Salford Red Devils player welfare manager Garreth Carvell has said that the club’s experience in last year’s Million Pound game has seen them develop a mental toughness that has sparked this season’s turnaround in form.
Last October the Red Devils needed a golden point extra time drop goal to secure their Super League survival. But ever since they have been riding high towards the top of the table, beating North West rivals such as Wigan and Warrington along the way.
It’s been a remarkable transformation that Player Welfare Manager, Garreth Carvell puts down to the players developing a mental toughness to turn adversity into triumph.
“In a perverse way playing the million pound game helped us,” said Carvell.
“With two minutes to go we were 10 points adrift and dead and buried. As a club and players we were all in the frame of mind that we are going down so we knew what it felt like. We never want to experience that again. We came back alive through a minor miracle and know anything is possible now.
“The players got a bit of grit and mental toughness. Because they have been through it, they know for a fact they don’t want to go through it again.
“The mental edge is there and that’s the biggest difference. This team is capable of reacting in a positive way to any adversity. It’s a tight knit group. They are all friends off the field as well as on it and look out for each other.
“I’ve been here two-and-a-half years now. Everything is working a lot better because when I first joined it was a bit disjointed. But we are a much more tightly knit team now; all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and the club is moving forward in a much more cohesive way.”
Carvell, who is also the club’s commercial manager and team manager, was speaking as part of a promotional release for Storno two way radios, which the club use on a match day.
“Two way radios are a vital part of our match day performance,” added Carvell.
“Clear communication is crucial on and off the field. Ian and his assistant have Storno radios at the top of the stand and communicate to the touchline all throughout the games to make substitutions and change tactics etc. They are an essential part of every match.
“Poor communication would cost us points.”