Archive for the ‘Salford City Reds’ Category

Season Review: Salford City Reds

September 14, 2009

Salford City Reds

Points For: 456

Points Against: 754

Home Record: W4 L9

Away Record (including Magic weekend): W3 L11

Longest Winning Streak: 2 (x2)

Longest Losing Streak: 6

Top Points Scorer: John Wilshere (158)

Top Try Scorer: Richard Myler (11)

Top Tackler: Malcolm Alker (948)

Salford will probably view this season with a sense of frustration, and yet they have much to be proud of and have laid the (metaphorical) groundworks for a fruitful stay in Super League. As soon as they lay the actual groundworks, then they’ll be much happier. 

What really undermined Salford this year was a terrible start that cost them any playoff aspirations they had. Following a narrow victory over fellow promoted side Celtic Crusaders, the Reds then went on a six match losing streak. However, the problem wasn’t so much that they were losing; rather, it was more the manner in which they were losing. All their defeats were pretty heavy, and it looked like Salford would never get up to speed.

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Goulding to Salford

April 14, 2009

In my post on Martin Gleeson earlier, I forgot to bring up one of the forgotten questions about his transfer: what does this mean for Darrell Goulding? Turns out that it means a loan out to Salford for the rest of the season.

Goulding has been seen as a talent ever since he burst onto the stage a few years ago, but since then he’s never really kicked on, partly due to the fact that there have been other players in the way at Wigan. Whether these players are truly worthy of starting in front of a talented, locally produced player is another matter entirely, but with Gleeson coming in it’s now quite clear that Goulding needed to move to get game time, which is quite frankly what he needs more than anything right now.

Salford should be a good fit for him. They’ve got a fair number of experienced heads from whom he will benefit being around (Willie Talau’s not a bad person to talk to about centre-play) as well as a few decent youngsters. He’s also heading to a club that appears to be on an upswing, so he won’t be like being dumped into a black-hole (which is what it would have seemed like a month ago). Indeed, he’s moving to a club that is closing in on his current employers. The experience of actual Super League play is what a player of Goulding’s calibre needs right now to develop his game, and if Salford either tear up Super League on a playoff run from here on in, or they revert to the mediocrity that had defined their season up until a few weeks ago, it will hold Goulding in good stead for the future either way.

Salford City Reds: Potential growing pains for returning Reds

February 4, 2009

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I think it’s fair to say that Salford have never really set Super League alight when they’ve been involved, save for their 2006 season when they made the playoffs for the first and only time. Their last season in the top flight was a poor one indeed, with their relegation confirmed long before the end of the season. However, the last time Salford were relegated it served them some good by allowing them to build up some momentum in the lower leagues, and they look to have done the same thing again with their victory in National League One last season.

Whilst the Reds now have to build themselves up from the bottom again, they do have some things going in their favour. Shaun McRae is a coach with a successful track record in Super League and he will be looking to take the Reds to another level. They still have some crafty veterans like Robbie Paul and Willie Talau on their roster, complimented by some very talented youngsters in Richard Myler and Jordan Turner. Both of these two looked very impressive during the Reds’ NL1 campaign (Myler looked good enough to reach the England train-on squad for the World Cup) and will be looking to hit the ground running in Super League.

Of course, there’s a world of difference between looking good in NL1 and looking good in Super League, and the key to their success this year is whether the players who were so successful last season can make the adjustment in standard and intensity required. They haven’t recruited as extensively as teams who get promoted usually do (although the players they have brought in are of a decent quality) and the jump up in standard could prove to be a shock to the system at first. If they can adjust, then the Reds should be fairly competitive.

For Salford this season a successful campaign would involve reasserting themselves as a Super League mainstay. I think they’ll be competitive for the most part but they’ll probably have to endure some rocky patches as well. Of course if they get lucky they might scrape into the playoffs, but there’s a logjam of teams trying to sneak their way into the bottom of the eight and I think Salford’s priorities should involve re-establishing a firm footing in Super League before aiming too high too early. With the licencing system now in place, I think they can take their time in letting Myler and Turner get used to the rigours of Super League.

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