a young kid getting frustrated and maybe if there had been a sin-bin on the back of the elbow maybe Lannon doesn’t do that but there was clear frustration there from a young lad. He’s done a dumb thing and he’ll learn from it and I know for a fact Lannon will be better from it.”
Salford fell to defeat in their final game of the 2017 season, despite a valiant effort with twelve men for 45 minutes, against a St Helens side who confirmed their place in the top four.
Ryan Lannon was sent from the field towards the end of the first half but the Red Devils dug deep and only trailed by eight points heading into the final twenty minutes. However, the extra man eventually paid dividend for St Helens who ran out 4-30 winners.
It was actually Salford who took the lead early on as a flowing move saw the ball shipped from left to right before full-back Niall Evalds hit the ball at pace and stepped his way over. However, Gareth O’Brien’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
While it was the Red Devils full-back who scored early on it was Saints’ full-back – and mid-season signing – Ben Barba created their first. Barba weaved his way around the Salford defence and Mark Percival finished in the corner but the centre couldn’t add the extras.
Manu Vatuvei went over in the corner with ten minutes of the half remaining but video referee Phil Bentham ruled it out as Vatuvei was adjudged to have knocked-on in the build-up. Unfortunately, for the Red Devils St Helens went down the other end and scored as Alex Walmsley barged his way over from close-range.
Moments late Walmsley looked to lead with the elbow which sent Jordan Walne off for a concussion check and forward couldn’t return to the field for the remainder of the game. However, James Child only put the incident on report. But, he did make the decision to send Lannon from the field a minute later for a late challenge on Theo Fages following the Frenchman’s kick.
After the interval, the Red Devils defended bravely keeping St Helens out for seven goal-line defensive sets and kept in touching distance until the final twenty minutes. Zeb Taia managed to break Salford’s resilience as he spun over the line. With ten minutes left Walmsley forced his way over for a second before Barba jinked his way over to seal St Helens’ place in the top four.
Salford: Evalds, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Vatuvei; Lui, O’Brien; Murray, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, McCarthy. Interchanges: Kopczak, Brining, Lannon, J. Walne.
Saints: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Knowles, Wilkin. Interchanges: Smith, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Peyroux.
Despite having a rare weekend off the Red Devils player’s competitive nature hasn’t been pushed aside as the first team went racing at Daytona Manchester.
The unlikely duo of Kris Welham and Weller Hauraki came in first place while Jordan Walne and Jack Ratcliffe were in 2nd with the coaching team of Martin Gleeson and Ian Watson earning a bronze medal.
Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said: “It’s always good to do stuff like this it’s keeps a good energy in the camp and gives the players a bit of time to relax.
“This week off is going to be good for us, we need to find a balance between training and freshening people up mentally and physically as well.
“Other teams have had weeks off to freshen up and to be honest some of our guys are probably mentally beat at the moment.
“Hopefully it’ll give us time to get a couple of players back too and get some experience back in the side.”
Red Devils CEO Ian Blease added: “In the difficult spells, it’s important that you keep a strong bond between the lads and keep morale high in the camp which everyone here at Salford is fully aware of.
“The on-the-field stuff can become all-encompassing at times and sometimes you just need to take a step back and have a bit of time to relax, recover and recharge the batteries.
“That’s what the lads have done this week, they’ve had a bit of a break and we’ve had them out at things such as the Daytona racing to keep spirits high and to ease the pressure on them.
“We’ve got four massive games coming up so we want the lads to be in the perfect physical and mental state to give it all they’ve got and we feel that allowing a bit of down time was the ideal way to do so.”
Tickets are on sale for all Red Devils Super 8s home games as we look to fill The Shed against Wakefield. Fans can buy their tickets over the phone, at the club ticket office or online by clicking here. Supporters are reminded that season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.
Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad ahead of Friday night’s Super 8s clash with Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium, 8pm kick-off.
Junior Sa’u returns to the squad after missing the opening two Super 8s fixtures against Hull and Castleford. Jordan Walne is also moved into the 19-man squad.
Ben Murdoch-Masila misses out following a rib injury picked up in the last Friday’s defeat against Castleford while Daniel Murray is the other change from last weekend’s squad.
Tyrone McCarthy is included in the squad ahead of the trip to Wigan despite pulling up with a calf injury in the warm-up against Castleford last Friday. Kriss Brining retains his place in the side after his return last week.
Lee Mossop and Michael Dobson continue to recover from knocks while Lama Tasi and Mark Flanagan are out for the rest of the season.