Ackers happy to restore Watson link

Andy Ackers has admitted the time was right for him to leave Toronto after joining Salford.

The hooker has joined the Red Devils on a deal until the end of 2022 after an immediate switch from the Wolfpack.

It was the timing of his move, midway through the season, that caught attention, with the 26-year-old still under contract with the Wolfpack.

However, Ackers revealed he informed the club of his wish to leave, and his request was granted.

“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy in myself,” he said.

“Without going into too much detail, I knew it was time to leave Toronto.

“There were a few things that I won’t go into detail about, but it was the right time for me to leave that club and I wish them all the best. They’ve been great about it. I spoke to the coach and others at the club and they allowed this to happen, which I’m grateful for.

“Salford came knocking, they spoke well of me and were keen on signing me, so it was a no-brainer. I live in Bolton with my girlfriend and it’s on the doorstep, so I’m happy to secure my future.”

It’s not the first time Salford have tried to sign the Wigan-born star. Ian Watson, a former team-mate and coach of Ackers at Swinton, had previously made a move several years ago.

And now Watson has finally got his man, with Ackers also set to reunite with another of his former coaches in Paul Rowley.

“I didn’t know that Salford had been interested,” he said.

“I played with Watto when I was 19 and he coached me at Swinton too. He’s a great guy and he told me that they’d been interested a few years back. I didn’t know that, but when you’re happy you don’t take on board what’s going on in the press.

“When Watto was interested, I had that trust, and Rowls being a coach here too and he knows me, I’m happy to link up with them again.”

News of his arrival sparked inevitable speculation that Ackers has been brought in to replace Joey Lussick, the Australian hooker who is off-contract at the end of the year.

Wigan have been linked with a move for Lussick but Salford have tabled a contract and hope he will commit his future to the club.

Ackers hopes the pair will be able to strike up a partnership.

“I don’t know Joey personally but he’s similar to me in style,” he said.

“We can learn off each other and when we get back up and running, we’ll play together, and I’m sure we’ll build a great relationship. I don’t know what the crack is with his future but it will be good to play with him.”