Paul Rowley

Salford Red Devils have announced Paul Rowley as their new head coach on an initial two year deal.

Paul Rowley arrived at Salford Red Devils in 2019 as a coaching consultant before he took over as the club’s head of Rugby Development, Talent and Pathways earlier this year.

He has previously had success as the head coach of Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack, but this will be his first season as a coach in The Betfred Super League.

With the players returning for pre-season this week, Rowley is looking forward to getting going, especially after taking a break from coaching.

He said: “I am really excited, I just want to go on the field, I’ve got the bug back I want to get my boots on and the whistle out and see what the lads can do and start building something special.

“It’s always daunting at the beginning but as the weeks pass by and it starts to take shape it’s so rewarding and I guess the confidence will come on the back of that.”

Salford had a disappointing campaign last season, finishing second bottom under previous head coach Richard Marshall. Discussing the goals for the upcoming season, Rowley is keeping his cards close to his chest but admits he is ‘not short of belief’.

He explained: “[The goal is] Just to be reflective of the supporters and the city of Salford, the people of Salford.

“Hard working, resilient, we don’t want to be giving in and we want to play a brand that is exciting to watch.

“I’m never going to pin my colours to the mast and say we want this bit silverware or that, we will under promise over deliver type of philosophy. But you know we’re not short of confidence, I’m certainly not and I’m not short of belief so we will keep those sort of things internal and see what you get out there.”

Salford Red Devils
Danny Orr (left), Paul Rowley (centre), Kurt Haggerty (right)

Rowley will be assisted by Danny Orr, who was also assistant to Marshall last season, and Kurt Haggerty who had been the interim head coach of Leigh Centurions since June – where he experienced what it was like to be a head coach for the first time.

Leigh finished bottom of the league last season but Haggerty admits it was a big learning curve for him.

Haggerty said: “I learned a lot in a short space of time. Nobody teaches you how to deal with the media, manage players in a system, so I learned a lot quickly but it was something I really enjoyed.

“I won’t hide the fact I want to be a head coach but it has certainly made me realise I am in no rush to be one.”

On Friday, Mark Sneyd was announced as Paul Rowley’s first signing as head coach and while he admits there will not be many more players coming in, he is not afraid to change the team around if need be.

Rowley said: “It is probably quite unique in the fact that I won’t be coming in and bringing a host of players with me so if the players that are here already don’t quite fit the picture then we will change the picture slightly to fit the players.

“But that’s part of the process, that’s the succession planning and you know if it takes 12 months or 24 months we will get there in the end.

“That’s the fun of building and I think the fans will see that build and that progression and will stick with us.”

AJ Bell Stadium

Speaking on the supporters, Rowley has urged them to just ‘keep doing what they are doing’, saying: “The fans are great, the noise is fantastic, the singing, the support for the full 80 minutes is unwavering.

“So my message is quite simple, they don’t need to improve they just need to keep doing what they are doing because they are here regardless.

“We will train hard to put our best foot forward on match day and just come and enjoy it, they’ll enjoy us working hard I am sure.”

Salford Red Devils return for pre-season training this week, Paul Rowley explains what the players can expect over the coming weeks in the video below.

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